nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2015‒10‒25
nine papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. What Factors Influence Firm Perceptions of Labour Market Constraints to Growth in the MENA Region? By Fakih, Ali; Ghazalian, Pascal L.
  2. Hofstede Index and Knowledge Economy Imperfections in Arab Countries By Driouchi, Ahmed
  3. The Impacts of Exogenous Oil Supply Shocks on Mediterranean Economies. By Andrea Bastianin; Marzio Galeotti; Matteo Manera
  4. On the Causal Nexus of Road Transport CO2 Emissions and Macroeconomic Variables in Tunisia: Evidence from Combined Cointegration Tests By Shahbaz, Muhammad; Khraief, Naceur; Dhaoui, Abderrazak
  5. Is There an Informal Employment Wage Penalty in Egypt By Aysit Tansel; Halil Ibrahim Keskin; Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir
  6. North-South Cooperation in Medical Education and Research: The European Union and South Mediterranean Economies By Driouchi, Ahmed; Achehboune, Amale
  7. Creation of Enterprises & Knowledge Economy in the Arab Countries By Driouchi, Ahmed
  8. Threats to Skills of Unemployed Qualified Labor in Arab Economies By Driouchi, Ahmed
  9. Setting the Stage to Address the Dual Challenge of MDGs and NCDs By Anne Maryse Pierre-Louis; Katherina Ferl; Christina Dinh Wadhwani; Neesha Harnam; Montserrat Meiro-Lorenzo

  1. By: Fakih, Ali (Lebanese American University); Ghazalian, Pascal L. (University of Lethbridge)
    Abstract: Labour market constraints constitute prominent obstacles to firm development and economic growth of countries located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This paper aims at examining the implications of firm characteristics, national locations, and sectoral associations for the perceptions of firms concerning two basic labour market constraints: labour regulations and labour skill shortages. The empirical analysis is carried out using firm-level dataset sourced from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys database. A bivariate probit estimator is used to account for potential correlations between the errors in the two labour market constraints' equations. We implement overall estimations and comparative cross-country and cross-sector analyses, and use alternative estimation models. The empirical results reveal some important implications of firm characteristics (e.g., firm size, labour compositions) for firm perceptions of labour regulations and labour skill shortages. They also delineate important cross-country and cross-sector variations. We also find significant heterogeneity in the factors' implications for the perceptions of firms belonging to different sectors and located in different MENA countries. This paper provides policy-makers with information needed in the design of labour policies that attenuate the impacts of labour market constraints and enhance the performance of firms and the long-run economic growth.
    Keywords: labour regulations, labour skill shortages, labour market constraints, bivariate probit model, MENA region
    JEL: J20 K20 K31 O53
    Date: 2015–10
  2. By: Driouchi, Ahmed
    Abstract: This paper looks at the imperfections in the knowledge economy in Arab countries. It uses series of data including the Hofstede index to show how these imperfections are translated into the measures of knowledge and development. The outputs from Arab countries are also compared to those from the Eastern European Economies. The outcomes do clearly indicate the existence of a gap between Arab and Eastern European Economies and underline that more efforts need to be devoted to the reduction of imperfections in Arab economies.
    Keywords: Imperfections, Knowledge, Hofstede index, Political economy.
    JEL: O11 O17
    Date: 2015–10–20
  3. By: Andrea Bastianin; Marzio Galeotti; Matteo Manera
    Abstract: The security of energy supply is a key geopolitical factor in the relationship between the European Union and the southern neighborhood countries of the Middle East and North Africa region. We study the response of eight Mediterranean economies to exogenous oil supply shocks. We focus on the effects on economic activity - as measured by real Gross Value Added - for the whole economy, as well as for selected industries. We show that there are clear patterns characterizing the response of different economies to an unexpected reduction in global oil production. The main determinants of these patterns are the degree of energy intensity and energy dependence of the country, as well as the composition of its Gross Value Added.
    Keywords: Oil supply shocks, Mediterranean, Growth.
    JEL: C22 E32 Q41 Q43
    Date: 2015
  4. By: Shahbaz, Muhammad; Khraief, Naceur; Dhaoui, Abderrazak
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal relationship between road transportation energy consumption, fuel prices, transport sector value added and CO2 emissions in Tunisia for the period 1980-2012. We apply the newly developed combined cointegration test proposed by Bayer and Hanck (2013) and the ARDL bounds testing approach to cointegration to establish the existence of long-run relationship in presence of structural breaks. The direction of causality between these variables is determined via vector error correction model (VECM). Our empirical exercise reveals that the cointegration is present. Energy consumption adds in CO2 emissions. Fuel prices decline CO2 emissions. Road infrastructure boosts in CO2 emissions. Transport value-added also increases CO2 emissions. The causality analysis indicates the bidirectional casual relationship between energy consumption and CO2 emissions. Road infrastructure causes CO2 emissions and similar is true from opposite side in Granger sense. The bidirectional causality is also found between transport value-added and CO2 emissions. Fuel prices cause CO2 emissions, energy consumption, road infrastructure and transport value-added. This paper provides new insights to policy makers to design a comprehensive energy, transport and environment policies for sustainable economic growth in long run.
