nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒01‒29
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Measuring the Competitiveness of Saudi Arabia’s Fruit Date Exports By Almodarra, Sattam; Saghaian, Sayed
  2. The Impact of the Arab Spring on the Tunisian Economy By Samer Matta; Simon Appleton; Michael Bleaney
  3. Periphery under Pressure: Morocco, Tunisia and the European Union’s Mobility Partnership on Migration By Mohamed Limam; Raffaella A. Del Sarto
  4. Aspects of Fiscal Policy in Turkey By Ebru Voyvoda; Erinc Yeldan
  5. The Trojan Horse of Affluence and Halal in the Arabian Gulf By El-Bassiouny
  6. The Improving Global Outlook and Morocco By Uri Dadush
  7. Assessing the impacts of aviation liberalisation on tourism: Some methodological considerations derived from the Moroccan and Tunisian cases By Frédéric Dobruszkes; Véronique Mondou; Aymen Ghedira
  8. Case study paper relating financialisation of the built environment to changing urban politics, social geographies, material flows and environmental improvement/degradation in Ankara By Aylin Topal; Ozlem Celik; Galip Yalman

  1. By: Almodarra, Sattam; Saghaian, Sayed
    Abstract: Abstract This study is to measure competitiveness and its effect on the quantity of Saudi exports of dates in the international market between 1990- 2011. In order to measure the competitiveness of date exports, the study depended on a number of indexes such as the revealed comparative advantage and the competitive advantage. The study also depended on the analysis of simple regression to study the relationship between the Saudi exports of dates and the competitiveness indexes during the study period. This study showed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the main market for Saudi exports of dates, as it imported about 61.2%, followed by the United Kingdom (UK) at 12.8%, then Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, and Qatar at 3.8%, 1.5%, 1.4%, 1.1% and 1.1%, respectively between 2000 and 2011. The average of the revealed comparative advantage and the competitive advantage for Saudi exports of dates is 49.27 and 55.25 respectively. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is distinguished with the revealed comparative advantage and the competitive advantage for date exports between 1990 and 2011. The study showed that there is an increase by 10% in the competitive advantage for the exports of Saudi dates, resulting in an increase in Saudi exports of the same good by 10.37%. The study recommends the importance of increasing the competitiveness of Saudi exports of dates in the international market through technological advances used in packaging and storage. Additionally, the study recommends creating a new market for Saudi exports of dates by assigning commercial representation to prepare studies of external demands on date exports, and provide information about foreign consumer tastes to exporters. Commercial representation will also provide Saudi Arabia information about the quantity and type of dates that foreign consumers need, as well as the export prices of competitive countries in the international market. Keywords: dates, competitiveness, exports, international market.
    Keywords: Agribusiness, International Relations/Trade, Marketing,
    Date: 2016–02–06
  2. By: Samer Matta; Simon Appleton; Michael Bleaney
    Abstract: We use Synthetic Control Methodology to estimate the output loss in Tunisia as a result of the “Arab spring”. Our results suggest that each Tunisian citizen lost, on average, an estimated US$ 600 (5.5 percent of GDP), US$ 574 (5.1 percent of GDP) and US$ 735 (6.4 percent of GDP) in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. These findings are robust to a series of tests. Investment was the main channel through which the economy was impacted by the Arab Spring, as investors were afraid to invest in a highly volatile political environment.
    Keywords: Arab Spring, Tunisia, Economic Impact, Synthetic Control Methodology
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Mohamed Limam; Raffaella A. Del Sarto
    Abstract: Morocco and Tunisia resisted for some time pressure from the European Union to sign readmission agreements. These agreements co-opt states into the EU’s migration governance, and include a commitment to cooperation on the expulsion of unwanted migrants in Europe. Their recent acceptance of a largely unbalanced arrangement on the issue, the Mobility Partnership, came at a crucial time in the political history of these two countries. This paper shows that the EU exploited the extremely fragile and uncertain political context after the start of the uprisings, in order to push Morocco and Tunisia to sign up to the Mobility Partnership. What is more, the EU anchored the pursuit of what is a clear EU priority in a normative discourse, effectively linking cooperation on migration to EU support for democratisation in the ‘neighbourhood’, after the Arab upheavals. The article thus highlights a concrete case in which the EU engaged in realpolitik, using norms and values strategically. However, the normative framing of EU policies also contributed to the construction of an (allegedly) normative EU identity. Hence, the article challenges simplistic notions of ‘normative power Europe’.
