nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒02‒19
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The Social Contract in the MENA Region and the Energy Sector Reforms By Brzuszkiewicz, Sara
  2. Denial of academic freedom exposed: the case of academics for peace in Turkey By Ugur, Mehmet
  3. Is the Turkish Current Account Deficit Sustainable? By Osman Furkan Abbasoglu; Ayse Imrohoroglu; Ayse Kabukcuoglu
  4. Saudi's New Direction Towards an Open Global Islamic Authority By Report: SAPRAC, Salman Al Ansari,; Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
  5. Relations entre le Maroc et l’Afrique subsaharienne : Quels potentiels pour le commerce et les investissements directs étrangers ? By Rim Berahab

  1. By: Brzuszkiewicz, Sara
    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, Resource /Energy Economics and Policy, O1, O13,
    Date: 2017–02–08
  2. By: Ugur, Mehmet
    Abstract: Lack of academic freedom has always been a hallmark of the Turkish higher education system. Any de facto respect for it has been wrenched from the Turkish state apparatus (including the government, the military and the YÖK) as a result of resistance by academics and students alike. A salient fact about Turkish higher education is that universities that have toed the government line have remained poor performers, whereas those where staff and students showed resistance to state intrusion have done better in terms of research quality, graduate employability and international recognition. Nevertheless, successive AKP governments since 2003, with Erdoğan as prime minister or president, have been determined to maintain the long-standing state tutelage over Turkey’s higher education system. The expected prize is the production of graduates disposed to submit to authority – particularly state authority – without much questioning.
    Keywords: Academic freedom; higher education; Turkey
    Date: 2016–05
  3. By: Osman Furkan Abbasoglu (Istanbul School of Central Banking, Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey); Ayse Imrohoroglu (Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California); Ayse Kabukcuoglu (College of Administrative Sciences and Economics, Koc University)
    Abstract: During the 2011-2015 period, Turkey's current account deficit as a percentage of GDP was one of the largest among the OECD countries. In this paper, we examine if this deficit can be considered sustainable using the Engel and Rogers (2006) approach. In this framework, the current account of a country is determined by the expected discounted present value of its future share of world GDP relative to its current share. A country, whose income is anticipated to rise relative to the rest of the world is expected to borrow now and run a current account de cit. Our findings suggest that Turkey's current account deficit in 2015 may be considered sustainable if the Turkish economy's share in the world economy could continue to grow at rates similar to the past. The same approach, however, indicates that the current account deficit in 2011, at its peak, was unlikely to be sustainable.
    Keywords: Current account; open economy macroeconomics; growth
    JEL: F32 F41 F43
    Date: 2017–02
  4. By: Report: SAPRAC, Salman Al Ansari,; Dr. Majid Rafizadeh
    Abstract: It is no longer a secret that Saudi Arabia is undergoing a massive economic transformation. This transformation is so essential to Saudi Arabia?s security and stability, that it is taking every measure possible to make sure that it succeeds. What is not yet known, however, is that Saudi Arabia is also taking a new approach in its relentless efforts to combat strains of extremism that are continuously threatening both local, regional, and global stability. What makes this approach novel is that it confronts extremism to where it really matters: the ideological and intellectual battlefield. By examining the issue closely, and based on several reports, at the forefront of this effort appears to be a key figure, an up and coming star, in the Saudi religious establishment who is the current Secretary General of the Muslim World League and a member of the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars: Dr. Mohammed Al-Eissa. He also oversees the day-to-day operations of the Ideological Warfare Center (IWC), which aims to confront the roots of extremism and promote the true understanding of Islam.
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Rim Berahab
    Abstract: L’analyse des relations commerciales entre le Maroc et l’Afrique subsaharienne fait ressortir un volume des échanges croissants, reflétant ainsi une dynamisation continue des leurs relations commerciales. Une tendance similaire est observée au niveau des investissements directs étrangers, qui ne cessent de croître au cours des dernières années, traduisant la volonté du Maroc à devenir un acteur majeur dans le développement du continent africain. Ce Policy Brief présente dans un premier temps les tendances du commerce inter-régional du Maroc avec l’Afrique subsaharienne en mettant l’accent sur quelques indicateurs. Il analyse dans un second temps l’évolution de la complémentarité des exportations du Maroc avec les importations de ses principaux partenaires subsahariens. Dans un troisième temps, il dresse le portrait des investissements directs étrangers du Maroc vers l’Afrique subsaharienne en mettant l’accent sur les principaux destinataires ainsi que la structure des IDE marocains.
    Date: 2017–02

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