nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒10‒09
twelve papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Paving the way for better telecom performance: Evidence from the telecommunication sector in MENA countries By Riham Ahmed Ezzat
  2. FDI and Growth in the MENA countries: Are the GCC countries Different? By Gammoudi, Mouna; Cherif, Mondher; Asongu, Simplice A
  3. Access to Finance in Turkey By Baybars Karacaovali
  4. Exchange rate Pass-through and Monetary Policy in Transition Economy: Evidence from Tunisia with disaggregated VAR Analysis By Dahem, Ahlem; Siala Guermazi, Fatma
  5. Domestic activity patterns pertaining to households and informality in Turkey By Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes
  6. Satisfactory time use elasticities of demand and measuring well-being inequality through superposed utilities By Okay Gunes; Armagan Tuna Aktuna-Gunes
  7. Measuring the effect of informal work and domestic activities on poverty and income inequality in Turkey By Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes
  8. The Politics of Partial Liberalization: Cronyism and Non-Tariff Protection in Mubarak's Egypt By Ferdinand Eibl; Adeel Malik
  9. Treating the oil addiction in Kuwait: proposals for economic reform By Hessah Al-Ojayan
  10. Nightlife Tourism: A Blessing or a Curse for Host Communities? “A Case Study on Gemmayzeh, Lebanon” By Hanna El Maalouf; Socrat Ghadban; Maya Shames
  11. هجرة الكفاءات العربية By Elasrag, Hussein
  12. تفعيل دور الوقف الإسلامي فى تنمية الموارد البشرية في الدول العربية By Elasrag, Hussein

  1. By: Riham Ahmed Ezzat (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, FEPS - Faculty of Economics and Political Science)
    Abstract: Since the 1980s, developing countries started adopting telecom reforms due to pressures from international institutions. However, Middle East and North African (MENA) countries lagged in adopting such reforms. Even after introducing telecom reforms in the MENA region beginning in 1995, not all countries became better off in terms of various performance indicators. Therefore, this paper empirically assesses the effects of regulation, privatization and liberalization reforms, as well as their simultaneous presences, in the telecommunication sector on the sector's performance using a sample of 17 MENA countries for the period 1995-2010. We assume that different reforms are affected by institutional, political and economic variables with respect to the level of democracy, the legal origin, the natural resources rents per country and the year of independence from colonization. We correct for the endogeneity of telecom reforms, and we use IV-2SLS (Instrumental Variable-Two Stages Least Squares) estimation to analyze their effect on telecom performance in terms of access, productivity and affordability. We find that the privatization of the main incumbent operator and the fixed-line market's liberalization affect the sector's performance negatively in terms of fixed access and affordability. Moreover, we find that the simultaneous presence of an independent regulator and a privatized incumbent helps to eliminate the drawbacks on the sector performance resulting from privatization. However, the simultaneous presences of the other reforms in terms of regulation-competition and privatization-fixed competition do not help to improve the sector's performance.
    Keywords: regulation,privatization,competition,Telecom industry,MENA region
    Date: 2015–04
  2. By: Gammoudi, Mouna; Cherif, Mondher; Asongu, Simplice A
    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
  3. By: Baybars Karacaovali (Department of Economics, University of Hawaii)
    Abstract: Access to finance is essential for a successful development and growth of the private sector. In the absence of finance, enterprises cannot develop, innovate, and compete with other firms in other countries which offer more favorable access to finance. This paper makes use of the Enterprise Survey conducted with a representative stratified random sample of 6,006 Turkish firms for the 2015 fiscal year to evaluate the access to finance conditions in the nation. Moreover, data from the Enterprise Surveys Database for a comparison group of countries and 2013 survey for Turkey are employed to put the current survey in perspective.
