nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Heterogeneous impact of traveling to Western countries on gender norms in Middle East and North Africa countries By Atamanov, Aziz
  2. Decentralisation and school autonomy impact on the quality of education: the case of two MENA countries By Josep-Oriol Escardíbul; Nehal Helmy
  3. Military Spending and economic growth in Greece and the Arms Race between Greece and Turkey By Dimitrios Paparas; Christian Richter
  4. Exchange Rate Bands of Inaction and Play-Hysteresis in Greek exports to the Euro Area, the US and Turkey – Sectoral Evidence By Ansgar Belke; Dominik Kronen
  5. Impact du développement financier sur la dynamique de création des entreprises : évidence en données de panel sur les pays du MENA By GHANEM, Yasmina; ACHOUCHE, Mohamed

  1. By: Atamanov, Aziz
    Abstract: Social gender norms shape individuals’ opportunities and actions. Traditional and gender biased norms can contribute to persistent gender disparities. However, counter-stereotypical images can shift an expected behavior for men and women. This paper investigates if traveling to Western countries relaxes gender norms in the Middle East and North Africa region using the Arab Barometer data. Preliminary empirical findings suggest that international travel to Western countries relaxes gender norms only for those individuals who spend abroad longer than one month and only for less binding gender norms not associated with changing power relationships between men and women.
    Keywords: transfer of norms, gender, international travel, Middle East and North Africa
    JEL: F29 J16
    Date: 2015–11–30
  2. By: Josep-Oriol Escardíbul (Universidad de Barcelona & IEB); Nehal Helmy (The World Bank)
    Abstract: An effective institutional structure is a crucial tool for having a highly functioning education system and consequently, economic growth and development. We analyse the effects of decentralisation and school autonomy on the quality of education in two MENA countries (Jordan and Tunisia), by using the OECD PISA 2009 database. Results reveal that decentralisation has a positive impact on the quality of education in some decision-making areas, whereas most autonomy related variables are not significant. Accordingly, schools with more autonomy management and facing more competition do not lead to different results than others, while (public) ownership is positively significant only in Tunisia. However, private funding and accountability measures are positively associated with student achievement.
    Keywords: Education, decentralisation, school autonomy, Tunisia, Jordan, MENA, PISA
    JEL: H40 H52 I28
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Dimitrios Paparas (Land, Farm and Agribusiness Management Department, Harper Adams University); Christian Richter (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo)
    Abstract: In this paper we empirically test the relationship between military spending and economic growth for Greece and Turkey during 1957-2013, and examine the validity of arms race hypothesis between the two countries.
    Keywords: National Government Expenditures, National Security and War, Arms race, Greece, Turkey, Economic Growth, ADF, VAR
    JEL: H5 H56 O40 E62
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: Ansgar Belke; Dominik Kronen
    Abstract: In this paper a non-linear model is applied, where suddenly strong spurts of exports occur when changes of the exchange rate go beyond a zone of inaction, which we call “play” area – analogous to mechanical play. We implement an algorithm describing path-dependent play-hysteresis into a regression framework. The hysteretic impact of real exchange rates on Greek exports is estimated based on the period from 1995Q1 to 2014Q4. Looking at some of the main export partners of Greece, the euro area, Turkey and the US, and some of its most im-portant tradeable sectors we identify significant hysteretic effects for a part of the Greek ex-ports. We find that Greek export activity is characterized by “bands of inaction” with respect to changes in the real exchange rate and calculate the further real depreciation needed to trig-ger a spurt in Greek exports. To check for robustness we (a) estimate Greek export equations for a limited sample excluding the recent financial crisis, (b) use export weight instead of de-flated nominal exports as the dependent variable, (c) employ a political uncertainty variable as a determinant of the width of the area of weak reaction. Overall, we find that those specifica-tions which take uncertainty into account display the best goodness of fit. In other words: the option value of waiting dominates the real exchange rate effect on Greek exports.
    Keywords: real depreciation; Greece; play-hysteresis; modelling techniques; switching/spline regression; export demand
    JEL: F14 C51
    Date: 2015–09
  5. By: GHANEM, Yasmina; ACHOUCHE, Mohamed
    Abstract: Résumé: Sur un panel de 14 pays de la région Moyen Orient, Afrique du Nord (MENA), le présent papier examine si le développement financier entraîne un effet considérable sur le développement de l’entrepreneuriat en facilitant l’émergence de nouvelles entreprises. Les résultats estimés par les doubles moindres carrés généralisés en variables instrumentales accentuent l’importance des systèmes financiers développés pour la dynamique de création des entreprises. Globalement, le développement financier et sa composante expliquée par la qualité institutionnelle affectent positivement et significativement la densité d’entrée dans les pays pétroliers comparativement aux pays non pétroliers.
    Abstract: Using a panel of 14 Middle East, North Africa (MENA) countries, this paper investigates and examines whether financial development trains a substantial effect on entrepreneurship development by facilitating the rise of new firms. Generalized Two-Stage Least Squares estimate results with instrumental variables highlight the relevance of developed financial systems for the creation of new firms. In Overall, financial development and its component explained by the institutional quality exert a positive and significant effect on new entry density in oil MENA countries compared to non-oil ones.
    Keywords: développement financier, création des entreprises, densité d’entrée, MENA, panel.
    JEL: C23 E69 G21 L26
    Date: 2015–11–30

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