nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒03‒29
seven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Welfare dynamics with synthetic panels : the case of the Arab world in transition By Dang,Hai-Anh H.; Ianchovichina,Elena
  4. Exploring the Potential for Energy Efficiency in Turkey By Simone Tagliapietra
  5. A survey of managerial perspective on corporate dividend policy: evidence from Turkish listed firms By Kuzucu, Narman
  6. Economic and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Child Nutritional Status in Egypt: A Comprehensive Analysis using Quantile Regression Approach By Sharaf, Mesbah; Rashad, Ahmed
  7. The Incentive Effects of Conditional and Unconditional Transfers on Local Own Revenue Generation: Empirical Evidence from Moroccan Municipalities By Jean-François Brun; Maria El Khdari

  1. By: Dang,Hai-Anh H.; Ianchovichina,Elena
    Abstract: This paper studies welfare dynamics, especially changes associated with middle-class status in countries in the Middle East and North Africa, before and after the Arab Spring transitions, using objective and subjective welfare measures. Absent panel data, the analysis employs state-of-the-art synthetic panel techniques using repeated cross sections of expenditure data from household surveys and subjective well-being data from value surveys, which were conducted during the 2000s and the Arab Spring period. The objective welfare dynamics indicate mixed trends. About half the poor in the 2000s moved out of poverty by the end of the decade, but chronic poverty remained high; upward mobility was strong in Syria and Tunisia, but downward mobility was pronounced in Yemen and Egypt. Subjective well-being dynamics suggest negative developments in most countries during the Arab Spring transitions. Low education achievement, informal worker status, and rural residency are positively associated with lower than average chances for upward mobility, and greater than average chances for downward mobility according to both types of welfare measures.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Services&Transfers to Poor,Inequality,Pro-Poor Growth,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–03–10
  2. By: Barış Soybilgen (İstanbul Bilgi University); Ege Yazgan (İstanbul Bilgi University)
    Abstract: Expectations on the future state of the inflation play a critical part in the process of price level determination in the market. Therefore, central banks closely follow the developments in inflation expectations to able to pursue a successful monetary policy. In Turkey, the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) asks experts and decision makers from ï¬ nancial and real sectors about their expectations/predictions on the current and the future state of inflation every month to obtain market expectations on inflation. This paper examines these predictions of inflation using techniques of forecasting literature. We analyze both point and sign accuracy of these predictions. Point predictions from CBRT surveys are compared with those obtained from AR models, and tested whether they are statistically different. Sign predictions are tested whether they are valuable to a user. We also test predictions for unbiasedness.
    Keywords: Inflation Expectations, Evaluation Procedures, Sign Forecast Accuracy
    JEL: E37 E31
    Date: 2016–02
  3. By: Nurcan Turan (Anadolu University); Nuri Calik (Turgut Ozal University)
    Abstract: This survey intends to find out the consumers’ post-purchase behavior in terms of complaining, assertiveness, discontent and alienation. In May, 2014, a survey is applied to 537espondents selected via stratified sampling from Eskişehir, a city of Turkey with 700.000 inhabitants where 500 of the responses are found eligible... The respondents are required to answer 35 questions of which five are related to demographic characteristics of these respondents. The rest 30 are statements which are designed to reflect the behavior of these people. The study consists of five parts. The first part is an introduction where the scope and the purpose of the study are concisely stated. The second part relates to the theoretical background of the subject matter and the prior researches carried out so far. The third part deals with research methodology, basic premises and hypotheses attached to these premises. Research model and analyses take place in this section. Theoretical framework is built and a variable name is assigned to each of the question asked or proposition forwarded to the respondents of this survey. 30 statements or propositions given to the respondents are placed on a five-point Likert scale. The remaining five questions about demographic traits as age, gender, occupation, educational level and monthly income are placed either on a nominal or ratio scale with respect to the nature of the trait. Four research hypotheses are formulated in this section. The fourth part mainly deals with the results of the hypothesis tests and a factor analysis is applied to the data on hand. Here exploratory factor analysis reduces 30 variables to six basic components as: as: " Consumer discontent, ad disapproval, consumer alienation, consumer assertiveness and redress, propensity to complain, claim for apology or refund" Cronbach's Alpha for scale reliability is quite high (a = 0.788) and so is the sample adequacy ratio (KMO = 0.883) In addition non-parametric bivariate analysis in terms of Chi-Square is applied to test the hypotheses formulated in this respect. The fifth part is the conclusion where findings of this survey are listed.
