nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒05‒21
sixteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Board Structure and Financial Performance Efficiency of Turkish Business Groups with GRA and DEA methods By İskender Peker; Tarhan Okan; Emine Yılmaz; Şerife Demirelli
  2. The Relationship between Exchange Rates, Equity Index and Equity Index Futures: A Study on Borsa Istanbul By AYBEN KOY; Ä°HSAN ERSAN
  3. Integrated Internal-External Shariah Audit Model: A Proposal towards the Enhancement of Shariah Assurance Practices in Islamic Financial Institutions By Shafii, Zurina; Abidin, Ahmad Zainal; Salleh, Supiah
  4. Retracing The Kurdish and The Armenian Issues In The Journal Of Albayrak In Period of National Struggle in Tur By Cemile Burcu Kartal; Ezgi Oren
  6. Revisiting the relationships between non-renewable energy consumption, CO2 emissions and economic growth in Iran By Nasre Esfahani, Mohammad; Rasoulinezhad, Ehsan
  8. Understanding the healthy lifestyle behaviors and life satisfaction of students and staff in a university By AHU ERGEN
  9. Position of Entrepreneurial Thinking in Iran's Education System By Mohammad Alizadeh Jamal; Habib Safarzadeh; seyed Jalal Langari; Mouna bibi Langari
  10. Inequality of opportunity in early childhood development in Morocco over time By El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb; Krafft,Caroline Gould; Abdelkhalek,Touhami; Benkassmi,Mohamed; Chavez,Monica I.; Bassett,Lucy Katherine; Ejjanoui,Fouzia
  11. An Exploratory Study on Social Media Activities of NGOs By Ayten Akatay; Serkan Özdemir; Abdullah Kıray
  12. Turkey; Selected Issue By International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
  13. Voicing as an Indicator of Interlanguage By Mehmet Kilic
  14. Reference Resolution of EFL learners By Emrah Cinkara
  15. The impact of a community development and poverty reduction program on early childhood development in Morocco By El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb; Krafft,Caroline Gould; Abdelkhalek,Touhami; Benkassmi,Mohamed; Chavez,Monica I.; Bassett,Lucy Katherine; Ejjanoui,Fouzia
  16. Empowering the Poor through Islamic Microfinance: Experience of the Bank of Khartoum in Value Chain Project Financing in Sudan By Alsagoff, Syed Hassan; Surono, Ahmad Ompo

  1. By: Ä°skender Peker (GümüÅŸhane University); Tarhan Okan (GümüÅŸhane University); Emine Yılmaz (Osmaniye Korkut Ata University); Åžerife Demirelli (GümüÅŸhane University)
    Abstract: In emerging countries like Turkey, where state-dependent characteristics of business system is dominant, the corporate governance principles are expected to be internalized in a larger scale through the political regulative pressures. Also, business groups, that are unrelated-diversified and highly controlled by the owning family members, are the dominating economic actors in many late-developing countries. In Turkey, Capital Markets Board enacted provisions regarding the structure of board of directors under the Communique of Principles Regarding Determination and Application of Corporate Governance Principles published on 30.12.2011. Based on this policy reform, this study aims at analyzing the relationship between firm performance and board structures of business groups and revealing the fact that whether the new policy leads to the outcomes expected. The population of the study consists of the whole business groups registered in Borsa Istanbul (the sole entity of exchange in Turkey). The analyses are conducted in two stages. First, using the Grey Relational Analysis, grey relational grade is obtained from the financial outputs (ROA, ROE, and ROS) of the years 2010-2014. Then, Data Envelopment Analysis-Total Factor Productivity (TFP) is used to obtain efficiency comparisons of the business groups according to their inputs (board size, women board members, independent board members, executive board members) and grey relational grade. The results show that following the policy enactment the efficiency rates are improved in parallel to their improved managerial efficiency. The study results give insight into the embracement of corporate governance principles and future discussions on principle-agent problems in developing countries.
    Keywords: corporate governance, board structure, grey relational analysis, data envelopment
    JEL: M10 G14 G34
    Abstract: This paper examines the linkages between the foreign exchange rates, spot equity index and equity index futures. The study aims to investigate whether there is difference between the spot and futures markets in the scope of relation with the foreign exchange rates’ returns and which leads the other. The relationships are examined by using the vector autoregression (VAR) model, impulse-response functions, variance decomposition and Granger Causality tests. The sample of the study consists of US dollar to Turkish Lira rate (USD/TRY), Euro to Turkish Lira rate (EUR/TRY), BIST 30 Index and BIST 30 Index Futures. The data of the study includes the period between January 2011 and December 2014 with daily data range. Our results have evidence that the foreign exchange rate markets in Turkey are driven by the equity market.
