nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒06‒14
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Reaping the Bless of Arab Migrants: Mobilizing Diaspora for Private Sector Development By Hassan, Sherif
  2. Nowcasting Turkish GDP and News Decomposition By Modugno, Michele; Soybilgen, Baris; Yazgan, M. Ege
  4. Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability in the Arab Region By Ananthakrishnan Prasad; Heba Abdel Monem; Pilar Garcia Martinez
  5. Women in Turkey and Comparative Analysis of Women's Condition in Political Party Programs By Senem Kurt Topuz
  6. Turkey; 2016 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Turkey By International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
  7. Estimating Egypt’s Potential Output: A Production Function Approach By El-Baz, Osama
  8. For God's sake. The impact of religious proximity on firms' exports By Alessia Lo Turco; Daniela MAGGIONI
  9. Algeria; Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  10. Social Media Impact on Consumers in Developed and Developing Countries: The Case of US and Kuwait By Dhoha AlSaleh

  1. By: Hassan, Sherif
    Abstract: The ‘Arab Spring’ raised many economic challenges that can hardly be handled by the dominating public sector alone, amongst are the escalating unemployment rates, enormous budget deficits, and heavy dependence on food and manufactured imports. Middle East and North Africa (MENA) needs to move away from relying on nationalized ineffective public sector towards dynamic and competitive private sector as a main engine of growth. This policy brief introduces four lines of actions to utilize MENA large -and increasing- stock of international migrants whom acquire financial and intellectual resources that can play important role in promoting domestic private sector, entrepreneurships and new startups.
    Keywords: Diaspora, Arab region, private sector
    JEL: O15
    Date: 2016–01–10
  2. By: Modugno, Michele; Soybilgen, Baris; Yazgan, M. Ege
    Abstract: Real gross domestic product (GDP) data in Turkey are released with a very long delay compared with other economies, between 10 and 13 weeks after the end of the reference quarter. To infer the current state of the economy, policy makers, media, and market practitioners examine data that are more timely, that are released at higher frequencies than the GDP. In this paper, we propose an econometric model that automatically allows us to read through these more current and higher-frequency data and translate them into nowcasts for the Turkish real GDP. Our model outperforms nowcasts produced by the Central Bank of Turkey, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Moreover, our model allows us to quantify the importance of each variable in our dataset in nowcasting Turkish real GDP. In line with findings for other economies, we find that real variables play the most important role; however, contrary to the findings for other economies, we find that financial variables are as important as surveys.
    Keywords: Developing economy ; dynamic factor model ; emerging market ; gross domestic product ; news ; nowcasting
    JEL: C33 C53 E37
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Hakan Ergin (Bogazici University)
    Abstract: Turkey has been going through a difficult exam these days. Since the Syrian crisis started in 2011, she has welcomed the Syrian migrants with her 'open door' policy. Hosting more than two millions of Syrian migrants now, Turkey has been in a continuous effort to show her hospitality to her guests. In this sense, she provided the Syrian migrants in Turkey with the right to higher education at universities in Turkey without an entrance exam and a tuition fee. This policy enabled more than five thousand Syrian migrants to start higher education in Turkey. However, this issue has become a controversial one in Turkey. As getting into a university in Turkey is very competitive among the Turkish citizens, some find this policy unfair. On the other hand, some others support it thinking that this policy is a 'brotherly' one for their neighbors. Revealing the Turkish people's perceptions towards this policy can let us find out whether this 'governmental hospitable policy' is valid in the eye of general public. Within this context, this qualitative study aims to explore the perceptions of the Turkish people towards the Syrian migrants' right to higher education in Turkey. The data of the study were collected from the reviews made by the Turkish citizens for the news about the Syrian migrants' right to higher education in Turkey on online newspapers. These reviews were analyzed by conventional content analysis technique. The findings reveal that the reviewers are in favour of or against this policy for several reasons.
    Keywords: Media, public response, migration, Syria, civil war, right to education.
  4. By: Ananthakrishnan Prasad; Heba Abdel Monem; Pilar Garcia Martinez
    Abstract: Several characteristics of the structure of the Arab economies, their economic policy framework, and their banking systems make macroprudential policy a particular relevant tool. For most oil exporters, heavy reliance on the extractive sector for generating fiscal revenues and export earnings translates into increased vulnerabilities to oil price shocks. In the case of oil importers, relatively small external and fiscal buffers make them highly vulnerable to shocks. This paper discusses the experience of Arab countries in implementing macroprudential policies and contains recommendations to strengthen their macroprudential framework.
    Date: 2016–05–20
  5. By: Senem Kurt Topuz (Abant Izzet Baysal University)
    Abstract: If the condition of women in Turkey is evaluated in terms of education, violence, employment, and the like variables from the most general point of view, it will be right to start with an evaluation on the literacy condition according to gender above all because the results are striking. For example, as the year 2014, out of 2.663.096 illiterate people 2.208.336 are women (TUIK, 2014). This data is important as it refers to a huge gap between genders in terms of the level of education. Moreover, women's employment in Turkey is another important problematic area. For example, as of 2014 in Turkey the ratio of contribution of women to the labor force is 30.3%, the ratio of women's employment is 26.7%. (TUIK, 2014). Another problematic area shows itself in political representation. Although the ratio of women deputies in Turkey has increased over the years, the share of women deputies in the parliament has increased to 14.7% with the 2015 elections. Another problematic area that has been talked about and discussed most nowadays is violence against women. In the 2014 Domestic Violence Against Women in Turkey Research, across the country, the ratio of women who have experienced physical violence in any period of their lives by their husbands or ex-husbands is 36%. The ratio of women who have experienced emotional violence in any period of their lives is 44%; the ratio of physical or sexual violence experienced together is 38%.As seen, women in Turkey are in a disadvantaged position in terms of social, economic, political, and the like variables compared to men. The purpose of this study is to uncover how political parties deal with this disadvantaged position women are experiencing and the problems it creates and what kind of an approach they have to solve the problems determined. In other words, programs of political parties in the parliament will be content analyzed in terms of violence, education, employment, discrimination, equality, freedom, and the like and the results will be compared in the line with their respective parties. The basic reason why this study is conducted on examining political parties and their party programs is that political parties are the main incentive means that force the government to fulfill the desires and needs of the majority of the society and that party programs are a reference text that covers political party's ideology, priorities, and suggested solutions for the problematic areas.
