nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒02‒12
thirteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The Social Contract in the MENA Region and the Energy Sector Reforms By Sara Brzuszkiewicz
  2. Migration patterns and labor market outcomes in Tunisia By Anda David; Mohamed Ali Marouani
  3. Sources of economic growth in MENA countries: A Harrod-neutral technological progress identification framework By Senay, Acikgöz; Ali, Mohamed Sami Ben; Mert, Merter
  4. Morocco’s Green Energy Opportunity By Laura El-Katiri
  5. The sense of causality between growth and economic development: an essay on VAR modeling in the case of Tunisia By Mabrouki, Mohamed
  6. Rise of Services and Female Employment: Strength of the Relationship By Serife Genc Ileri; Gonul Sengul
  7. The relationship between Export, Import, Domestic Investment and Economic Growth in Egypt: Empirical Analysis By Bakari, Sayef
  8. Middle Eastern contributions to international relations theory : Turkey as a case study By Imai, Kohei
  9. Financing and performance of female-owned firms in Middle Eastern and African Economies By Mina Baliamoune-Lutz; Stefan Lutz
  10. Kicking a Crude Habit: Diversifying Away from Oil and Gas in the 21st Century By Cullen S. Hendrix
  11. Diversification des exportations et transformation structurelle au Maroc: Quel rôle pour les IDE ? By Moussir, Charaf-Eddine; Tabit, Safaa
  12. Effets sectoriels de la politique monétaire et activité économique: cas du Maroc By Moussir, Charaf Eddine
  13. Les atouts du Maroc dans le domaine de l'énergie verte By Laura El-Katiri

  1. By: Sara Brzuszkiewicz (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: During the last few years and because of the low oil prices in particular, the increasing awareness of the unsustainability of subsidized systems led several MENA countries to take steps to lower subsidies, which have been part of the social contract for decades, especially as far as the energy sector is concerned. Nowadays, the need for reforms is compelling for more than one reason. Namely, the subsidized system distorts market trends, fosters inefficient use of resources, depresses foreign direct investment and fuels overconsumption, which is no longer sustainable, particularly as far as the population growth in most of the MENA countries is concerned. In this paper both the resource-abundant countries and the energy importing nations will be analyzed, in order to investigate similarities and differences between the two and to carry out an initial assessment of the reforms in two representative countries, namely Saudi Arabia, exporting country par excellence, and Egypt, which imports energy.
    Keywords: Energy Sector, Subsidies, Subsidy Reforms, MENA Region, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Rentier State, Resource Curse Theories
    JEL: O1 O13
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Anda David (AFD and DIAL, Paris); Mohamed Ali Marouani (Paris1-Pantheon-Sorbonne University (IEDES, UMR Développement et Société), DIAL and ERF)
    Abstract: This article focuses on the external effects of emigration on non-migrants and particularly on the interactions with labor market outcomes in Tunisia before and after the revolution. Using the new Tunisia Labor Market Panel Survey (TLMPS) we conduct an in-depth analysis of the structure and dynamics of migration in Tunisia including the profile of migrants and their origin households, mainly in terms of skills and spatial composition. We also investigate transition matrices, employment status, income for current migrants and returnees and the evolution of remittances. Our analysis confirms the role of emigration as a security valve for the Tunisian labor market. Moreover, origin households of migrants have a significantly higher wealth index. Remittances play a significant role for the Tunisian economy and at the household level. Our analysis also tends to confirm the effects of remittances on labor supply of non migrants which can have a negative impact on Tunisia’s unemployment rate when a crisis in destination countries affects negatively the remittance rate.
    Keywords: International migration, labor market, remittances, returnees, revolution, Tunisia.
    JEL: F22 F24 J21
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Senay, Acikgöz; Ali, Mohamed Sami Ben; Mert, Merter
    Abstract: This study answers the question: What are the results of assuming the nature of technological progress as Harrod-neutral in growth accounting for the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries? Accordingly, this study contributes to the debate over whether the sources of economic growth stem from technological progress, capital or human capital accumulation. The study finds evidence that economic growth stems from capital accumulation rather than total factor productivity for the MENA countries, except Israel and Saudi Arabia. The authors concluded that assuming the nature of technological progress as Harrod-neutral in growth accounting for the MENA countries does not have a critical impact on the results.
