nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒01‒22
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Decision to Emigrate Amongst the Youth in Lebanon By Ghassan Dibeh; Ali Fakih; Walid Marrouch
  2. Determinants of Obesity in Turkey: A Quantile Regression Analysis from a Developing Country By Karaoglan, Deniz; Tansel, Aysit
  3. Impact of health and recreation on work-life balance: A case study of expatriates. By Naithani, Pranav
  4. Public sector governance reforms and ‘advanced regionalization’ in Morocco: What role for the European Union? By Sylvia I. Bergh
  5. "Investing in Social Care Infrastructure and Employment Generation: A Distributional Analysis of the Care Economy in Turkey" By Kijong Kim; Ipek Ilkkaracan; Tolga Kaya
  6. Syrian Refugees and Cultural Intimacy in Istanbul: “I feel safe here!” By Ayhan Kaya
  7. Iraq; First Review of the Three-Year Stand-By Arrangement and Financing Assurances Review, Requests for Waivers of Nonobservance and Applicability of Performance Criteria, Modification of Performance Criteria, and Rephasing of the Arrangement-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Iraq By International Monetary Fund.
  8. RIO Country Report 2015: Turkey By Erkan Erdil; Teoman Pamukçu; Gülsah Gülen Çiftçi
  9. Skills and entrepreneurship: Are return migrants 'Jacks-of-all-trades'? By Mahé, Clothilde
  10. Ordoliberalism beyond Borders: The EU and Algeria's Human Capital By Thomas Serres

  1. By: Ghassan Dibeh; Ali Fakih; Walid Marrouch
    Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of youth emigration decisions, which is considered to be one of the main causes of ‘Brain Drain’ in Arab Mediterranean Countries (AMCs). We focus on the case of Lebanon using a unique dataset covering young people aged 15 to 29 from the year 2016. The aim of the paper is to identify the profile of youth’s propensity to emigrate from Lebanon. The empirical results indicate that youth from non-wealthy backgrounds living in smaller dwellings have a higher propensity to emigrate. It is also found that being male and unemployed has a positive incidence on migration. Moreover, university education promotes the willingness to emigrate; while residents of poor regions are more likely to express such willingness. Finally, the paper provides some insights for policymakers.
    Keywords: Emigration; youth; Lebanon; probit model,
    JEL: C25 J60 O15
    Date: 2017–01–12
  2. By: Karaoglan, Deniz; Tansel, Aysit
    Abstract: This study investigates the factors that may influence the obesity in Turkey which is a developing country by implementing Quantile Regression (QR) methodology. The control factors that we consider are education, labor market outcomes, household income, age, gender, region and marital status. The analysis is conducted by using the 2008, 2010 and 2012 waves of the Turkish Health Survey (THS) prepared by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT). The obesity indicator in our study is the individual’s Body Mass Index (BMI). QR regression results provide robust evidence that additional years of schooling has negative effect on individual’s BMI and this effect significantly raises across different quantiles of BMI. QR results also indicate that males tend to have higher BMI at lower quantiles of BMI, whereas females have higher BMI at the top quantiles. This implies that females have higher tendency to be obese in Turkey. Our findings also imply that the positive effect of age on individual’s BMI levels raises across the quantiles at a decreasing rate. In addition, the effect of living in urban or rural areas do not significantly differ at the highest quantile distributions of BMI. Our results also reveal that the negative effect of being single on BMI increases gradually in absolute value across the quantiles of BMI implying that single individuals have less tendency to be obese or overweight compared to the married or widowed/divorced individuals. Moreover, the negative effect of being in labor force on individual’s BMI increases across the quantiles of BMI implying that an individual is more likely to be obese if he/she is out of labor force. Finally, the impact of household income on BMI is positive and significant at all quantiles.