    Keywords: Exchange Rates, Equity Index, Equity Index Futures, Causality
    JEL: G15 G10
  3. By: Shafii, Zurina (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Malaysia.); Abidin, Ahmad Zainal (RHB Investment Bank); Salleh, Supiah (Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Nilai, Malaysia.)
    Abstract: Shariah Governance and audit is one of the vital elements of corporation as it promotes principles of accountability, transparency and Shariah assurance of IFIs to the stakeholders. In addition to the clear structure of the organs of Shariah governance namely the Board of Directors, Shariah Committee and the Management, an Islamic Financial Institution (IFI) must ensure the Shariah compliance function to be carried out through the Shariah review and Shariah audit functions. The studies conducted on the practice of Shariah review and audit in the jurisdictions adopting Islamic finance revealed that both functions are conducted inconsistently. Many jurisdictions are yet to offer independent Shariah assurance as they only managed to perform Shariah review function. Shariah review serves as compliance function that provide review to the management on the state of IFIs’ Shariah compliance. Shariah audit, on the other hand, is an independent exercise that aims to examine the effectiveness of the internal control for Shariah compliance within the organization. Both of the functions serve as the Shariah assurance mechanisms that ensure robust practice of Shariah-compliant activities. This study identifies the practice of Shariah audit among GCC countries, namely Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar and in Islamic Development Bank’s member countries where Islamic finance is adopted as part of the mainstream finance, i.e. Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia. Upon identifying the practice of Shariah assurance mechanisms, this study develops a model for Shariah audit that integrates the internal and external Shariah audit function. This study identifies the scope of Shariah audit that is to be performed by internal Shariah auditors and external Shariah auditors. In order to formulate the integrated internalexternal Shariah audit model, this study qualitatively analyses the arguably the most comprehensive guideline on Shariah governance Framework issued by Bank Negara Malaysia in 2010 and other guidelines issued in jurisdictions practicing Islamic finance that forms guiding principles for Shariah audit conduct. For the external Shariah audit function, the study refers to the standards that are applicable to Islamic financial transactions issued by the International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS). This study is useful for policymaking in the jurisdictions that offer Islamic finance, with relation to Shariah assurance mechanisms, especially on policies related to Shariah audit conduct. The integrated model of internal-external Shariah audit will promote efficiency and effectiveness of Shariah audit practice in IFIs.
    Keywords: Shariah assurance; Shariah audit; Integrated Shariah audit model
    JEL: M41 M42
    Date: 2015–05–18
  4. By: Cemile Burcu Kartal (Ataturk University); Ezgi Oren (Ataturk University)
    Abstract: World War I became a milestone in the decay of empires and in the transition to the form of nation-state all over the world. Also, the national identities had been emerged and shaped in this period, before and after of the War. Contemporaneously, the years in between 1912 and 1922, constructing Turkish identitiy and nationalim provided the important components to the founding of the Republic in Turkey. Especially, 1919-1922 period was important in terms of this arising national movement, because of the era which was beginnig the transition from the empire to the nation-state with the accession of the whole society in a national struggle. Therewith, Treaty of Sevres and Mondros Armistice Agreement were considerable factors in acceleration of the struggle in Anatolia. Besides, local press had a curicial role in the occupied territories throughout the stage. And the Journal Of Albayrak which came out in Erzurum was one of the foremost media vehicle in the period of national struggle in the east of country. So, Albayrak had been published during two terms: 1913-1915 and 1919-1921. Why the journal resumed; firstly, allies’ occupation began along the Anatolia territories after the signing of Mondros Armistice Agreement and there was a prevalent apprehension about giving up the east provinces to the Armenians. This fears derived from the 24th article of the Agreement which intitled occupation to allies anywhere of the six east province (Vilayet-i Sitte) those were named as Erzurum, Bitlis, Van, Diyarbakır, Sivas and Elazığ (Ma’muretil’aziz) in any disordering situation. Herewith, Albayrak stated that it would be make contribution to the point of informing the community and raising consciousness about the reasons of Armenian problem and its forthcoming dangers. This journal, also, gave information and news concerning Kurdish issue that arised in this period. In this respect, this paper analyses that how a journal which was one of the most important example of the local press in the region was utilized as an important propaganda material and what kind of rethoric it generated about both Kurdish and Armenian issues. Herewith, an additional purpose is to examine a media source which was not handled before by the means of Kurdish and Armenian questions and in this way to try to make any contribution to the related discussions today.
