nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒07‒16
seven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. On the Number of Social Reforms in MENA Economies By Christophe Muller; Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon
  3. Thirty Years of Conflict and Economic Growth in Turkey: A Synthetic Control Approach By Fırat Bilgel; Burhan Can Karahasan
  4. Do Political Connections Reduce Job Creation? Evidence from Lebanon By Diwan, Ishac; Jamal Ibrahim Haidar
  5. North Africa - Working paper - Procedures for the Direct Targeting of Poverty and Human Development in Morocco By AfDB AfDB
  6. North Africa - Working paper – Agricultural Production, Food Security and Higher Value in North Africa By AfDB AfDB
  7. North Africa - Working paper – Public Investment and Growth in the Maghreb Countries By AfDB AfDB

  1. By: Christophe Muller (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics) CNRS & EHESS); Klarizze Anne Martin Puzon (Aix-Marseille University (Aix-Marseille School of Economics) CNRS & EHESS)
    Abstract: By constructing a novel measure on the frequency of changes in social protection policies, we provide preliminary, yet new evidence on the determinants of social security reforms in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries. This fills a gap in literature where analyses of MENA social policies have been lacking due to limited data. Using panel data for seventeen countries from 1961 to 2015, we estimate RE Poisson regression models. Our results indicate that growth in national income and the frequency of social reform in MENA countries are related, first positively for low growth rates, then negatively for high growth rates. This finding is completed by the negative effects of oil production and of the population size on the number of social reforms. Among the avenues of interpretation we examined - investment model, social objectives pursued by the government, and socio-political equilibrium - this is the first one which seems to be better able to fit our results, accompanied by political disturbances.
    Keywords: Social Protection, Welfare Programs, Middle-East and North-Africa
    JEL: I38 O23 H24
    Date: 2016–07
  2. By: Tuncer Bulutay (Turkish Economic Association); Deniz Karaoğlan (Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey (Visiting Scholar))
    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.
    Date: 2016
  3. By: Fırat Bilgel; Burhan Can Karahasan
    Abstract: This study seeks to estimate the economic effects of PKK terrorism in Turkey in a causal framework. We create a synthetic control group that reproduces the Turkish real per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) before PKK terrorism emerged in the second half of the 1980s. We compare the GDP of the synthetic Turkey without terrorism to the actual Turkey with terrorism for the period 1955-2008. Covering the period of 1988-2008, we find that the Turkish per capita GDP would have been higher by an average of about $1,585 per year had it not been exposed to PKK terrorism. This translates into an average of 13.8 percent higher per capita GDP or a 0.62 percentage points higher annual growth over a period of 21 years. Our estimate is robust to country exclusion, sparse controls, various non-outcome characteristics as predictors of GDP, alternative specifications of the in-space placebo experiments and to other potentially confounding interventions to the sample units in the pre-terrorism period.
    Keywords: separatist terrorism, synthetic control, Turkey, economic development, causal inference
    JEL: C15 D74 P59
    Date: 2016–06
  4. By: Diwan, Ishac; Jamal Ibrahim Haidar
    Abstract: Using firm-level census data, we determine how politically-connected firms (PCFs) reduce job creation in Lebanon. After observing that large firms account for the bulk of net job creation, we find that PCFs are larger and create more jobs, but are also less productive, than non-PCFs in their sectors. On a net basis, at the sector-level, each additional PCF reduces jobs created by 7.2% and jobs created by non-PCFs by 11.3%. These findings support the notion that politically-connected firms are used for clientelistic purposes in Lebanon, exchanging privileges for jobs that benefit their patrons? supporters.
  5. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2016–06–23
  6. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2016–06–30
  7. By: AfDB AfDB
    Date: 2016–06–30

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