    Keywords: Road Transport, CO2 Emissions, Tunisia
    JEL: C1
    Date: 2015–10–12
  5. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, IZA, and ERF Cairo); Halil Ibrahim Keskin (Department of Econometrics, Gazi Unversity); Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir (Department of Economics, Gazi Unversity, ERF Cairo)
    Abstract: This paper considers the private sector wage earners in Egypt and examine their wage distribution during 1998-2012 using Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey. We first estimate Mincer wage equations both at the mean and at different quantiles of the wage distribution taking into account observable characteristics. Then we make use of the panel feature of the data and estimate models taking into account unobservable characteristics. We also consider the possibility of nonlinearity in covariate effects and estimate a variant of matching models. In all cases we find a persistent informal wage penalty in the face of extensive sensitivity checks. It is smaller when unobserved heterogeneity is taken into account and larger at the top than at the bottom of the conditional wage distribution. We also examine the informal wage penalty over time during the study period and in different groups according to experience and education. The informal wage penalty has increased recently over time and is larger for the better educated but smaller for the more experienced.
    Keywords: Formal and informal wage gap; Formal and informal employment; Panel data; Egypt.
    JEL: J21 J31 J40 O17
    Date: 2015–10
  6. By: Driouchi, Ahmed; Achehboune, Amale
    Abstract: The objective of this paper is to show the need for further cooperation around medical education and research through the mobility of medical doctors. Three important implicit players are identified and include medical schools, public authorities and the business related to health-care. These players from North and South are assumed to engage in cooperation around medical education, medical research and health development. The triple helix approach and the support of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are the foundations of the model. The empirical part introduces the on-going international cooperative frameworks between the European Union and South Mediterranean countries and identifies possibilities of expansion. The paper shows how such as a framework could be expanded to generate further benefits with win-win outcomes to both Northern and Southern economies. The emphasis placed on the European Union and Arab countries provides further evidence for the pursuit and expansions of collaborations and dialogues on health and mobility of medical doctors.
    Keywords: Keywords: Existing Collaborations, Triple Helix Framework, Medical Doctors, Medical Education and Research.
    JEL: I1 I3 O1
    Date: 2015–10–19
  7. By: Driouchi, Ahmed
    Abstract: Abstract The limited business and enterprise creation in relation to the high unemployment of skilled labor are among the issues analyzed and discussed in this paper. The present paper shows clearly that shifts to the creation of more enterprises are the most important ways to enhance economic performance and market development through further access to the knowledge economy.
    Keywords: Keywords: Enterprise creation, doing business
    JEL: M2 O1
    Date: 2015–10–20
  8. By: Driouchi, Ahmed
    Abstract: Abstract This paper focuses on skill loss from the unemployment of qualified labor in Arab economies. It aims at analyzing the prospects of unemployment of skilled labor in relation to the increasing gap between the supply of labor and the low levels of job creation. The obsolescence of the skills gained prior to job search, is discussed in relation to the length of unemployment. Descriptive statistical analysis of unemployment in addition to a discussion of skill obsolescence is pursued. Among the results, skill losses appear to be crucial under limited prospective policies. Some directions of economic and social policies that need strengthening are introduced.
    Keywords: Keywords: Risks; Loss; Skills; Obsolescence; Unemployment; Skilled Labor.
    JEL: J24 J64
    Date: 2015–10–20
  9. By: Anne Maryse Pierre-Louis; Katherina Ferl; Christina Dinh Wadhwani; Neesha Harnam; Montserrat Meiro-Lorenzo
    Abstract: The purpose of this discussion paper is to assist countries in exploring synergies in service delivery and disease dynamics that can positively affect both non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper examines the challenges countries face in addressing both infectious and non-communicable diseases, and highlights examples of integrated interventions in addressing this double burden of disease. Many low- and middle-income countries are faced with a rising burden of NCDs while working to improve health outcomes to meet health-related MDGs. This dual challenge takes place in an environment of increasingly limited resources, which is why the efficient integration of prevention, diagnosis and treatment of NCDs with MDG-related activities will be, in many instances, the best option these countries will have to address such challenges. Brazil’s Family Health Program and Turkey’s Health Transformation Program provide useful examples to draw on, and have been highlighted in this paper. Both programs have demonstrated impressive results, which can serve as an impetus for countries to take action.
    Keywords: psychosocial support, child health, antiretroviral therapies, risks, treatment, diagnosis, counselors, chronic diseases, vaccination, stroke, diabetes mellitus, midwifery ... See More + prevention, laws, disease burden, morbidity, health education, sexual health, community health, health care, death, death rate, cervical cancer, health, depression, back pain, health workers, eating habits, breast cancer, high blood pressure, smokers, hypertension, rubella, sexually transmitted infection, public health, day care, life expectancy, hospitalization, knowledge, diabetes, analgesics, workplace, diseases, occupational health, iron, immunization, infectious diseases, patients, patient, life, smoking, intervention, leukemia, health indicators, mental illness, aging, nurses, health management, violence, anxiety, pollution, tuberculosis, gynecology, screening, cardiovascular disease, hiv/aids, mental health, mortality, general practice, health promotion, palliative care, cancer, childbirth, pregnancy complications, medical research, workers, surgery, prognosis, influenza, ncd, hiv, tb, surveillance, immunodeficiency, lifestyle, health policy, health effects, morality, noncommunicable diseases, health outcomes, hygiene, hepatitis b, dental health, family planning, medical supplies, decision making, therapies, chemotherapy, nutrition, injuries, malaria, quality of life, primary health care, burden of disease, internet, risk factors, vaccines, weight, physicians, communicable diseases, pregnant women, maternal health, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, children, disease, liver cancer, clinics, infection, disability, physical activity, all, hospitalizations, maternal and child health, blood sugar, strategy, epidemiology, sodium, families, medicines, hospitals, health interventions, aids, health services, implementation, mental, pregnancy, alcohol consumption, condoms, food industry, nursing, breastfeeding
    Date: 2014–05

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