    Keywords: Ethnic Conflict, Media, National Identity, Nationalism, War
  5. By: Egemen Ä°pek (GümüÅŸhane University); Ozlem Sekmen (Gumushane University)
    Abstract: Since 2000 in Turkey, there has been a great growth the share of the household savings in private savings. Although there are exist huge literature related to determinants of saving rate rely on macro level data, these studies have limitation on reflect of household saving behavior because of ommiting heterogenities among households. For this reason, determining the effect of heterogenity of households on saving behaviour has great importance for representing main factors behind on households’ saving behaviour.The main purpose of this study is to investigate the demographic determinants of household savings and examine the effect of these differences on saving rates in Turkey the period between 2003-2012 using Household Budget Surveys (HBS) providing by TURKSTAT. In this context, the research methodology consist of two-stage (i) modeling and analysis the determinants of savings using OLS method, (ii) examining the year effects via pooled OLS which allows to control for heteroscedasticity. According the findings revealed that method, demographics differences such as householder’s age , gender and education level, household size have notable role for explaining saving behavior of households.
    Keywords: Household savings, Demographics, Heterogenity, Turkey
    JEL: D14 J10 C50
  6. By: Nasre Esfahani, Mohammad; Rasoulinezhad, Ehsan
    Abstract: Exploring the short-run and long-run relationships between consumption of various sources of non-renewable energy, economic growth and carbon dioxide(CO2) emissions would be considered as a golden key to provide rational energy policies of Iran in the post sanctions era. The aim of this paper is to find these mentioned relationships by using the Johanesen cointegration approach, the VECM Granger causality test, Generalized impulse responses functions and variance decomposition in Iran for the period 1966-2013. The findings support evidence for the existence of long-run linkage between non-renewable energy consumption, economic growth and CO2 emissions. The short-run relationship examination proves the causality running from non-renewable energy consumption to economic growth in Iran. The variance decomposition highlights that economic growth changes are explained more by gas consumption than by consumption of other non-renewable energy resources. Furthermore the contribution to CO2 emissions is mainly from oil consumption. The study recommends some new policy insights for Iran in order to reach a higher economic growth by non-renewable energy resources, while lower carbon dioxide emissions.
    Keywords: Economic growth; CO2 emissions; Energy consumption; Iran.
    JEL: Q30 Q43
    Date: 2016–03
  7. By: Mustafa Göktuğ Kaya (Tax Inspectors Association); Perihan Hazel Kaya (Selcuk University)
    Abstract: The country, where the individuals and institutions benefit from public services paying less taxes outside the country, is called tax haven countries.These countries is used as part of economic activities and they are preferred as the center of financial affairs so the phenomenon of interstate competition become a current issue. International tax competition is a tax policy which implementing that economic activity that occurred in another country to take his own country putting a lower tax rate.When taken out the country known as a tax haven it is said that this countries are too small and some of them’ name and location in the map are unknown.The purpose of the study is to find out the relationship between of tax competition and tax haven in the World and Turkey. In this direction, firstly on the conceptual framework tax competition and tax havens issues will be discussed. Secondly, the effects of the relationship between tax competition and tax havens on fiscal policy will be examined. Finally, studies conducted on the fight against tax competition and tax havens in the World and Turkey will be examined.
    Keywords: Tax Competition, Tax Haven, Fiscal Policy, Turkey, Tax Haven Countries
    JEL: B22 E00
    Abstract: Being healthy is an important aspect in life satisfaction. The factors that effect the health status of an individual are named as the environmental factors, economical factors, socio-cultural factors, genetic factors, access to health services and life style. Since it can be controlled by the individual, lifestyle is a topic with great importance. Healthy lifestyle is defined as “the individual’s control over her/his behaviors which can affect her/his health status and while orginising the daily activities, choosing the behaviors that are appropriate to her/his health status†. Healthy lifestyle behaviors are healthy nutrition, stress management, regular exercise, spiritual wellbeing, high quality interpersonal relations and taking the health responsibility. So, understanding the healthy lifestyle level and life satisfaction of individuals is important for health and education institutions, companies and governments to define their strategies accordingly. This quantitative study involves 205 Turkish individuals (students, academic staff and administrative staff) from a university in Istanbul. Data were obtained from self-administered questionnaires with 26 questions. The study examines the characteristics of the respondents regarding demographics, healthy lifestyle behaviors and life satisfaction. Some differences in sample’s healthy lifestyle dimensions were determined according to demographic variables after factor analysis, T-test, ANOVA and regression analysis. This research presents the opportunity for further qualitative research in healthy lifestyle habits among university students.