    Keywords: sources of economic growth,growth accounting,human capital,bounds testing,ARDL,MENA
    JEL: O30 O47 O57 C22
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Laura El-Katiri
    Abstract: Morocco’s energy landscape has been changing rapidly over the past decades. Population growth, industrialisation and rising living standards that have been accompanied by rising access rates to electricity as well as high rates of rural-urban migration have all contributed to Morocco’s growing energy needs. Neighbouring oil and gas-rich Algeria in the east and energy-hungry Europe in the North across the Mediterranean Sea, Morocco has historically traded agricultural products but imported virtually all of its primary energy resources in the absence of significant own oil and gas reserves.
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Mabrouki, Mohamed
    Abstract: The purpose of this article is to study the relationship between the economic growth and the development. While, even if it is recognized that the growth is definitely a condition of the development, it is not always sufficient. In this research, we are interested to demonstrate the extent to which growth promotes the development? Did the development leading to growth? Our empirical investigation attempts to test the relationship between GDP and three components of the development indicator (HDI). Using the techniques of VAR modeling and causality in Granger's sense, in the framework of the Tunisian economy during the period from 1970 to 2015, the results of the estimates show the existence of a reciprocal link between economic growth and development.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Development, HDI, VAR, Granger Causality, Tunisia.
    JEL: C32 O12 O47
    Date: 2016–10
  6. By: Serife Genc Ileri; Gonul Sengul
    Abstract: Recent literature focuses on the relationship between rise of services and female employment, arguing that the former is the driving force behind the rise in the latter in developed economies. In this paper we challenge this link by focusing on a developing country. Turkey stands out among other OECD countries with its unusually low female employment rate accompanied with a quite low service employment share. We investigate whether the female employment rate in Turkey will ascend to the current ranks of developed countries when it catches up with the current service shares of employment of those countries. We address this question in a multi sector structural transformation model with goods, service and home production. Using the calibrated model, we simulate the structural transformation path of the economic activity in Turkey away from other sectors into services. Our results suggest that rise of services by itself is not sufficient to generate the increase in female employment that is comparable to the experiences of developed countries. High comparative advantage of females in service sector is needed to achieve the desired increase, the channel that lacks in the Turkish case. More research is needed to understand the roots of female comparative advantage in service sector and its links to structural transformation.
    Keywords: Female labor supply, Structural transformation, Home production, Sectoral labor allocation
    JEL: E24 J16 J22
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Bakari, Sayef
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between exports, imports, domestic investment and economic growth in Egypt. In order to achieve this purpose, annual data for the periods between 1965 and 2015 was tested by using Johansen co-integration analysis of Vector Auto-regression and the Granger-Causality tests. According to the result of the co-integration analysis, it was determined that there is no relationship between the four variables. The empirical results indicate that exports, imports and domestic investment have no effect on economic growth in Egypt. However, the result of causality test asserts that imports and domestic investment are the source of economic growth in Egypt.
    Keywords: Domestic Investment, Export, Import, Economic Growth, Egypt.
    JEL: F0 F1 F14
    Date: 2016–11
  8. By: Imai, Kohei
    Abstract: This study aims to explore Middle Eastern contributions to a homegrown theory of international relations. The key issue in non-Western international relations theory (NWIRT) concerns "whose perspective." Perspective from West or core states, non-West or periphery is only object of case studies in international relations. First, this paper defines what NWIRT is. Second, it outlines the relationship between international relations theory and the Middle East. The third part uses the case of Turkey to accept and develop Western international relations theory (WIRT) as an example of a second type of homegrown NWIRT. Finally, the concluding part examines the importance and limitations of NWIRT.
    Keywords: Non-Western international relations theory (NWIRT), Western international relations theory (WIRT), Middle East, Turkey, International relations, Foreign relations
    Date: 2017–01
  9. By: Mina Baliamoune-Lutz (University of North Florida, Coggin College of Business, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224, USA.); Stefan Lutz (European Management School (EMS), Professorship for Economics, Rheinstrasse 4N, Mainz, 55116, Germany.)