    Keywords: Obesity, adults, BMI, quantile regression, Turkey
    JEL: C21 I12 I18
    Date: 2017–01–16
  3. By: Naithani, Pranav
    Abstract: Factors influencing work-life balance are evolving at a very fast pace, thus creating a fecund ground for innovative work-life balance tools and techniques. The increasing significance of expatriates in the global workforce necessitates a targeted set of work-life balance initiatives to help expatriate workers contribute more effectively in the competitive work environment. Health and recreation are the two important life spheres which play a very important role in success or failure of an expatriate assignment. While work-life balance researches are being conducted globally in plenty, yet research on expatriate adjustment and expatriate work-life balance is still in its nascent stage especially in an expatriate dominated work environment in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. This research paper investigates the health and recreation spheres of expatriate academicians working in private higher education institutes in Bahrain, Oman and the UAE. The research paper illustrates and evaluates the health and recreation spheres in relation to the demographic factors of the respondents and suggests ways to improve work-life balance of expatriate employees.
    Keywords: Work-life balance, work-life conflict, expatriate adjustment, college teacher, middle-east.
    JEL: A3 I0 I00 I2 I23 I28 I3 I30 I38 J00 J6 L0 L00 M0 M00 Y8
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Sylvia I. Bergh
    Abstract: This paper examines the recent, current and potential future role of the European Union in Morocco, especially with regard to public sector governance reforms under the ‘Hakama’ programme, and ‘advanced regionalization’. Based on several interviews with key EU officials in Rabat and Brussels as well as other key informants in donor organizations and academia and a thorough review of primary and secondary written materials, this paper first takes stock of the implementation of regulatory convergence under the ‘Advanced Status’ agreement. It then analyzes the ‘Hakama’ program and past twinning projects as a potential tool to further the EU’s influence, arguing that the EU’s approach of ‘more for more’, where financing disbursements are made conditional on concrete policy reform measures means that it can only push reforms slowly and with limited influence. However, this may be exactly what it wants to do at the current juncture: given its primary concern with stability, particularly post-Arab uprisings, the EU does not want to rock the boat while seeking to still pursue its interests – migration control, anti-terrorism cooperation, economic benefits, all through the effort of ‘exporting the EU order beyond the border’, though with mixed results. Morocco for its part is much less dependent on the EU than it used to be as it has more leverage on the migration and security fronts, and also because many other donors are available who are happy to fund under less stringent conditions. It can thus afford to pick and choose. In this context, the cautious approach regarding the advanced regionalization issue can be explained, as all of these factors mean that the EU does not seem to have a clear plan or vision on what to do or whether it is worth doing anything.
    Keywords: European Union, Morocco, advanced regionalization, public sector, governance, twinning
    Date: 2016–11
  5. By: Kijong Kim; Ipek Ilkkaracan; Tolga Kaya
    Abstract: This paper examines the aggregate and gender employment impact of expanding the early childhood care and preschool education (ECCPE) sector in Turkey and compares it to the expansion of the construction sector. The authors' methodology combines input-output analysis with a statistical microsimulation approach. Their findings suggest that the expansion of the ECCPE sector creates more jobs and does so in a more gender-equitable way than an expansion of the construction sector. In particular, it narrows the gender employment and earnings gaps, generates more decent jobs, and achieves greater short-run fiscal sustainability.
    Keywords: Early Childhood Care and Preschool Education; Employment; Gender Equality; Macroeconomic Impact; Microsimulation; Input-Output Analysis
    JEL: I25 E17 R15 O23
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: Ayhan Kaya
    Abstract: This paper derives from the findings of a recent qualitative and quantitative study conducted by the Support to Life Association among Syrian refugees in Istanbul to make their vulnerability assessment with a particular focus on their strong attachment to this city. The research question to be answered in this paper is to what extent Istanbul provides Syrian refugees with a space of cultural intimacy, where they feel safe and secure despite the difficulties of everyday life. The main premise of the paper is that historical, cultural and religious forms of affinity are likely to particularly attach the Sunni-Muslim-Arab-Syrians originating from Aleppo province to Istanbul. However, this sense of safety is not free from various sources of exploitation. This paper is expected to contribute to the discipline of Refugee Studies by shedding light on the historical elements and the agency that are often neglected in such analysis.