    Keywords: healthy lifestyle, life satisfaction, health status
    JEL: I31 I00 I19
  9. By: Mohammad Alizadeh Jamal (Emam Mohammad Bagher Branch, Farhangian University, Bojnord, Iran); Habib Safarzadeh (Emam Mohammad Bagher Branch, Farhangian University, Bojnord, Iran); seyed Jalal Langari (Emam Mohammad Bagher Branch, Farhangian University, Bojnord, Iran); Mouna bibi Langari (Emam Mohammad Bagher Branch, Farhangian University, Bojnord, Iran)
    Abstract: Objectives of education systems of various societies will face new challenges through the path leads them into new and variable situation of new industrial technologies of the third millennium in which philosophical, scientific, cultural, social and economic foundations of societies will experience deep developments. The education system can play a key role to adapt societies to the new situation. The education system should pave the way for developing certain features such as independence-seeking, risk-taking, innovation, self-esteem and foresight in students through proposing proper training programs. Based on promoting entrepreneurial thinking, the education system can provide a condition in which the educated may act as producers instead of job seekers and may start businesses not only for themselves, but also for others. Thus, this study tries to analyze the position of entrepreneurial thinking in Iran's education system using examining the entrepreneurial features of students. To do so, a number of 335 students (third grade of high school) were selected through stratified random sampling based on discipline and gender. Then a questionnaire was used to collect and analyze the required data. The results gained from analysis of data imply that the educational programs of Iran's education system have failed to provide a proper condition to improve the entrepreneurial features of students. The results of the analysis of the variance, used to compare the performance of training programs in different schools, indicate that there was no difference among various schools in improving entrepreneurial spirit for students. There was no significant difference between students of various schools in terms of having entrepreneurial spirit, as well. Likewise T-test, used to compare the entrepreneurial spirit of girl and boy students in average, showed that there is no significant relationship between gender and entrepreneurial spirit.
    Keywords: Education System, Entrepreneurial Spirit, Students, Schools
  10. By: El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb; Krafft,Caroline Gould; Abdelkhalek,Touhami; Benkassmi,Mohamed; Chavez,Monica I.; Bassett,Lucy Katherine; Ejjanoui,Fouzia
    Abstract: Early childhood development is a critical, but often neglected, phase of human development. Shortfalls in early childhood development have historically been a challenge in Morocco, with children facing unequal opportunities to develop because of the circumstances of their birth. This paper examines the roots of inequality in human and economic development in Morocco by focusing on the state of early childhood development, inequality in early childhood development, and trends over time, using several surveys conducted between 2003 and 2012. Large disparities exist in children's chances of healthy early childhood development based on the circumstances of their birth. There have not been consistent improvements in the levels of early childhood development or decreases in inequality over time. This study discusses critical directions for future policy on early childhood development to address the deficits and disparities identified.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Development,Early Child and Children's Health,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Population Policies,Primary Education
    Date: 2016–05–12
  11. By: Ayten Akatay (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University); Serkan Özdemir (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University); Abdullah Kıray (Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University)
    Abstract: Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) are aware of the potential that internet provides them to reach out to their stakeholders and they are trying to make use of this potential. Most of the literature concerning NGOs and their social media activities shows that NGOs are having a hard time adapting to social media and they are not making full use of the potential that social media offers them (Waters, Burnett, Lamm and Lucas 2009, p. 105; Bortree and Seltzer, 2009, p. 318; Lovejoy, Waters and Saxton, 2009, p. 313; Waters and Jamal, 2011, p. 323; Muralidharan, Rasmussen, Patterson and Shin, 2011, p. 177; Miller, 2011, p. 46).The purpose of this study is to examine the social media activities of the NGOs located in the City of Çanakkale in Turkey. Data were collected through interviews with people in key positions in the NGOs and also content of social media pages of NGOs were analyzed. Facebook and Twitter are selected as social media websites examined in the study, since they are well-known and widely used sites. The goals of and expectations from NGOs’ social media usage are questioned in interviews. The study also tries to determine whether NGOs are using different social media websites for different aims and in which way they are using them. Additionally the study explores with whom they interact on social media, how are they choosing to interact and how efficiently the NGOs are using the feedback they get. The challenges and shortcomings regarding NGOs’ social media usage are explored as well. At the end, findings of the study are discussed, and recommendation for practitioners and possible future research implications are presented.