    Keywords: Business environment, financial constraints, access to finance, Turkey
    JEL: G10 G30 O12
    Date: 2016–09
  4. By: Dahem, Ahlem; Siala Guermazi, Fatma
    Abstract: The issue of exchange rate pass-through has raised interest in international economy, a necessary step for adopting an adequate monetary policy, which accentuated in 2000 given its impacts on the monetary policy. Yet, on the academic level, research attempts at studying small open economy in a transitory period, e.g. Tunisia, seem to bring about only a few responses. Relying on monthly and quarterly data, from 2000 to 2015, this paper keeps up with SVAR modeling and price chain study, but through two different approaches: a direct aggregate approach that aims at checking the direct impact of exchange rate transmissions on the global prices, and a disaggregate approach that aims at analyzing the exchange rate degree of transmission on the various components of consumer price. To our knowledge, this study is the first attempt at exchange rate pass-through estimation through a disaggregate approach for the consumer price indexe. The main preliminary findings show that the total exchange rate pass-through is about 20% after 2011. Specifically, 10% of pass-through on the administered prices. More accurately, there is a 6% of pass-through degree for food administered prices as well as 7% of pass-through degree for energy prices (after 2011 revolution date), which contradicts the prevailing theory that admits the inexistence of pass-through for administered prices. On the whole, our findings confirm the importance of a disaggregate analysis for studying exchange rate pass-through, and can help policy makers in Tunisia to adopt the appropriate strategies for implementing monetary policy and containing inflation.
    Keywords: Exchange Rate Pass-through – Monetary policy – Emerging Market – Disaggregated analysis
    JEL: C32 E31 E41 E52 F31 F41 O55
    Date: 2016–09–30
  5. By: Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: We investigate underlying determinants of informality by representing the Turkish Time Use Survey in 2006 and the Household Budget Surveys for the years from 2003 to 2006 conducted by Turkish Statistical Institute. Following the descriptive methodology proposed by Gronau and Hamermesh (2006), the main focus is to describe the household data by highlighting the main features and revealing the relative importance of expenditures of time and goods through an exhaustive set of commodities and assign time and goods inputs to each in order to measure their relative goods intensities. The analysis of the evolution of commodity per time spent during 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006 reveals the fact that the average value for total expenditures per total time spent show increases in a decreasing trend (concave shape) over these years. Supposing that the average time spent among these years in constant on average (meaning that they did not really change from one year to another), the result of this accounting support the hypotheses that the amount of consumption present in household production during these years decreased. Our findings could be used as guides to better understanding the socio-economic conditions in developing countries and to obtain more accurate measurements of the size of informality, poverty and income inequalities.
    Abstract: Nous enquêtons sur les déterminants sous-jacents de l'informalité en représentant l'enquête Emploi du temps 2006 et les enquêtes Budget des familles de 2003 à 2006 menées par l'Institut Statistique de la Turquie. Conformément à la méthodologie descriptive proposée par Gronau et Hamermesh (2006), l'objectif principal est de décrire les données sur les ménages en mettant en évidence les principales caractéristiques et en révélant l'importance relative des dépenses du temps et des biens à travers un ensemble de produits et les entrées des biens et le temps assigné pour chacun afin de mesurer leurs intensités de biens relatifs. L'analyse de l'évolution des produits par les dépenses du temps pendant les années 2003, 2004, 2005 et 2006 révèle le fait que l'augmentation des valeurs moyennes pour les dépenses monétaires totales par celles temporelles baisse (en forme concave) au cours de ces années. En supposant que les dépenses du temps moyens pendant ces années sont constantes (ce qui signifie qu'ils n'ont vraiment pas changé d'une année à l'autre), le résultat de cette analyse soutient l'hypothèse que la consommation actuelle de la production des ménages au cours de ces années a diminué. Nos résultats pourraient être utilisés comme guides pour mieux comprendre les conditions socio-économiques dans les pays en développement et pour obtenir des mesures plus précises de la taille de l'informalité, de la pauvreté et des inégalités de revenus.