    Keywords: Syrians, Refugee Studies, cultural intimacy, Turkey, Istanbul, Aleppo
    Date: 2016–11
  7. By: International Monetary Fund.
    Abstract: Iraq is adjusting to a double shock arising from the ISIS attacks and the sharp drop in global oil prices. The conflict has hurt the economy through displacement and impoverishment of millions of people, and destruction of infrastructure and assets. The oil price decline has resulted in a massive reduction in budget revenue, pushing the fiscal deficit to an unsustainable level. The authorities are responding to the crisis with a mix of necessary fiscal adjustment and financing, maintaining their commitment to the exchange rate peg. The peg provides a key nominal anchor in a highly uncertain environment with policy capacity weakened by the war against ISIS.
    Keywords: Stand-by arrangement reviews;Balance of payments deficits;Fiscal policy;Fiscal consolidation;Fiscal reforms;Financial management;Public enterprises;Bank restructuring;Economic indicators;Debt sustainability analysis;Staff Reports;Press releases;Phasing of purchases;Performance criteria waivers;Iraq;
    Date: 2016–12–13
  8. By: Erkan Erdil (Middle East Technical University); Teoman Pamukçu (Middle East Technical University); Gülsah Gülen Çiftçi (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: The 2015 series of RIO Country Reports analyse and assess the policy and the national research and innovation system developments in relation to national policy priorities and the EU policy agenda with special focus on ERA and Innovation Union. The executive summaries of these reports put forward the main challenges of the research and innovation systems.
    Keywords: R&I system, R&I policy, ERA
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Mahé, Clothilde (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether and how return migrants may be more likely to be entrepreneurs. With reference to Lazear's Jack-of-all-trades hypothesis, we posit that return migrants may be more likely to choose self-employment as a result of the diverse work experience they gain as migrants. Using the 2012 Egyptian Labour Market Panel Survey, seemingly unrelated regression model estimates show that return migration increases the propensity to be self-employed, controlling for the possession of savings. This is found to be due to a Jack-of-all-trades effect, whereby migration helps accumulating more occupations and jobs. Sector-specific rather than multi-sector experience may also benefit entrepreneurship, as it was found that the more industries an emigrant worked in, the less the probability of self-employment upon return. Self-employed might thus need a generalist, balanced mix of occupational skills, within a relatively narrow set of industries. These findings hold for non-agricultural activities.
    Keywords: International migration, Return migration, Entrepreneurship, Human capital, North Africa, Egypt
    JEL: F22 J24 L26 O12 O15
    Date: 2016–12–16
  10. By: Thomas Serres
    Abstract: This working paper studies the Euro-Algerian relationship through the lens of investment in human capital and looks at how European interventions encourage the transformation of Algerian governmentality. In addition to the various policies implemented since the signing of the Association agreement in 2002, the article also interrogates the agendas of local institutions and actors who support or resist this transformative influence. After an introductory section that presents the concept of human capital and its relevance for the Euro-Algerian context, the following sections show how the Euro-Algerian cooperation draws on technologies of standardization, securitization and responsibilization in order to shape a socially integrated, politically and economically moral subject. This empirical analysis serves to understand the ordoliberal character of this intervention. Indeed, the goal of the European Union is not merely to propose a technical intervention in order to promote a stable environment for the modernization of the economy. Instead, the shaping of Algeria's human resources, with the support of diverse segments of the ruling elite, shows the depth of a restructuring that is also political. The relationship between the nation-state and its population is thus affected, as the former is associated with an anthropological process that must foster both economic efficiency and civic awareness.
    Keywords: Algeria, Cooperation, European Neighborhood, Ordoliberalism, Governmentality
    Date: 2016–08

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