    Keywords: Non-Governmental Organizations, Social Media, Communication
    JEL: M00 M10 M19
  12. By: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
    Abstract: Selected Issue
    Date: 2016–04–22
  13. By: Mehmet Kilic (Gaziantep University)
    Abstract: Voicing is one of the primary segmental features of consonants in all natural languages. Voice Onset Time (VOT) has been determined to be the most prominent indicator of the voicing property of consonants. However, it can only be measured for plosives, since there is a clear time interval between the burst of the plosive and the closure of the vocal folds. Research has proved that voiced plosives have negative VOT, whereas voiceless plosives have positive VOT in most languages. This basically means that vocal folds start to vibrate before the burst of voiced plosives, while they have delayed vibration for voiceless plosives. VOT, which has also been suggested to be a factor in determining non-native accent, has been measured for a number of languages. We can assume that VOT values of plosives in a second language of learners bear similarities to those of the first language rather than to those of the second language. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the VOT values in English spoken by Turkish speakers of English. The study serves to distinguish Turkish-accented English with digital means. The participants were proficient and fluent speakers of English. They read some carrier words containing syllabi starting with the six plosives (/p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/) in English, and they were recorded with the help of a PC and an omni-directional microphone in a sound-treated environment. VOT values were measured using Praat version 5.3.63. Obtained VOT values from the recordings were compared with existing, standard VOT values previously identified for both English and Turkish. Our findings demonstrated that proficient Turkish speakers of English articulate plosives in a rather dissimilar fashion to that of native speakers of English.
    Keywords: Voice Onset Time, Voicing, Interlanguage
    JEL: I29 I23
  14. By: Emrah Cinkara (Gaziantep University)
    Abstract: This study aimed to investigate first and total fixation times of pronouns in native English speakers and Turkish EFL speakers by using an eye tracking device, to specify the correlation between first and total fixation times of pronouns and perceived difficulty of understanding (PDU, and finally, to disclose participants’ personal comments regarding the cause of difficulty in pronoun resolution. MANOVA analyses suggested that there was a statistically significant difference between the total fixation times of parallel function pronoun resolution (PFR) and non- parallel function pronoun resolution (non-PFR) in native English and Turkish EFL speakers. The results also suggested that participants fixated significantly longer on non- PFR pronouns than on PFR pronouns. Additionally, we investigated a probable correlation between mean fixation times and personal (PDU) scores. Finally, the personal comments of the participants revealed two themes underlying the difficulty of understanding: namely, lexical accounts and grammatical accounts for pronoun resolution.
    Keywords: Language learning, Reference resolution, English as a foreign langugage teaching
  15. By: El-Kogali,Safaa El Tayeb; Krafft,Caroline Gould; Abdelkhalek,Touhami; Benkassmi,Mohamed; Chavez,Monica I.; Bassett,Lucy Katherine; Ejjanoui,Fouzia
    Abstract: Participatory community development programs are designed to match government investments with local needs. In Morocco, where issues of inequality and poverty are high on the national agenda, a community development program, the National Initiative for Human Development, targeted high-poverty areas for additional investments. This paper examines whether, in addition to reducing poverty, such programs can also promote human development, specifically early childhood development. Early childhood development forms a critical foundation for later human development and plays a key role in the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status. Using panel data on communities just above and below the cutoff for National Initiative for Human Development inclusion in rural areas, regression discontinuity and fixed effect models are applied to identify the impact of the program on economic outcomes and early childhood development. Although the analysis finds some transitory impacts of the program on economic outcomes, it finds no impacts on early childhood development. Reducing inequality and promoting human development through early childhood development is likely to require specific, targeted, and sustained initiatives.
    Keywords: Regional Economic Development,Health Monitoring&Evaluation,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Rural Poverty Reduction
    Date: 2016–05–12
  16. By: Alsagoff, Syed Hassan (Islamic Development Bank (IDB)); Surono, Ahmad Ompo (Islamic Development Bank (IDB))
    Abstract: -
    Keywords: Islamic Microfinance; Financing in Sudan
    Date: 2016–01–27

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