    Keywords: Consumer discontent, ad disapproval, alienation, assertiveness, complaint, claims for refund.
    JEL: M31
  4. By: Simone Tagliapietra (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: Energy efficiency is one of the key crossroads between energy, climate and economic issues. In fact, it represents one of the most cost effective ways to enhance security of energy supply, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and to enhance economic competitiveness at one fell swoop. This paper explores the potential for energy efficiency gains in Turkey, a country characterized by a strong growth in energy demand and by a strong need of better security of supply, emissions reduction and economic competitiveness.
    Keywords: Energy Efficiency, Turkey, Sustainability
    JEL: Q41 Q43 Q48
    Date: 2016–02
  5. By: Kuzucu, Narman
    Abstract: This research paper examines the corporate dividend payout behaviours of non-financial firms from Istanbul Stock Exchange (Borsa Istanbul). Survey method is conducted to investigate managerial views on corporate dividend policy. The study investigates whether the evidence in Turkish stock market on dividend policy is similar to the European and the U.S. firms’ results which are reported earlier by other studies, and moreover in what extent Lintner’s (1956) findings on dividends is supported by today’s listed firms in an emerging market. The financial managers from 38 firms out of 216 non financial companies responded the survey. The results show that there is a significant positive relationship between cash dividends and earnings. Earnings are viewed as the most important factor in dividend decision like in European and the U.S. firms. Sustainable change in earnings, stability and level of future earnings, and the desire to distribute a proportion of earnings to shareholders are the common determinants of dividend policy. The majority of the respondents reports that they target dividends. Dividend yield is the most common measure for dividend targeting. Share repurchases are not viewed as alternative to dividend payouts unlike the U.S. firms. The study finds supporting evidences for bird-in the-hand and signalling hypotheses, and Lintner’s model.
    Keywords: dividend policy, share repurchase, Borsa Istanbul, managerial perspective
    JEL: G32 G35
    Date: 2015–03–31
  6. By: Sharaf, Mesbah (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Rashad, Ahmed (Philipps University Marburg)
    Abstract: This paper examines the underlying economic and socio demographic determinants of child nutritional status in Egypt using data from the 2014 Demographic and Health Survey. The Height for Age Z-score (HAZ) is used as a measurement of child growth assessment. We contribute to the extant literature by using a quantile regression model to allow for a heterogeneous effect of each determinant along different percentiles of the conditional distribution of the HAZ score. We use a nationally representative sample of 13,682 children aged 0–4 years, for which we observe their health measures. The multivariate analyses include a set of HAZ determinants that are widely used in the literature. The conditional and unconditional analyses reveal a socioeconomic gradient in child nutritional status, in which children of low income-education families have lower HAZ than children from the high income-education households. We also find significant disparities in child nutritional status by demographic and social characteristics. The quantile regression results show that the association between the economic and socio-demographic factors and the HAZ differ along the conditional HAZ distribution. Intervention measures need to take into account the heterogeneous effect of the determinants of child nutritional status along the different percentiles of the HAZ distribution. There is no one-size-fits-all policy to combat child malnutrition; a multifaceted approach would be required to address this problem effectively.
    Keywords: Child malnutrition; socio-demographic characteristics; quantile regression; Egypt
    JEL: I14 J13
    Date: 2016–02–29
  7. By: Jean-François Brun (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Maria El Khdari (CERDI - Centre d'études et de recherches sur le developpement international - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: The fiscal incentives literature emphasizes how the design of transfer systems has a significant implication on the behavior of local governments within decentralized systems. The empirical findings on the relationship between intergovernmental transfers and the incentives they create for local revenue generation are inconclusive and differ from country to country. Given the lack of data on local public finances, this type of study rarely involves developing countries. Using a unique and rich socio-economic and public finance data covering a large set of Moroccan municipalities over the period 2005 to 2009, this paper contributes to the new generation of fiscal federalism literature by assessing the fiscal incentive effects of two types of transfers: general purpose transfers (unconditional) defined by a formula and specific purpose transfers (conditional) allocated on an ad-hoc basis. After correcting for the endogeneity problem, our findings support the existence of a significant incentive effect of unconditional transfers and a less robust effect of conditional transfers. Suggesting that transfers from the central government complement local own revenues by encouraging Moroccan municipalities to collect more revenues.
    Keywords: Decentralization, Local public finance, Fiscal incentives, Intergovernmental transfers, Morocco, Pan
    Date: 2016–03–08

This nep-ara issue is ©2016 by Paul Makdissi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.