nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒05‒08
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Agricultural Productivity and Climate Change in the Greater Middle East By Tayebi, Zahra; Fulginiti, Lilyan E.
  2. Vertical Price Transmission in the Egyptian Tomato Sector After the Arab Spring By Ahmed, Osama; Serra, Teresa
  4. “Every cloud has a silver lining”; to what extent does the Arab Spring accelerate the integration among Arab monarchies? By Bouoiyour, Jamal; Selmi, Refk; Miftah, Amal
  5. Use of Decision Support Systems in Nursing Field: Turkey Profile By Selma İNFAL; Esra USLU; Menekşe Nazlı Aker
  6. Empirical Investigation of Purchasing Power Parity for Turkey: Evidence from Recent Nonlinear Unit Root Tests By Dilem Yıldırım
  7. Do bureaucracies enhance or constrain policy effectiveness? Evidence from Turkey’s central management of public investment By Davide Luca
  8. Effectiveness of Monetary Policy: Evidence from Turkey By Avci, S. Burcu; Yucel, Eray
  9. Sukuk: a potential for stability and development in the GCC By Taoual, Safiyah
  10. Is foreign farm labor a blessing or a curse? Evidence from Israel By Kimhi, Ayal

  1. By: Tayebi, Zahra; Fulginiti, Lilyan E.
    Abstract: The main purpose of this research is to determine the potential impact of weather variables on agricultural productivity for Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and Syria. A translog production function was used in estimating TFP growth in agriculture over the period 1980-2010. Precipitation, temperature, drought and irrigation were included in the analysis. The results indicate increasing agricultural productivity during the period with innovations contributing approximately 30% to agricultural output growth. Temperature and precipitation play a significant role in agricultural production and most frequent extreme drought episodes and irrigation affect, substantially, agricultural productivity growth in the region.
    Keywords: Agricultural productivity, Climate change, Greater Middle East, Stochastic frontier, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Development, Production Economics, Productivity Analysis,
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Ahmed, Osama; Serra, Teresa
    Abstract: This study assesses price transmission along the Egyptian tomato food marketing chain in the period that followed the Arab Spring, which accentuated economic precariousness in Egypt. Static and time-varying copula methods are used for this purpose. Results suggest a positive link between producer, wholesaler and retailer tomato prices. Such positive dependence is characterized by asymmetries during extreme market events, that lead price increases to be transferred more completely along the supply chain than price declines.
    Keywords: food prices, asymmetric price transmission, dependence analysis, static and time-varying copula, Financial Economics, Food Consumption/Nutrition/Food Safety, C5, Q11, Q12, Q18,
    Date: 2015
  3. By: GÖKHAN ÖZDAMAR (Süleyman Demirel University)
    Abstract: Main objective of this study is to analyze the relationships between the current account balance and selected major macroeconomic variables in Turkish economy. In this respect ARDL-Bounds testing approach is applied. Results of the study related to the long-run show that the international terms of trade is a strong explanatory variable of the current account balance of Turkey. This result implies that Harberger-Laursen-Metzler (HLM) hypothesis is valid for Turkey. Findings reveal that also foreign trade balance has a strong effect on the current account balance of Turkey while the gross domestic product is found to be statistically significant but the effect level is quite low. Domestic interest rate and the real effective exchange rate variables are found to be statistically insignificant in the long-run. Error correction model results for the short-run reveal that current account balance of Turkey is mostly affected from the lagged value of itself, from foreign trade balance and also from the lagged value of real effective exchange rate.
    Keywords: Current Account Balance; Turkey; ARDL-Bounds testing
    JEL: F32 F40 F41
  4. By: Bouoiyour, Jamal; Selmi, Refk; Miftah, Amal
    Abstract: This study fleshes out the role that may play the Arab revolution in strengthening regional integration. It rigorously assesses the extent of change in the degree of financial interdependence among Arab Monarchies (i.e., Arab Gulf countries, Jordan and Morocco) with the onset of the Arab Spring events. Our results reveal a significant time-varying volatility spillover effects, highlighting a greater interdependency across the focal Arab stock markets. It is also well shown that compared to the Morocco, there is a higher degree of financial integration of Jordan vis-à-vis the Gulf countries. Notably, a different integration patterns arises when accounting for the aftermath of revolution. Under the post-uprisings period, the stock market correlation between Morocco and Gulf countries increase substantially to values as high as the ones of Jordan. This implies that the Arab Spring has changed the nature of shock transmission between these countries, and thus may be perceived as a revival of integration.
    Keywords: Arab Spring; Arab stock markets; financial integration.
    JEL: G1 G10 G15
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Selma İNFAL (Selcuk University); Esra USLU (Selcuk University); Menekşe Nazlı Aker (Selcuk University)
    Abstract: This systematic review assesses decision support systems used in nursing area in Turkey and effect of these systems on nursing care. This study was conducted using scientific search engines such as Ulakbim Medical Data Base, Turkish Medline Data Base, National Thesis Center, Turkish Citation Index, Turkish Psychiatry Index, Academic Index. As determined, keywords were searched in several combinations. A total of two theses that met the inclusion criteria were involved in the evaluation. This systematic review shows that the studies on this issue are very limited in terms of quantitative perspective but the results are positive. In this context, it is suggested that the number studies which are evaluating the effectiveness of the nursing care with clinical decision support systems are increased and similar studies are planned with various nursing practices.
