nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒07‒09
nine papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Finance and System of Provision of Housing. The Case of Istanbul, Turkey By Ozlem Celik; Aylin Topal; Galip Yalman
  2. The Causal Effect of Education on Health Behaviors: Evidence from Turkey By Aysit Tansel; Deniz Karaoglan
  3. FDI and Growth in the MENA countries: Are the GCC countries Different? By Mouna Gammoudi; Mondher Cherif; Simplice Asongu
  4. Prevalence and Patterns of Health Risk Behaviors of Palestinian Youth: Findings from a Representative Survey By Glick, Peter; Brown, Ryan Andrew; Goutam, Prodyumna; Karam, Rita; Linnemayr, Sebastian; Kammash, Umaiyeh; Shaheen, Mohammed; Massad, Salwa
  5. Evaluating the Impact of the Post-2008 Employment Subsidy Program in Turkey By Balkan, Binnur; Baskaya, Yusuf Soner; Tumen, Semih
  6. Evidence of cross-country portfolio diversification benefits: The case of Saudi Arabia By Ali, Hakim; Masih, Mansur
  7. The Effects of Compulsory Military Service Exemption on Education and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from a Natural Experiment By Torun, Huzeyfe; Tumen, Semih
  8. North Africa - Working paper - The Role of Nascent Entrepreneurship in Driving Inclusive Economic Growth in North Africa By AfDB AfDB
  9. North Africa - Working paper - Measuring Inclusive Growth: From Theory to Applications in North Africa By AfDB AfDB

  1. By: Ozlem Celik (Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of Political Science and Public Administration); Aylin Topal (Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of Political Science and Public Administration); Galip Yalman (Middle East Technical University (METU), Department of Political Science and Public Administration)
    Abstract: This paper outlines a theorisation of the systems of provision approach (sop) and illustrates the relation between financialisation and housing by applying the sop framework in the case of Istanbul. The interest of different segments of capitalist interests in urban space has been gradually growing in Turkey, and in Istanbul particularly over the last decade, with a special emphasis on the construction sector in general and housing, in particular. The housing provision in Istanbul has been changing in terms of the role of the state, the expansion and increase in construction sector in relation to the integration to global capitalism, moments of resistance in different neighbourhoods against gentrification, the expectations of consumers from different classes, and the changing role of labour. The paper shows that the role and impact of finance and financialisation is evident in the case of Istanbul in terms of revealing the tensions, conflicts and congruencies among different developers, different classes, between the state, developers and consumers.
    Date: 2016–04–30
  2. By: Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, IZA Bonn, and ERF Cairo); Deniz Karaoglan (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: This study provides causal effect of education on health behaviors in Turkey which is a middle income developing country. Health Survey of the Turkish Statistical Institute for the years 2008, 2010 and 2012 are used. The health behaviors considered are smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, exercising and one health outcome namely, the body mass index (BMI). We examine the causal effect of education on these health behaviors and the BMI Instrumental variable approach is used in order to address the endogeneity of education to health behaviors. Educational expansion of the early 1960s is used as the source of exogenous variation in years of schooling. Our main findings are as follows. Education does not significantly affect the probability of smoking or exercising. The higher the education level the higher the probability of alcohol consumption and the probability of fruit and vegetable consumption. Higher levels of education lead to higher BMI levels. This study provides a baseline for further research on the various aspects of health behaviors in Turkey.
    Keywords: Turkey, Health Behaviors, Education, Instrumental Variable Estimation
    JEL: I10 I12 I19
    Date: 2016–06
  3. By: Mouna Gammoudi (Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne- F); Mondher Cherif (Université de Reims Champagne Ardenne- F); Simplice Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for the period 1985-2009. The empirical evidence is based on an endoeneity-robust Generalised Method of Moments. Results show that the effect of FDI on per capita income in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is positive but negative in Non-GCC countries. Results also reveal that in contrast to the GCC countries, the financial openness policy in the Non-GCC countries have reduced the benefits of FDI on growth, this finding is explained by the fact that most of the Non-GCC countries that have engaged in the process of financial reforms have poor quality of institutions. These results are confirmed with both annual data and five year average data.
