nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒04‒02
nineteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Trust, Voice, and Incentives: Learning from Local Success Stories in Delivery in MENA By Hana Brixi; Ellen Lust; Michael Woolcock
  2. The Arab Spring and the Employability of Youth: Early evidence from Egypt By Selwaness, Irene; Roushdy, Rania
  3. Time Use Elasticity of Substitution Estimates Conditional on Working Time Available By Armagan Tuna Aktuna-Gunes; Okay Gunes
  4. Disentangling Age and Cohorts Effects on Home-Ownership and Housing Wealth in Turkey By Evren Ceritoglu
  5. Assessing climate change impacts on sustainable development at the regional level a case study of the province of Medenine southeast of Tunisia By Mohamed Arbi Abdeladhim; Mongi Sghaier; Abdallah Akari; Lindsay SHUTES (née CHANT)
  6. Evaluation of Trade Potentiel among Morocco and Senegal using an Advanced Gravity Model By RAOUF Radouane; Azzedine GHOUFRANE
  7. The Labour Mobility-Employment Nexus: a Comparative Analysis of Jordan and Tunisia By Anda David; Mohamed Ali Marouani
  8. Measuring the Relative Domestic Production Scarcity of Time Spent in Domestic Activities for Turkey By Armagan Tuna Aktuna-Gunes; Okay Gunes
  9. Migration patterns and labor market outcomes in Tunisia By Anda David; Mohamed Ali Marouani
  10. Labor market effects of Pension Reform : an overlapping generations general equilibrium model applied to Tunisia By Mouna Ben Othman; Mohamed Ali Marouani
  11. On the Interaction between Trade Reforms and Labor Market Regulation: Evidence from the MENA Countries’ Labor Markets By Selwaness, Irène; Zaki, Chahir
  12. Pension Systems Contribution Determinants: a Cross Sectional Analysis on Tunisia By Ben Braham Mehdi; Mohamed Ali Marouani
  13. Traits of Negative and Positive Discrimination in the Relationships between Coptic Community and Muslim Authorities of Medieval Egypt By Anastasia M. Ivanova
  14. Trade Liberalization and the Costs and Benefits of Informality of Labor: An Intertemporal General Equilibrium Model for Egypt By Abeer Elshennawy; Dirk Willenbockel
  15. How development aid explains (or not) the rise and fall of insurgent attacks in Iraq By Wong, Pui-Hang
  16. Analysis of Households' Decision Using Full Demand Elasticity Estimates: an Estimation on Turkish Data By Okay Gunes
  17. Culture in local and regional development: A Mediterranean perspective on the culture/economy nexus By Benner, Maximilian
  18. Global Skill-Based Immigration Policies and Israel's Brain Drain By Razin, Assaf
  19. L’empowerment par le travail ? Les ouvrières du textile au Maroc By Gaëlle Gillot

  1. By: Hana Brixi; Ellen Lust; Michael Woolcock (Center for International Development at Harvard University)
    Abstract: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a rising middle-income region, and its citizens rightly expect quality public services. Yet too often they experience disappointment: students attending local schools are insufficiently prepared for the 21st century economy, and those needing health care too often find that public clinics have no doctors or medicines. Few in positions of authority are held accountable for such shortcomings. This situation both undermines the potential for improvement and heightens people’s unhappiness with the delivery system. Although dissatisfaction with education and health services is widespread in the MENA region, local successes do exist and offer inspiration. At the Kufor Quod Girls’ Secondary School in the rural West Bank, for example, Ms. Abla Habayeb, the school’s principal, provides her teachers with daily encouragement and support, and she involves community members, parents, and teachers in decisions about improving the school. Teachers, students, and the community then reciprocate that commitment. Thus, amid the surrounding poverty and instability, Kufor Quod girls excel in national tests. Similarly, in some poor villages in Jordan and Morocco, the leaders of schools and clinics are reaching out to the community, inspiring citizens’ trust and engagement through transparent and inclusive decision making and the delivery of excellent services. Learning from such local successes is vital because there are no blueprints for solving service quality problems. Countries around the world are striving to improve education and health care quality. But simply modernizing school and hospital facilities and training staff are no longer sufficient. Delivering quality services requires motivated staff. And staff motivation arises in turn from values and accountability, which are grounded in the wider political, administrative, and social rules, practices, and relationships. Providing high-quality services is hard; the World Bank itself has struggled to ensure that its projects enhance incentives in country systems to achieve better learning and health outcomes. We argue that because of the complex circumstances found in MENA countries, it is necessary to build on evidence of local successes and positive trends at the level of institutions, performance, and citizens’ trust and engagement. We hope that this report and its recommendations will help citizens, civil servants, policy makers, and donors alike jointly identify and build on the present foundation to improve the delivery of social services, shifting the cycle of performance into a virtuous gear. An improved cycle of performance is what those living in the MENA countries deserve and what would enable them to fulfill their hopes and dreams for the future.
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Selwaness, Irene; Roushdy, Rania
    Abstract: This paper investigates the school-to-work transition of young people from subsequent graduation cohorts between 2005 and 2012 in Egypt. The analysis compares the early employment outcomes of those who left school after the January 25th 2011 revolution to that of those who graduated before 2011. Using recent data from the 2014 Survey of Young People in Egypt (SYPE), we estimate the probability of transition to any first job within 18-month of finishing education and that of transitioning to a good quality job, controlling for the year of end of schooling. Preliminary findings show that while transitioning to a first job seemed not to be affected by the event of the 2011 revolution, young people experienced significantly lower chances to transition to good quality jobs.
