nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒03‒10
eighteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Education and Learning in a multicultural society: the Case of Israel and the reflection of the School books By Samira Alayan
  2. Les règles de Taylor à l’épreuve de la révolution : cas de l’Égypte. By baaziz, yosra
  3. Tunisia: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  4. Modelling the Effect of Irrigation on the Hydrological Outputs in Darlik Creek Watershed By Ömer Güngör; Kadir Özdemir
  5. Conflict and Reconciliation Motives in the Hebrew Curriculum for the Arabic Junior High Schools in Israel By Sara Zamir
  6. Oil prices and MENA stock markets:New evidence from nonlinear and asymmetric causalities during and after the crisis period By Ahdi Noomen Ajmi; Ghassen El Montasser; Shawkat Hammoudeh; Duc Khuong Nguyen
  7. Monetary Operations and Islamic Banking in the GCC; Challenges and Options By Ritu Basu; Ananthakrishnan Prasad; Sergio L. Rodriguez
  8. Saudi Arabia: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  9. Oil Price shocks and theirs consequences on Sudan’s GDP growth and unemployment rates By Elsiddig Rahma; Noel Perera; Kian Tan
  10. Morocco: Third Review under the Arrangement under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Morocco By International Monetary Fund
  11. Islamic Republic of Iran: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  12. The Effect of Civilian Casualties on Wartime Informing: Evidence from the Iraq War By Andrew Shaver; Jacob N. Shapiro
  13. Losing the gains of the past : the welfare and distributional impacts of the twin crises in Iraq 2014 By Krishnan,Nandini; Olivieri,Sergio Daniel
  14. Innovation decision of Tunisian service firms: an empirical analysis By Hanen SDIRI; Mohamed AYADI
  15. Forecasting Daily Stock Volatility Using GARCH-CJ Type Models with Continuous and Jump Variation By BOUSALAM, Issam; HAMZAOUI, Moustapha; ZOUHAYR, Otman
  16. Kuwait: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  17. Estimating Cost Efficiency of Turkish Commercial Banks under Unobserved Heterogeneity with Stochastic Frontier Models By Hakan Güneş; Dilem Yıldırım
  18. Institutional Environments and the Internationalization of Franchise Chains: The Contrasting Cases of Three North African Countries By Odile Chanut; Nadjoua Gharbi; Dominique Bonet Fernandez; Muhammad Shahbaz; E. Hachemi Aliouche

  1. By: Samira Alayan (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
    Abstract: This paper examined history curricula and textbooks for the Palestinian - Arab living in the state of Israel, and they are citizen’s counts between 19-20 percent of the general population. In Israel when it comes to the minority in a society defines itself as a multicultural. This study found that the Israeli- Arab curriculum and textbooks are focused on promoting Jewish Israeli identity and Jewish history and Culture, based on the general Israeli education system, which is all geared toward teaching the love of the Jewish homeland, hailing the Zionist project. More the study showed that Textbooks aim to shape the social, cultural and political orientations of youth and adolescents and does not only convey facts but also shape the collective identity and memory. It also disseminates ideologies and justifications for claims of one’s own group in a wider conflict, as part of ensuring historical legitimacy. The study clearly shows that the Palestinian –Israeli conflict is not religious based, but it is based on a nationalist background .The study followed an analytical approach – involving analysis of the content of the books and others documents and resources.
    Keywords: The Conflict in school books , The Arab -Israeli Conflict in school books , The power of school Books.
    JEL: I24
  2. By: baaziz, yosra
    Abstract: This paper challenges the suitability of a nonlinear Taylor rule in characterizing the monetary policy behavior of Egyptian central bank), especially in turbulent times. More specifically, we investigate the possibility that the Taylor rule should be formulated as a threshold process and examine the validity of such nonlinear Taylor rule as a robust rule for conducting monetary policy in Egypt. Analytical results show that nonlinear Taylor rule holds and that adopting a nonlinear specification instead of the linear leads to a costs reduction in terms of fit: 90 basis point in 2008-Q4 and 20 basis point in post-revolution.
