nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒04‒30
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Employee-Based Brand Equity: Why Ankara University, TÖMER Brand is So Strong? By Dilber Ulas; Arcan Tuzcu; Esra Satıcı
  2. Water Scarcity and Irrigation Efficiency in Egypt By Osman, Rehab; Ferrari, Emanuele; McDonald, Scott
  3. Higher Education and Philanthropy Potential in the GCC States: Analysis of Challenges and Opportunities for FDI and Venture Philanthropy in the MENA Region By Henry C., Alphin Jr; Jennie, Lavine
  4. MENA export performance and specialization -- the role of financial sector development and governance By Wood,Christina A.; Yang,Judy
  5. AHP-Based Approach to evaluate solar power plant location alternatives By ZEKI AYAG
  6. Why the Youth Are so Eager for Academic Education? Evidence from Iran's Labor Market By Nader Habibi; GholamReza Keshavarz Haddad
  7. Microcredit Programs, Poverty and Vulnerability in Rural Iran By Tayebi, Zahra; Onel, Gulcan
  8. Facilitating Co-ed Communication: Case Study of a Classroom in Qatar By Deanna Rasmussen
  9. Adopting content marketing in IT startups given business knowledge and financial constraints: Evidence from Portugal and Egypt By Dina Mohamed Khaled Mansour; Hortênsia Maria da Silva Gouveia Barandas

  1. By: Dilber Ulas (Ankara University, Faculty of Political Sciences); Arcan Tuzcu (Ankara University, Faculty of Political Science); Esra Satıcı (Republic of Turkey, General Directorate of Highways)
    Abstract: Ankara University TÖMER (Ankara University Turkish and Foreign Languages Research and Application Center) has been established as “Turkish Education Center†in 1984 for the purpose of performing service on the issue of teaching foreign students a large number of languages, primarily the Turkish language. As from the date TÖMER has started its activities until today, numerous public and private qualified establishments wishing to benefit from the value carried by the name TÖMER, sought for using this name. Ankara University, is the pioneer establishment which is the creator of the name TÖMER and which contributed that name in gaining dignity and value. In order to protect this name Ankara University, for the registration of TÖMER brand name made an application to Turkish Patent Institute on 25.05.2010, the form of “Ankara University TÖMER 1984†has been registered on 19.07.2013 and the name TÖMER has been registered on 13.08.2013. With the completion of the registration process, the rights of usage of TÖMER brand name has been solely pertained to Ankara University. TÖMER has spreaded to countrywide with nine branches and one entity established abroad, continue their education and research activities. TÖMER gives Turkish courses in Ankara (Kızılay and YeniÅŸehir), Istanbul (Taksim and Kadıköy), İzmir, Antalya, Adana, Bursa and Samsun branches. Also TOMER provides contribution to foreign language teaching field in Turkey. The employees skills and knowledge which provide the competitive advantage for an organisation. The aim of this study is to understand how TÖMER brand is interpreted from the employee’s ideas, feelings, emotions in relation to brand experience. In order to investigate employee based brand equity, focus group has been conducted. For this reason the strengths and weaknesses of TÖMER revealed through SWOT analysis in focus groups using six branch of TÖMER. We analyzed data by grouping respondents’ answers, classified answers into categories and prepared a report. Thus, the tools enabling the elimination of the weaknesses for decision makers, and enabling the use of strengths more effectively as a competitive tool, could be developed.
    Keywords: employee based brand equity, brand loyalty, brand identity, SWOT, focus group.