    Keywords: domestic activities,time use,goods intensity,informality
    Date: 2015–02
  6. By: Okay Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Armagan Tuna Aktuna-Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this article, the satisfactory consumption and labor supply elasticities of demand are measured through a model of time allocation that includes eight time assignment equations by using the full time use (the temporal values of the monetary expenditure plus time spent) concept obtained by matching the Classic Family Budget survey with the Time Use survey for Turkey. The cross-sectional data covers the period of 2003-2006 in Turkey. The elasticity results show a clear picture of the relationship between satisfactory consumption and working with commodity demands for Turkey. As a contribution to the literature, we explore the reasons behind the demand for satisfactory consumption through working decisions by measuring well-being inequality for each consumption group. In order to increase the robustness of our result, overall well-being inequality is measured by introducing the axiom of superposed utility of preferences. As expected, overall well-being inequality declines to 0.26, which is 119 percentage points lower than the average rate of well-being inequality (0.57) in Turkey.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, les élasticités de consommation satisfaisante et de l'offre de travail de demande sont mesurées par un modèle d'allocation du temps qui comprend huit équations en utilisant du temps complet (les valeurs temporelles des dépenses monétaires plus les dépenses temporelles) obtenu par l'appariement statistique des enquêtes turques sur le Budget des Familles avec l'enquête sur l'Emploi du Temps. Les données transversales couvrent les années 2003-2006 en Turquie. Les résultats des élasticités montrent une image claire de la relation entre la consommation satisfaisante et l'offre du travail avec les demandes de bien pour la Turquie. Comme contribution à la littérature, nous explorons les raisons derrière de la demande de consommation satisfaisante grâce à la décision de travail en mesurant l'inégalité de bien-être dans chaque groupe de consommation. Afin d'augmenter la robustesse de nos résultats, l'inégalité du bien-être général est mesurée en introduisant l'axiome d'utilité superposée de préférences. Comme prévu, l'inégalité de bien-être général diminue à 0,26 qui est de 119 points de pourcentage moins que le taux moyen de l'inégalité de bien-être général (0,57) en Turquie.
    Keywords: time use,life satisfaction,well-being inequality,superposed utilities
    Date: 2015–02
  7. By: Armagan Tuna Aktuna Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)
    Abstract: In this article, we propose to calculate the size of the population living in poverty, measured through uni- and multidimensional poverty indices, and the Gini coefficient using extended full (time plus money and informal earnings) incomes, from cross-sectional data covering 2003-2006 in Turkey. Thus monetary incomes are corrected by adding the earnings gathered from informal activities and the monetary values of time spent in domestic activities into declared incomes, producing an error-free estimate of the size of the population living in poverty and the Gini ratio overall. To show the effect informal activities with the domestic ones have on poverty, changes in the joint probability of being in informal activity while being considered poor is measured by means of a bivariate probit model using extended (money plus informal earnings) income and extended full incomes.
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous proposons de calculer la taille de la pauvreté, mesurée par l'indice de pauvreté uni- et multidimensionnelle, et le coefficient de Gini en se basant sur les revenus complets-élargis (le temps plus les revenus monétaires et informels) à partir de données transversales couvrant les années 2003-2006 en Turquie. Ainsi, les revenus monétaires sont corrigés en ajoutant les ressources monétaires obtenus grâce aux activités informelles et les valeurs monétaires du temps consacré aux activités domestiques dans les revenus déclarés, ce qui permet une estimation sans erreur pour la taille de la population vivant dans la pauvreté et le coefficient de Gini global. Afin de mieux montrer l'effet des activités informelles avec celles domestiques sur la pauvreté, les changements dans la distribution conjointe de probabilité de travailler dans le secteur informel et d'être considérés comme pauvres sont mesurés par un modèle probit bidimensionnel en utilisant les revenus élargis (les revenus monétaires plus informels) et les revenus complets-élargis.
    Keywords: informal earnings,domestic actvities,poverty,Gini coefficient,revenus informels,activités domestiques,pauvreté,coefficient de Gini
    Date: 2015–02
  8. By: Ferdinand Eibl; Adeel Malik
    Abstract: This paper provides one of the first systematic empirical assessments of the impact of political connections on trade protection. Based on a unique compilation of sector-level data on non-tariff measures (NTMs) and politically connected businessmen in Mubarak-era Egypt, we explore the within-sector variation in NTMs over time, and show that sectors populated by politically connected businessmen witnessed systematically higher incidence and density of non-tariff protection. Our results suggest that the presence of cronies is a strong predictor of the subsequent introduction of NTMs. Crony presence also shapes the density of NTMs as measured by the share of products subject to NTMs. Our results are derived from the robust empirical methods that simultaneously address temporal dependence, fixed effects and endogeneity concerns. To establish causality, we take advantage of the across the board cut in tariffs in the wake of the EU-Egypt free trade agreement in 2004-05 to show that sectors with crony activity were compensated significantly more by new NTMs than non-crony sectors.