    Keywords: European Union, Tunisia, Morocco, migration, Mobility Partnership, Arab uprising
    Date: 2015–10
  4. By: Ebru Voyvoda (Middle East Technical University); Erinc Yeldan (I.D. Bilkent University)
    Abstract: This report studies the aspects of fiscal policy in post -1980 Turkey. The 1990s had been a period of acute deterioration of the public sector balances with increased indebtedness and the rising interest burden. On the other hand, the post-2001 period witnessed a significant narrowing of the fiscal budget deficits. This is often hailed as a discriminatory success of the Turkish Republic, during when the European economies suffer from a public debt crisis. Currently Turkey stands as the largest candidate country which certainly comprises differences with the EU Member States and to other candidate countries. Yet, the Turkish experience in economic policy making in the neo-liberal era should provide repercussions for the European geography, especially in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008-9.
    Keywords: Fiscal Policy, Turkey, Debt Sustainability, IMF
    JEL: H10 H50 H62 H63
    Date: 2015–07–01
  5. By: El-Bassiouny (Faculty of Management Technology, The German University in Cairo)
    Abstract: In this paper we employ a qualitative methodological approach utilizing unstructured observation and content analysis to test the intersections between luxury consumption and halal in the United Arab Emirates.
    Keywords: National Government Expenditures, National Security and War, Arms race, Greece, Turkey, Economic Growth, ADF, VAR
    Date: 2016–01
  6. By: Uri Dadush
    Abstract: Global economic growth is likely to be a little better in 2016 than this year’s lackluster outcome. The ongoing slow recovery in the United States and Europe is likely to continue. However, weakness in China as well as several large emerging markets, and sluggishness of world trade, mean that risks are weighted on the downside of this forecast Morocco, which is reliant on European markets, is a heavy importer of oil, and whose currency has devalued in effective terms, should find the external environment more supportive than in past years. But the required adjustment in its fiscal.
    Keywords: Global Outlook, growth, financial crisis, world trade, GDP, commodities, euro crisis, developing regions, OECD, oil prices
    Date: 2015–12
  7. By: Frédéric Dobruszkes; Véronique Mondou; Aymen Ghedira
    Abstract: At a time when the liberalisation of air transport is increasingly being promoted as a means to induce the growth of the tourism business, it is striking that there is little evidence to suggest that such liberalisation has indeed led to a growth in tourism. Furthermore, the evidence is usually restricted to the impacts of sole low-cost airlines on tourist destinations newly served by such airlines. In contrast to various ideological or naïve statements, this paper shows that assessing the relationship between liberalised air markets and trends in tourism is challenging. On the transport side, aviation liberalisation is rarely considered as a dimension that can be measured accurately; similar protected markets are not considered for comparison; and trends in charter flights are neglected. On the tourist side, broad definitions of so-called tourists are usually considered and include immigrants visiting their home country; nights spent are neglected, despite a possible trend in declining length of stay; and substitution between places is usually disregarded, as are the long-term effects.
    Keywords: Aviation liberalisation; Low-cost airlines; Charter airlines; Tourism; Leisure travel; Visits to friends and relatives; Morocco; Tunisia
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Aylin Topal (Middle East Technical University); Ozlem Celik (Middle East Technical University); Galip Yalman (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: This paper examines transformation of urban development in its repercussions in urban politics in Ankara since the 1920s with particular emphasis on the post-1980 period. It focuses on management mentality and finance mechanisms of housing policy in the city. This case study paper on Ankara shows that integration of urban land and housing with financial markets has been one of the central tendencies of neoliberal political economy particularly in the 2000s. The paper also notes that the case study epitomizes changing role of the state in creating urban rent and enabling and fortifying the link between the construction and banking sectors.
    Keywords: Ankara, housing, city planning, financialization, built environment, TOKI, Justice and Development Party.
    JEL: E44 R31 R21 G21
    Date: 2015–09–01

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