    Abstract: Empirical evidence suggests that lack of access to financing is a major constraint to performance by female-owned firms in most countries. Firm performance, financing structure, and constraints have been well explored for firms in developed economies but this is not the case for firms in developing economies, especially in Africa and the Middle-East. Largely due to lack of data availability, existing literature on African firms has presented some survey-based evidence on firm performance and financing structures while detailed financial evidence is lacking. This paper aims at filling this research gap. We identify female-owned firms and examine the impact of ownership structure on financing and firm performance. We use cross-sectional financial data covering 25,500 companies in the Middle East and Africa for the years 2006 to 2014. Our results reveal a clear, but perhaps surprising, gender-specific pattern.
    Keywords: Gender, Ownership, Firm profitability, Financing structure, MENA, Africa, FDI, Globalization.
    JEL: F20 J16 L22 M10
    Date: 2017–02
  10. By: Cullen S. Hendrix (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the correlates of diversification away from oil and natural gas dependence in the context of the 21st century resource boom (and bust). In a sample of 40 oil- and gas-dependent economies, the majority showed significant sectoral diversification of GDP, but exports remained highly concentrated in fuel exports. Regression analysis indicates that countries that began the boom with higher levels of oil and gas dependence, poorer countries, and those with significantly larger- or smaller-than-average populations were more successful in diversifying their GDP during the commodities boom. Governance clearly matters--more effective, capable bureaucratic structures are associated with greater GDP diversification away from oil and gas--though the effects are not uniformly positive. For any given level of government effectiveness, stronger rule of law is associated with less GDP diversification. Education appears to affect GDP and export diversification differentially. Consistent with endogenous growth theory, countries with more educated populations saw greater growth in their nonresource sectors than countries with less educated populations, though education is associated with greater export concentration. Market proximity does not affect diversification. Internal economic diversification in the 21st century has been less a matter of correct policy formation and implementation and more a matter of factors that shape the policymaking environment, with the findings suggesting a difficult road to economic diversification for the Gulf Cooperation Council economies.
    Keywords: petroleum, diversification, education, rule of law, institutions, Gulf Cooperation Council
    JEL: E02 O10 O13 Q02 Q40
    Date: 2017–02
  11. By: Moussir, Charaf-Eddine; Tabit, Safaa
    Abstract: This work aims to identify the relationship between Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and export diversification in Morocco. The estimation results, driven by a Generalized Moment Methods (GMM) over the period 1980-2014, show that positive FDI and GFCF encourage export diversification while per capita income, real effective exchange rate, inflation and governance have negative impacts. Furthermore, despite Morocco’s efforts in order to initiate a structural transformation of its economy, it remains limited.
    Keywords: Export diversification, FDI, Herfindahl-Hirschman index, Structural transformation, Morocco, GMM.
    JEL: C32 F14 F21 L16 O55
    Date: 2016
  12. By: Moussir, Charaf Eddine
    Abstract: The effects of monetary policy on economic performance have long attracted the attention of economists and policy makers. The literature identifies different ways of understanding the monetary transmission mechanisms. They vary according to the importance given to interest rates, credits, exchange rates, asset prices and other financial institutions in the transmission mechanism. The purpose of this paper is to shed more light on the existence of significant differences in the reactions of Moroccan sectors to monetary policy shocks. The results of the analysis indicate that at the aggregate level a monetary policy tightening leads to a decrease of the overall GDP and price level. At the disaggregated level, the extraction industry, manufacturing, construction, hotels & restaurants, the financial and insurance activities are among the more sensitive sectors to monetary policy shocks. On the other hand monetary policy innovations do not appear to have an adverse impact on agriculture and fishing sectors
    Keywords: Monetary policy, Sectoral output, vector auto regression (VAR), Impulse response functions, Morocco.
    JEL: E23 E43 E52
    Date: 2017–04
  13. By: Laura El-Katiri
    Abstract: Le paysage énergétique du Maroc a connu une évolution rapide au cours des dernières décennies. La croissance démographique, l'industrialisation et la hausse du niveau de vie, qui se sont accompagnés d'une augmentation des taux d'accès à l'électricité, ainsi que de taux élevés d'exode rural, ont tous contribué à l'expansion des besoins énergétiques du Maroc. Étant voisin d'une Algérie riche en pétrole et en gaz à l'Est, et d'une Europe avide d'énergie au nord de la Méditerranée, le Maroc exportait traditionnellement des produits agricoles mais importait pratiquement toutes ses ressources énergétiques primaires, en l'absence de réserves pétrolières et gazières conséquentes.
    Date: 2016–12

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