    JEL: F13 F14 O24 O53 P26
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Hessah Al-Ojayan
    Abstract: In 2015, for the first time in 16 years, Kuwait reported a fiscal deficit of 2.71 billion Kuwaiti Dinars ($9.4 billion). The deficit was exacerbated by weakness in crude prices and mounting supply–demand imbalances in the global oil market. It is critical that Kuwait reacts with a fiscal contingency plan to avoid the uncertainties and volatility of depending primarily on oil to fund government activities. This paper aims to highlight the current economic condition and fiscal needs of Kuwait, as well as to propose a set of potential mitigating strategies for the government to consider.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2016–09
  10. By: Hanna El Maalouf (Université Libanaise); Socrat Ghadban (Lebanese University-Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management); Maya Shames (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris 13 - USPC - Université Sorbonne Paris Cité - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Gemmayzeh is located in Beirut Central District, known to be one of the most famous night attractions in the Lebanese capital. It is also a special attraction for domestic visitors and tourists. However, despite its competitive nightlife advantages in the Lebanese tourism industry, its local residents are not convinced with the way tourism is being developed in this area. The lack of cooperation among the different potential tourism stakeholders and the absence of effective regulations and policies have affected the traditions and heritage of the local residents especially that this specific region is one of the oldest in Beirut with many historical and cultural buildings. All these vibes have created negative impacts on the community’s well-being. The absence of tourism planning is affecting most of the Lebanese tourism attractions and it is getting worse with time especially in the case of Gemmayzeh whose residents have been involved in direct conflicts with visitors and are trying to avoid the negative impacts on their children at times. Therefore, this study aims to review the impacts of tourism development on Gemmayzeh’s local residents, to assess and analyze the type of involvement of local communities in tourism planning and development and to explore the attitudes and perceptions of local residents towards tourism development and its impacts on the community. Out of 1,400 permanent local residents in Gemmayzeh, 50 respondents (representing 5% of the target population) were selected and surveyed during January, 2014. Results have revealed that the lack of involvement of local residents in tourism planning and development has negatively affected their perception towards tourism development. Although this issue is affecting the local community, results revealed that the majority of respondents, mainly young ones, have no problem with nightlife as a type of tourism but with the way it has been developed for years. Furthermore, respondents suggested the development of other forms of tourism such as cultural tourism which can have a better impact on all stakeholders.
    Keywords: Socio-cultural tourism impacts, Stakeholder collaboration, Nightlife tourism, Gemmayzeh,Tourism development, Local community involvement
    Date: 2015–08–14
  11. By: Elasrag, Hussein
    Abstract: The migration of talented individuals, and professionals in general, better known as the "Brain Drain", has become a more widespread phenomenon in the Middle East in the past few years. While many Arab economies fail to offer opportunities to skilled and talented young people, high-income-countries welcome the best and the brightest from all over the world in order to fill their employment gaps. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the phenomenon of migration of Arab talent and how to take advantage of these efficiencies and adapted to serve Arab development.
    Keywords: migration ,talented individuals , Arab economies ,Brain Drain
    JEL: F22 O1 O15 R23
    Date: 2016–09
  12. By: Elasrag, Hussein
    Abstract: Islamic Waqf as a system achieves a dual purpose is reflected in the long-term development of human resources in certain sectors of the community through the proceeds of endowments on the one hand, and to ensure a minimum level of autonomy of the community. This research aims to study the activation of the role of the Islamic Waqf in the development of human resources in the Arab countries.
    Keywords: Islamic Waqf,The Arab countries, human resources
    JEL: I3 I38 O1 O15
    Date: 2016–09–28

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