    Keywords: nonlinear Taylor rule; Logistic Smooth Transition Regression (LSTR); special events; costs in terms of fit
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2016–02–27
  3. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Tunisia: Selected Issues
    Keywords: Economic growth;Productivity;Labor market policy;Fiscal reforms;Selected Issues Papers;Tunisia;
    Date: 2016–02–11
  4. By: Ömer Güngör (Bülent Ecevit University); Kadir Özdemir (Bülent Ecevit University)
    Abstract: The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) is a comprehensive, well-established, distributed hydrological cycle and continuous time model that runs the hydrological response unit (HRU) as a basic computational unit. Amount of irrigation water is automatically applied to HRU during simulation by SWAT in response to a water deficit in the soil. The SWAT-CUP is a utility program which has been adopted to carry out the parameterization, calibration, validation, and uncertainty analysis parameter uncertainty process for SWAT simulations. In this study, the hydrology of the Darlik Creek Watershed in Turkey has been modelled by the SWAT to determine effect of irrigation on hydrological outputs. SWAT-CUP has been used for calibration and validation purpose. The calibration and the validation process have been accomplished using data from one monitoring station. The model has been run for the 1976–1985 period, and while the 1981–1985 period has been used for calibration, the validation has spanned the 1976-1980 period. The monthly Nash–Sutcliffe, PBIAS and R2 (coefficient of determination) performance indicators for The Darlik monitoring station, which is located close to the watershed outlet, has shown values of 0.73, -4.6 and 0.78, respectively, for the calibration period, and 0.53, 14.6 and 0.66, respectively, for the validation period. In general, model simulation can be judged as satisfactory if NSE > 0.50, and if PBIAS 25% for streamflow (Moriasi et al. 2007). The comparison between model predictions and observations on the monthly basis for the Darlik monitoring station has indicated a good model performance. The effects of irrigation on hydrological outputs have been also investigated. Irrigation scenario has shown increases in watershed outlet stream flows by 67% for the whole year.
    Keywords: hydrologic modelling, irrigation, SWAT, SWATCup, Darlik Creek, calibration, validation
  5. By: Sara Zamir (Achva Academic College and Ben Gurion Universityat Eilat)
    Abstract: The curriculum for Hebrew literature in the Arab sector (Arabic Junior high schools) was approved by the Minister of Education and Culture in 2008. Along with declared aims connected to the discipline itself, such as the usefulness of the Hebrew language and the beauty of its literature, the curriculum also includes specific ideological social and civic aims. These include acquiring knowledge about the cultural traditions of the Jewish people as well as developing consideration for their social and cultural sensitivities. The three anthologies based upon the very curriculum were published in 2009. The fundamental assumption of this research, which relies on an extensive foundation of theoretical work, maintains that the literary curriculum does have the ability to achieve these social aims. The aim of the research was to examine how the corpus of Hebrew literature in the curriculum reflects the relationship between Arabs and Jews in Israel, as individuals and as representatives of different cultures and traditions especially concerning the issues of conflict and reconciliation. The findings, based upon combined qualitative content analysis tools, revealed that only a small part (12%) of the literary works in the three anthologies indeed dealt with matters of conflict and reconciliation. Most of those literary works avoid direct implications to the Arab-Israeli coexistence.
    Keywords: Conflict and reconciliation, Hebrew Curriculum for the Arabic sector, school readers.
    JEL: A30
  6. By: Ahdi Noomen Ajmi; Ghassen El Montasser; Shawkat Hammoudeh; Duc Khuong Nguyen
    Date: 2016–02–18
  7. By: Ritu Basu; Ananthakrishnan Prasad; Sergio L. Rodriguez
    Abstract: The assessment provides evidence of market segmentation across Islamic and conventional banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), leading to excess liquidity, and an uneven playing field for Islamic banks that might affect their growth. Liquidiy management has been a long-standing concern in the global Islamic finance industry as there is a general lack of Shari’ah compliant instruments than can serve as high-quality short-term liquid assets. The degree of segmentation and bank behavior varies across countries depending on Shari’ah permissibility and the availability of Shari’ah-compliant instruments. A partial response would be to support efforts to build Islamic liquid interbank and money markets, which are crucial for monetary policy transmission through the Islamic financial system.This can be achieved, to a large extent, by deepening Islamic government securities and developing Shari’ah-compliant money market instruments.
    Keywords: Islamic banking;Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf;Basel Committee on Banking Supervision;Liquidity management;Monetary operations;Monetary policy;Islamic banking;Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf;Basel Committee on Banking Supervision;Liquidity management;Monetary operations;Monetary policy;Shari'ah-compliant financial instruments;Shari'ah-compliant lender of last resort (S-LOLR);Sukuk
    Date: 2015–11–09
  8. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: This Selected Issues paper assesses the importance of oil and interest rate spillovers for Saudi Arabia. Oil prices have fallen by more than 40 percent since mid-2014 while the Federal Reserve is expected in the coming months to begin raising its policy rate at the beginning of a gradual tightening cycle. Given the importance of oil to the economy and the peg of the riyal to the U.S. dollar, these are two key developments for Saudi Arabia. Although a temporary drop in oil prices would likely have little effect on the economy and banks given the financial cushions that have been built-up, a longer-lasting period of low oil prices would have a more significant impact.