    JEL: M31
  2. By: Osman, Rehab; Ferrari, Emanuele; McDonald, Scott
    Abstract: This study provides quantitative assessments for the impacts of efficiency enhancement for different types of irrigation water under water scarcity conditions. It employs a single country CGE (STAGE) model calibrated to an extended version of a recently constructed SAM for Egypt 2008/09. The SAM segments the agricultural accounts by season and by irrigation scheme; Nile water- and groundwater-dependent as well as rain-fed agricultural activities. The simulations show that Egypt should manage potential reductions in the supply for Nile water with more efficient irrigation practice that secures higher productivity for Nile water, groundwater and irrigated land. The results suggests more ambitious plan to boost irrigation efficiency for summer rice in order to overweight any potential shrinkages in its output and exports. Furthermore, even doubling all non-conventional water resources is not sufficient to compensate the potential adverse impacts of Nile water losses. This highlights the importance of irrigation efficiency for the Egyptian economy
    Keywords: Water Availability, Agriculture Productivity, Nile Basin, Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) Models, Crop Production/Industries, Environmental Economics and Policy, Q25, D58, C68.,
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Henry C., Alphin Jr; Jennie, Lavine
    Abstract: In this chapter we aim to discuss the opportunities for FDI and venture philanthropy in higher education for the Middle East and North Africa. The MENA region has gathered interest due to the large population and increasing governmental influence on improving higher education in general in the region, and creating partnerships with organizations to better match higher educational options and employment. The GCC plays a large role in the impetus of foreign institutes wanting to invest in the economically developing MENA region. There are many challenges to overcome, some of which are great enough to discourage FDI; but overlooking the initial challenges, there are a wealth of opportunities awaiting exploration.
    Keywords: Higher education, economic development, development, philanthropy, MENA, GCC, venture philanthropy, FDI
    JEL: O1 O10
    Date: 2016–01
  4. By: Wood,Christina A.; Yang,Judy
    Abstract: Industry and financial profiles of MENA firms may underpin the observation that MENA country exports are below potential and skewed toward low value-added goods that are unable to spur rapid job creation and inclusive growth. To assess this link, the paper combines analysis highlighting external financing as a determinant of export performance, and analysis highlighting sector asset tangibility and governance. Why? Because high value-added sectors tend to have higher shares of intangible assets and to create innovative products requiring substantial research and development or investments, thereby making these sectors more dependent on external financing. Using sector- and firm-level export data with country-level indicators, the results indicate that countries with more developed financial sectors and stronger governance tend to have higher exports from sectors that are more reliant on finance external to the firm, and lower exports from sectors with higher shares of tangible assets. Interestingly, financial sector development boosts exports less in MENA than in non-MENA countries. To foster expansion of higher value exports, the results suggest a critical need for: (i) deeper financial sector development that strengthens market-based systems, such as asset registries and credit reporting agencies, and (ii) strengthening of legal and governance frameworks.
    Keywords: Debt Markets,Banks&Banking Reform,Economic Theory&Research,Access to Finance,Emerging Markets
    Date: 2016–03–28
  5. By: ZEKI AYAG (Kadir Has University)
    Abstract: Solar energy is the most readily available source of energy, and one of the most important sources of the renewable energy, because it is non-polluting and helps in lessening the greenhouse effect. Main problem of establishing a solar power plant is to determine its location. In the presence of many location alternatives and evaluation criteria, a multiple-criteria decision making problem arises. In this work, the location problem will be solved by using analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to figure out the most satisfying alternative. A numerical example is also included to show the proposed methodology in Turkey. . . . .
    Keywords: Solar energy, multiple-criteria decision making, analytic hierarchy process
    JEL: C00
  6. By: Nader Habibi (Brandeis University); GholamReza Keshavarz Haddad (Haddad)
    Abstract: In this article we estimate the wage difference between over-educated and adequately educated workers in a sample of semi-skilled and low skill occupations in Iran’s labor market. Our results show that the over-educated workers in these job categories enjoy a wage premium in the range of 10% to 25% for their excess education. While this relative advantage has gradually declined for private sector employees over (2001-2014), it has remained stable for public sector jobs. The result is attributable to the fact that salary and benefits for public sector employees are directly linked to education attainment and their work experience. Our findings offer an explanation for the strong desire of Iranian youth for university education. If a university graduate finds a job that matched her specialization she will enjoy a higher salary than a high school graduate. If she cannot find an adequate job and has to accept a job for which she is over-educated, she still enjoys a wage premium over her co-workers who are not over-educated. We observe that the over-education wage premium is larger for public sector employees.