    Keywords: Women in Turkey, Political Party Programs, Content Analysis, Domestic Violence, Women in Work Life, Political Decision Mechanisms and Woman
    JEL: D63 I00 J16
  6. By: International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
    Abstract: Growth in 2015 was resilient to several shocks, supported by buoyant domestic demand. In 2016, a 30 percent minimum wage increase, relaxation of macro prudential regulations, and accommodative monetary and fiscal policies will continue fuelling domestic consumption, keeping growth at about 4 percent. The fiscal stance is projected to relax somewhat in 2016, with tightening delayed to 2017. The central bank has kept the policy rate unchanged, has postponed normalization of the monetary framework, and is using international reserves to offset pressures on the Lira. Inflation is set to exceed the target again by a wide margin. Macro prudential measures have successfully curbed consumer credit growth but some relaxation will occur in April. The current account deficit is declining thanks to lower oil prices. Nonetheless, the net international investment position remains heavily negative and external financing needs are substantial. The government has announced an ambitious program of reforms aiming at increasing potential growth and reducing external vulnerabilities over the medium term.
    Date: 2016–04–22
  7. By: El-Baz, Osama
    Abstract: The Egyptian economy has witnessed deterioration in its main macroeconomic indicators over the period (2008-2014). The main purpose of the paper was to estimate Egypt's potential output and identify the factors that might be responsible for the divergence of actual and potential output from each other. We used the production function approach to derive estimates of potential output and output gap over the period (1990-2014). The results of the analysis revealed that capital stock was the dominant factor contributing to GDP growth in Egypt, while the share of both labor and total factor productivity in GDP growth rate has been fluctuating over time. Intellectual property protection, efficiency of legal framework in settling disputes, strength of investor protection, and other factors exhibited a strong positive relationship with output gap in Egypt over the period (2010-2014).
    Keywords: Potential Output, Output Gap, HP Filter, Production Function Approach
    JEL: C1 E6 E65 E66
    Date: 2016–05–20
  8. By: Alessia Lo Turco (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali); Daniela MAGGIONI (Università di Catania, Department of Political Sciences)
    Abstract: Using a rich firm level data set for Turkish manufacturing, we test whether the sharing of similar religious beliefs with potential contracting parties drives a firm.s first time entry in export markets. We exploit variation in the practice of Islam across Turkish provinces andwe find that firms located in provinces characterised by stronger religiousness are more likely to enter export destinations with a higher share ofMuslims among their population. This result is robust to the control for trade, cultural and migration ties, reverse causality and to several further sensitivity checks. Religious proximity, in particular, eases export entry for producers of "trust intensive" goods and mitigates the role of export experience in subsequent foreign market entries. All in all, our evidence hints at the important role of religious proximity in reducing export entry sunk costs by fostering higher trust among contracting parties.
    Keywords: Islam, export entry, uncertainty, cultural distance
    JEL: F14 F11 D22 D80 N30
    Date: 2016–05
  9. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Algeria: Selected Issues
    Keywords: Banking sector;Oil prices;Credit risk;Financial stability;Fiscal reforms;Subsidies;Economic models;Selected Issues Papers;Algeria;
    Date: 2016–05–18
  10. By: Dhoha AlSaleh (Gulf University for Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Understanding impact of social media on user's attitude is important. As social media have become very popular amongst people and have become an integral part of the world economy in recent years, predicting impact of social media sites has become a major goal of many researchers in academia and industry. The objectives of the proposed research are two-fold. The first objective is to identify factors that strongly predict consumers' attitudes toward social media usage. The second objective is to investigate how culture influences adoption of social media in developed and less developed countries. The research draws upon the Theory of Reasoned Action, TRA (Fishbein & Ajzen 1975) and the Technology Acceptance Model, TAM (Davis 1989). To achieve the objectives of this research, an English and Arabic Online survey is developed for the US and Kuwait samples and then Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) is used for testing of the hypothesized relationships and to compare the two cultures. This research provides valuable information and new insights for scholars and managers. The results of this study enable marketing managers understand the importance of social media that can be used to enhance their business. More specifically, the research will assist marketing managers in Kuwait and the US in understanding the critical factors that lead businesses to create their own social media sites by identifying what factors affect consumer's attitude toward social media sites in order for business owners to focus on the most important factors without placing unnecessary emphasis on aspects which are proven to be less important. Furthermore, based on the positive significant results, marketing managers in the two countries are be able to develop effective advertisement strategies through social media based on the proper mix of factors depending on the target market.
    Keywords: Social Media, Critical Mass, Attitude, Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, Theory of Reasoned Action, Technology Acceptance Model.

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