    Keywords: FDI, growth, GMM, financial openness, Institutions
    JEL: C52 F21 F23 O40 P37
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Glick, Peter; Brown, Ryan Andrew; Goutam, Prodyumna; Karam, Rita; Linnemayr, Sebastian; Kammash, Umaiyeh; Shaheen, Mohammed; Massad, Salwa
    Abstract: Very little is known about youth health risk behaviors such as drug and alcohol use and sexual activity in the Middle East and North Africa, and in the Occupied Palestinian Territories specifically. This lack of information, together with a lack of open discussion of these topics, leaves public health authorities in the region unprepared to deal with emerging public health threats at a time when major social and economic changes are increasing the risks that young men and women face. The Palestinian Youth Health Risk Study was designed to address these gaps in knowledge. It is the first in the region to collect large scale, representative survey data from youth on key risk behaviors (smoking, alcohol and drug use, and sexual activity as well as interpersonal violence). The study investigates the prevalence and patterns of these risk behaviors as well as of mental health, perceptions of the risks of such behaviors, and the factors increasing vulnerability to as well as protection from engagement in them.
    Date: 2015–12
  5. By: Balkan, Binnur (Central Bank of Turkey); Baskaya, Yusuf Soner (Central Bank of Turkey); Tumen, Semih (Central Bank of Turkey)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the employment effects of a targeted subsidy scheme implemented in Turkey following the 2008 crisis. The Turkish government started a subsidy program in 2008 to generate new employment for younger men and all women, which are the relatively disadvantaged groups in the Turkish labor markets. The program puts men of age 18-29 and all women into the treatment group, while men of age 30 and above are placed into the control group. We use a nationally representative micro-level dataset and a difference-in-differences approach to estimate the causal effect of this program. On aggregate, the subsidy program seems to be ineffective in increasing the employment probabilities of those individuals in the target group. However, when heterogeneity is accounted for by dividing the treatment group into several sub-groups, we observe that the program has been notably effective on some of those sub-groups. In particular, the increase in employment probability is high for older women, while a weaker positive effect is observed for younger women and almost no effect is detected for younger men. The effect on older women is subject to further heterogeneity: the program has increased the employment probabilities of low-educated and/or low-skill older women rather than the high-educated and/or high-skill ones.
    Keywords: employment subsidies, treatment effects, difference-in-differences, Turkish micro data
    JEL: C21 H24 J21 J68
    Date: 2016–06
  6. By: Ali, Hakim; Masih, Mansur
    Abstract: Recent literature draw attention to the issue whether the time-varying correlation and the heterogeneity in investment horizons has an effect on investor’s return. Earlier studies investigated the interdependence of Saudi Arabian Stock market with its major trading partners without taking care of the time-varying correlation and different investments horizons of the investors. We make the initial attempt to study the extent to which investors can benefit from portfolio diversification with the Shariah indices of the major trading partners (United States, China, Japan, Germane, India), using Saudi Arabia as a case study where investors recently suffered due to downward trend of oil price. In order to investigate that, the pertinent timevarying and time horizon techniques like, Multivariate GARCH-DCC, the continuous wavelet transform (CWT) and the maximal overlap discrete wavelet transform (MODWT) are applied. Our findings tend to indicate that the Saudi Arabian investors have portfolio diversification benefits with all major trading partners in the short investment horizon, However in the long run, all markets are correlated yielding minimum portfolio diversification benefits and more importantly Saudi Arabian Investors have portfolio diversification benefits with Indian Islamic equity market in almost all investment horizons.
    Keywords: portfolio diversification, Sharia (Islamic) indices, GARCH-DCC, Wavelets
    JEL: C22 C58 G11
    Date: 2016–06–22
  7. By: Torun, Huzeyfe (Central Bank of Turkey); Tumen, Semih (Central Bank of Turkey)
    Abstract: Based on a law enacted in November 1999, males born on or before December 31st 1972 are given the option to benefit from a paid exemption from compulsory military service in Turkey. Exploiting this natural experiment, we devise an empirical strategy to estimate the intention-to-treat effect of this paid exemption on education and labor market outcomes of the individuals in the target group. We find that the paid exemption reform reduces the years of schooling among males who are eligible to benefit from the reform relative to the ineligible males. In particular, the probability of receiving a college degree or above falls among the eligible males. The result is robust to alternative estimation strategies. We find no reduction in education when we implement the same exercises with (i) data on females and (ii) placebo reform dates. The interpretation is that the reform has reduced the incentives to continue education for the purpose of deferring military service. We also find suggestive evidence that the paid exemption reform reduces the labor income for males in the target group. The reduction in earnings is likely due to the reduction in education. It should be noted, however, that due to the characteristics of the population on the treatment margin, the external validity of these results should be assessed cautiously.
    Keywords: compulsory military service, draft avoidance, intention to treat, education, earnings
    JEL: C21 I21 I26 J21 J31
    Date: 2016–06
  8. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2016–06–23
  9. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2016–06–30

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