    Keywords: Decision support systems, nursing, care, Turkey
  6. By: Dilem Yıldırım (Department of Economics, METU)
    Abstract: This study explores the empirical validity of the purchasing power parity (PPP) hypothesis between Turkey and its four major trading partners, the European Union, Russia, China and the US. Accounting for the possible nonlinear nature of real exchange rates, mainly due to the existence of transaction costs, we employ a battery of recently developed nonlinear unit root tests. Empirical results reveal that nonlinear unit root tests deliver stronger evidence in favor of the PPP hypothesis when compared to the conventional unit root tests only if nonlinearities in real exchange rates are correctly specified.
    Keywords: Purchasing Power Parity, Real Exchange Rate, Nonlinearity, Smooth Transition
    JEL: C22 C61 F31 F41
    Date: 2016–04
  7. By: Davide Luca
    Abstract: Despite a significant amount of research, literature continues to produce contrasting predictions on how, and when, public bureaucracies may enhance or constrain policy effectiveness. On the one hand, developmental state research has stressed the importance of bureaucrats’ autonomy from politics, particularly in emerging economies. On the other hand, public choice literature has called for strong oversight by politicians over the bureaus. The paper contributes to this debate by analysing Turkey’s contemporary public investment management. It offers a detailed exploration of how economic bureaucracy’s characteristics contributed to ‘sound’ investment management. The analysis draws on in-depth elite interviews. The results suggest that the existence of a capable and authoritative organisation directing the project cycle has positively contributed to the technical management of investments. Empirical evidence also indicates that this organisation is insufficiently insulated vis-à-vis government; its ability to implement ‘sound’ policies is therefore contingent on the political context. Nevertheless, the analysis also uncovers significant resistance of the bureaucrats against measures which would increase bureaucratic efficiency and transparency. Overall, the findings suggest that bureaucratic autonomy and accountability play an equally relevant role in determining policy effectiveness.
    Keywords: bureaucracies, policy effectiveness, public goods, EU Candidate Countries, Turkey
    Date: 2016–04
  8. By: Avci, S. Burcu; Yucel, Eray
    Abstract: Effectiveness of monetary policy depends on the degree to which policy interest rate affects all other financial prices, including the entire term structure of interest rates, credit rates, exchange rates and asset prices. An effective monetary policy framework can be seen as a pre-condition for well-functioning financial markets. However, effectiveness of the monetary policy is not straightforward to measure and requires empirical work to understand the effects of financial infrastructure, competitiveness of financial markets as well as current economic conditions. This paper examines the effectiveness of the monetary policy in Turkey by focusing on the interest rate pass-through behavior by means of an Interacted Panel Vector Autoregressive (IPVAR) approach. The results suggest that policy rate innovations transmit fully in less than eight months. Regulatory quality of the country, competition, liquidity, and profitability of banking sector, dollarization and exchange rate flexibility, inflation, and term structure have a positive effect on interest rate pass-through. Short-term credit ratio, GDP growth, monetary growth, and capital inflows have a negative effect.
    Keywords: Interest Rate Pass-through; Deposit and Credit Channels; Policy and Market Rates; Banking Sector; Interacted Panel Vector Autoregressive Methodology
    JEL: E43 E44 E58 F41
    Date: 2016–04–20
  9. By: Taoual, Safiyah (Kingston University London)
    Abstract: This paper explores the significance of Islamic Sukuk instruments for stability in the GCC. As a result of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, interest in financial stability has increased. Islamic scholars suggest that Islamic financial institutions and products have the potential to contribute in achieving a more stable economic environment. This paper analyses Sukuk, an Islamic financial instrument with both bond and equity traits; and how it can contribute to achieving a more sound and resilient economic environment in the GCC. Findings suggest that Sukuk do have the potential to effectively contribute to the GCC’s economic stability; as long as they adhere to the pure Islamic financial principles and avoid trying to be comparable to conventional bonds. Currently, however there appears a heavy reliance on shorter term issuances, along with the majority of issuances in the USD, a heavy reliance on real estate as both a means of financing an underlying collateral in Islamic securitization; elements which could be destabilising especially during destress. The originality of this paper lies in its empirical contribution, as it, for the first, time sets out systematically the characteristics of Sukuk issuance in the GCC region with respect to Sukuk maturity, issuance currency and sectoral distribution. It also assesses the various Sukuk structures and the underlying risks involved; as well as the impact of collateral in Islamic securitization.
    Keywords: Islamic Finance; Sukuk; Financial stability; GCC; Development
    JEL: E44 L79 O16 P50 Z12
    Date: 2016–04–08
  10. By: Kimhi, Ayal
    Abstract: After Israel became self-sufficient in food in the late 1960s, farmers started migrating out of agriculture while production continued to increase towards export markets. This process intensified considerably when foreign labor became available. Traditional production theory predicts that foreign workers replace local workers, but the number of Israeli hired farm workers has actually increased since the arrival of foreign labor. This paper develops a modified theoretical model in which farm labor is heterogeneous, so that changes in the number of foreign and local hired workers are not necessarily opposite in sign. The results of the model are consistent with the observation that the availability of foreign labor has led to an increase in the production and export of labor-intensive horticultural products. Farms became larget and more specialized, and this has led to labor specialization, with foreign workers doing manual tasks and Israeli hired employees doing mostly managerial and professional tasks.
    Keywords: Farm Management, Labor and Human Capital,
    Date: 2015

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