    Keywords: Middle East;Saudi Arabia;oil prices, interest, revenues, interest rates, oil price
    Date: 2015–10–15
  9. By: Elsiddig Rahma (Northumbria University at Newcastle upon Tyne); Noel Perera (Northumbria University); Kian Tan (Northumbria University)
    Abstract: Since the advent of oil production and export in late 1999, Sudan economy became more reliant on oil exports proceeds. This situation has exposed the economy to the negative effect of oil price fluctuations. In general, oil exporting countries exhibit positive impact on their economy to oil price increase, while oil importing economies suffer. Unlike developing economies, there is paucity of research in developing countries with regards to the relationship between macro-economy and oil price shocks. In this regard, Sudan has been neglected from serious studies related to oil price shocks. This research attempts to contribute towards filling this gap. In doing so, Vector Auto-Regression model is employed to investigate the impact of oil price shocks on the real GDP growth and unemployment rates over the period 2000 - 2014. The Granger causality test suggests that unemployment has statistically and significantly influenced real GDP growth. Results from the Impulse Response Functions and Forecast Error Variance Decomposition analysis suggest that decrease in oil price has a greater influence on GDP growth. Interestingly, oil price decrease has a significant positive impact on unemployment rate.
    Keywords: VAR model, GDP growth, Unemployment rate, Sudan.
    JEL: C32 E00 F43
  10. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Overall macroeconomic conditions have continued to improve, but challenges remain. Economic activity rebounded in 2015, helped by a very good agricultural year. Fiscal and external imbalances have declined and reserve buffers are building up. While poverty, unemployment rates, and inequality have decreased in recent years, much remains to be done, including to reduce unemployment among the youth and to increase female labor participation. The outlook remains subject to domestic and external risks, related in particular to reform implementation, weak growth in key trading partners, and a potentially volatile international environment.
    Keywords: Precautionary and Liquidity Line;Fiscal policy;Budgets;Fiscal reforms;Pension funds;Economic indicators;Balance of payments statistics;Letters of Intent;Staff Reports;Press releases;Morocco;
    Date: 2016–02–08
  11. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: This Selected Issues paper discusses some options to strengthen Iran’s fiscal framework, and highlights the need for a medium-term framework. Fiscal policy design in Iran faces numerous challenges. Some are current, such as managing volatile oil revenue while addressing development needs. Other challenges are related to demographic pressures from new entrants to the labor market, as the country needs to prepare from aging pressures in the decades to come. With medium-term planning, macroeconomic stability, and adequate spending, fiscal policy could play a critical role in fostering growth. Ultimately, addressing these issues would help Iran achieve its objective of becoming one of the fastest-growing emerging economies.
    Keywords: Payments arrears;Oil revenues;Labor productivity;Fiscal policy;Government expenditures;Aging;Budgets;Iran, Islamic Republic of;Iran, Islamic Republic of;Selected Issues Papers;revenue, budget, investment, arrears
    Date: 2015–12–21
  12. By: Andrew Shaver (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University); Jacob N. Shapiro (Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Department of Politics, Princeton University)
    Abstract: Scholars of civil war and insurgency have long posited that insurgent organizations and their state enemies incur costs for the collateral damage they cause. We provide the first direct quantitative evidence that wartime informing is affected by civilian casualties. Using newly declassified data on tip flow to Coalition forces in Iraq we find that information flow goes down after government forces inadvertently kill civilians and it goes up when insurgents do so. These results confirm a relationship long posited in the theoretical literature on insurgency but never directly observed, have strong policy implications, and are consistent with a broad range of circumstantial evidence on the topic.