    Keywords: wages, over-education, average treatment effect, propensity score matching, Iran
    JEL: J45 J31 I26 I23 C54
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Tayebi, Zahra; Onel, Gulcan
    Abstract: The main purpose of this paper is to study if two major microcredit programs, namely Women Microcredit Funds (WMF) and Self-Help Groups (SHG), in Southern Iran reach rural poor and vulnerable households. We use primary panel data that consist of monthly consumption and income information for 280 households. The results showed that although both programs are successful at reaching poor, evidence on propensity of vulnerable households joining programs is relatively limited. Furthermore, results indicate that vulnerable households are more likely to join SHG, while poor households mostly choose to join WMF program.
    Keywords: Microcredit Programs, Poverty, Vulnerability, Iran, Community/Rural/Urban Development, International Development,
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Deanna Rasmussen (Texas A&M University at Qatar)
    Abstract: Good discussions, key to learning in the language classroom, are limited when only half of the voices in the classroom are heard. Research from Western institutions (e.g. Crombie et al., 2003) shows that, even in today’s environment, women participate less than men in class. In the Arabian Gulf, where male-female interaction is highly prescribed, women’s voices may be even more underrepresented (Romanowski & Al-Hassan, 2013).When students matriculate into our American institution’s Middle Eastern branch campus, they experience a mixed-sex environment for the first time. In my own classrooms, students self-segregate–males on one side of the class, females on the other, a wide aisle separating them. Their reluctance to interact crosses gender lines, but men still dominate class discussions.How can instructors bridge the aisle to encourage whole-class interaction in this environment? How can instructors in other countries bridge the communication gap between male and female students from similarly conservative backgrounds? My own classroom research shows that computer-mediated communication may be one way to get students talking. In this poster presentation, I will show results of a class activity using Google Docs to respond to a text. Data from two classes will be compared, with graphs both quantifying and qualifying comments by sex. Brief excerpts from student journals showing attitudes about participation will also be featured.With the face-to-face element of discussion eliminated, in one class my female students interacted more; in the other class there was only an increase in female-to-female participation. I will discuss possible reasons for these results, which somewhat reflect those of Caspi, Chajut & Saporta (2008) that women may feel “less intimidated†in online environments. While it would be naïve and idealistic to think that online interaction could eliminate all cultural barriers to female participation, it may be one way to build a bridge, however shaky, across the aisle.
    Keywords: computer-mediated communication; gender; Qatar; teaching
  9. By: Dina Mohamed Khaled Mansour (University of Porto); Hortênsia Maria da Silva Gouveia Barandas (University of Porto)
    Abstract: The growing proliferation of online content and the importance of being found online has inspired practitioners to purposefully develop and target this content until the content marketing concept was born. Technical entrepreneurs who run IT startups without business training can incorporate content marketing into their online marketing plans as they acquire self-taught business management skills. Through an exploratory multiple case study approach, the nature of online marketing activities performed in a group of ten IT startups in Portugal and Egypt is examined, in addition to the familiarity of the concept of content marketing and the key challenges faced. Results demonstrate that even though technical entrepreneurs are heavily oriented towards technology and tend to ignore marketing, they are capable of capitalizing on their challenges and can perform online and content marketing within financial and business knowledge constraints. The study advances the incumbent knowledge about IT startups and the way technical entrepreneurs view and conduct marketing. More importantly the study addresses content marketing as an empirically tested concept.
    Keywords: Content marketing, IT startups, Technical entrepreneurs, Multiple case studies, Portugal, Egypt.
    Date: 2016–03
  10. By: Dhaoui, Elwardi
    Abstract: Oil prices have fallen by about half since September 2014. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) decided not to reduce production. The euro zone, China, Japan and Russia recorded slower rates of economic growth than expected. All combine to keep a sharp decline of oil prices which can be persistent. This new situation has profoundly changed the economic environment of the country. The impact will vary depending on the countries if they are exporters or importers of oil. For Tunisia, this new situation offers the opportunity to reform energy subsidies and accelerate structural reforms to support growth and employment.
    Keywords: oil, budget balance, external account, subsidies, growth, employment, Tunisia.
    JEL: E62 F62 F66 J50 Q31
    Date: 2015–05

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.
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