    Date: 2016–02
  13. By: Krishnan,Nandini; Olivieri,Sergio Daniel
    Abstract: Iraq was plunged into two simultaneous crises in the second half of 2014, one driven by a sharp decline in oil prices, the other, by the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The severity and recurrent nature of these crises demand a fast understanding and quantification of their welfare impact, which is critical for policy makers. This paper employs an innovative extension of the micro-simulation methodology to provide an ex ante estimate and analysis of the complex and dynamic poverty and distributional impact of the twin crises. The results show an almost complete erosion of the welfare gains of the past, with poverty falling back to 2007 levels and a 20 percent increase in the number of the poor. While the incidence of poverty is higher among internally displaced persons than the rest of the population (except in the Islamic State?affected governorates, where poverty is higher), internally displaced persons make up only a small proportion of Iraq's eight million poor in 2014. The rest comprise of households who already lived below the poverty line, or those who have fallen below the poverty line in the face of the massive economic disruptions the country is facing. The welfare impact of the crises varies widely across space, with the largest increases in poverty headcount rates in Kurdistan and the Islamic State?affected governorates. Yet, the poorest regions in the 2014 crisis scenario are the same as in 2012, the currently Islamic State?affected, and the South, with poverty rates of 40 and 30 percent, respectively. Although the simulated results are not strictly comparable to ex post micro data estimates, because of survey coverage constraints, overall the results are very much in line, particularly in Kurdistan and the South.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Inequality,Economic Theory&Research,Labor Policies,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–02–16
  14. By: Hanen SDIRI; Mohamed AYADI
    Date: 2016–02–18
  15. By: BOUSALAM, Issam; HAMZAOUI, Moustapha; ZOUHAYR, Otman
    Abstract: In this paper we decompose the realized volatility of the GARCH-RV model into continuous sample path variation and discontinuous jump variation to provide a practical and robust framework for non-parametrically measuring the jump component in asset return volatility. By using 5-minute high-frequency data of MASI Index in Morocco for the period (January 15, 2010 - January 29, 2016), we estimate parameters of the constructed GARCH and EGARCH-type models (namely, GARCH, GARCH-RV, GARCH-CJ, EGARCH, EGARCH-RV, and EGARCH-CJ) and evaluate their predictive power to forecast future volatility. The results show that the realized volatility and the continuous sample path variation have certain predictive power for future volatility while the discontinuous jump variation contains relatively less information for forecasting volatility. More interestingly, the findings show that the GARCH-CJ-type models have stronger predictive power for future volatility than the other two types of models. These results have a major contribution in financial practices such as financial derivatives pricing, capital asset pricing, and risk measures.
    Keywords: GARCH-CJ; Jumps variation; Realized volatility; MASI Index; Morocco.
    JEL: C22 F37 F47 G17
    Date: 2016–01–20
  16. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: This Selected Issues paper analyzes energy price reform in Kuwait. It emphasizes that Kuwait should take advantage of current low global energy prices to strengthen efforts to reform domestic energy prices. In the longer term, this would benefit growth by increasing efficiency in the economy and creating space for higher public and private investment. In the short-term, one-off effects on inflation should be manageable. Productive activities more sensitive to energy costs, particularly the transport sector, would be able to adjust to higher energy prices more easily if the reform is gradual.
    Keywords: Energy sector;Energy prices;Electric power;Consumption;Tariffs;Labor markets;Banking sector;Real estate prices;Nonbank financial sector;Selected Issues Papers;Kuwait;
    Date: 2015–12–02
  17. By: Hakan Güneş (Department of Economics, METU); Dilem Yıldırım (Department of Economics, METU)
    Abstract: This study aims to investigate the cost efficiency of Turkish commercial banks over the restructuring period of the Turkish banking system, which coincides with the 2008 financial global crisis and the 2010 European sovereign debt crisis. To this end, within the stochastic frontier framework, we employ a modified version of the true fixed effect model of Greene (2005), where the unobserved bank heterogeneity is integrated in the inefficiency distribution at a mean level. To select the cost function with the most appropriate inefficiency correlates, we first adopt a search algorithm and then utilize the model averaging approach of Huang and Lai (2012) to verify that our results are not exposed to model selection bias. Overall, our empirical results reveal that cost efficiencies of Turkish banks have improved over time, with the effects of the 2008 and 2010 crises remaining rather limited. Furthermore, not only the cost efficiency scores but also impacts of the crises on those scores appear to vary with regard to bank size and ownership structure, in accordance with much of the existing literature.
    Keywords: Stochastic Frontier, Cost Efficiency, Turkish commercial banks, Panel Data
    JEL: C23 C24 D21 G21 G28
    Date: 2016–03
  18. By: Odile Chanut; Nadjoua Gharbi; Dominique Bonet Fernandez; Muhammad Shahbaz; E. Hachemi Aliouche
    Date: 2016–02–18

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