    Keywords: School-to-work transition,youth,survival-analysis,Egypt
    JEL: J13 J64 N35
    Date: 2017
  3. 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); Okay Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We introduce the demand elasticity of available working time into the model of domestic production in order to show that the limits on discretionary times use may alter the estimates of time use elasticity of substitution good. Our elasticity estimation result for food is 0.50 in Turkey for 2007, which ranges from 0.22 to 0.56 in the literature. However, the elasticity of substitution for food rises up to 0.92 when one considers working time available with all consumption groups, suggesting that households may overcome time scarcity and increase working time by reducing time spent in the leisure, transportation, other and personal care and health categories. This process, in turn, yields good intensive consumption in Turkey. We obtain more robust estimation results by using the opportunity cost of time measurement proposed by Gardes (2016) for Turkish households in 2007. In this work, the Time Use Survey for 2006 is matched with the 2007 Household Budget Survey.
    Abstract: Nous introduisons l'élasticité de la demande de temps de travail disponible dans le modèle de la production domestique afin de montrer que les limites de l'utilisation du temps discrétionnaire peuvent modifier les estimations de l'élasticité de substitution de l'utilisation du temps. Notre estimation de l'élasticité pour les aliments est de 0,50 en Turquie pour 2007, qui varie de 0,22 à 0,56 dans la littérature. Cependant, l'élasticité de substitution pour le bien alimentaire s'élève à 0,92 lorsque l'on considère le temps de travail disponible pour tous les groupes de consommation, ce qui suggère que les ménages peuvent surmonter la rareté du temps et augmenter le temps de travail en réduisant le temps consacré aux loisirs et aux soins personnels et à la santé. Ce processus, à son tour entraîne une consommation intensive de produits de marché en Turquie. Nous obtenons les résultats d'estimation plus robustes en utilisant la méthode du coût d'opportunité du temps proposé par Gardes (2016) pour les ménages turcs en 2007. Dans ce travail, nous avons utilisé l'appariement statistique des enquêtes turques sur l'emploi du temps pour 2006 avec l'enquête sur le budget des ménages de 2007.
    Keywords: Household production,Time use elasticity of substitution,Rubins' matching statistics,Working Time Available,Production domestiques,l'élasticité de substitution de l'utilisation du temps,l'appariement statistiques,Temps de travail disponible
    Date: 2017–02
  4. By: Evren Ceritoglu
    Abstract: This paper analyses the role of age and cohort effects on home-ownership and housing wealth in Turkey. We utilize twelve consecutive waves of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) Household Budget Surveys (HBS) from 2003 to 2014. We construct a pseudo-panel data set following Deaton (1985) using birth-year cohorts in which families are grouped into cohorts with respect to the birth year of their household heads. Empirical analysis shows that young cohorts are less likely to own their homes, but they are more likely to be in housing debt. Moreover, they are willing to invest in second homes as much as old cohorts. We estimate a Heckman two-step selection model to distinguish the contribution of quality growth on house prices, while the selection criterion is home-ownership. We regress weighted average of the natural logarithm of cohort home values on age and cohort dummy variables. We find that cohort effects on home values are significantly larger for young cohorts even after controlling for age effects and quality growth.
    Keywords: Home-ownership, Housing wealth, Cohort effects, Pseudo-panel
    JEL: C23 D12 R21
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Mohamed Arbi Abdeladhim; Mongi Sghaier; Abdallah Akari; Lindsay SHUTES (née CHANT)
    Abstract: This paper presents the way that multiple analytical and empirical methods are used to calculate a composite indicator for an ex-ante impacts assessment of climate change on sustainable development in the context of arid zones in Tunisia. To quantify the composite indicator, a static Computable General Equilibrium model (CGE) was adapted to the regional context. The Regional Social Matrix building (RSAM) building procedure was based on a set of techniques and approaches of regionalization. The national supply and use matrix has served as a starting point. A bottom-up approach has been used to build a regional supply and use matrix for the agricultural sector that take into account natural resources (land and water) as intermediate inputs. The regional SAM includes ten (10) production factors, eighteen (18) production sectors producing twenty two (22) goods and services, two (2) households, one representative enterprise, two (2) public sectors (Government and regional administration), seven (7) taxes, two (2) capital accounting accounts, the rest of the world and the rest of the country. The SAM has been used to calculate the regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Two simulations have been run i) the decline of natural capital due to the induced effects of climate change and ii) the regional climate change adaptation strategy. Based on the outputs of the CGE model the impacts of climate change and adaptation strategy on the main regional economic indicators were analyzed. Finally the multi-criteria analysis method (MCA) was used to calculate the aggregated regional indicator of sustainability Results showed that the regional climate change adaptation strategy has a positive impact but it’s not sufficient to maintain sustainability level as in the current situation.
    Keywords: Tunisia, Regional modeling, General equilibrium modeling
    Date: 2015–07–01
  6. By: RAOUF Radouane; Azzedine GHOUFRANE
    Abstract: In this paper, we are interested in the trade potential between Morocco and Senegal. To do this, in the first part, we analyzed the structure of foreign trade in both countries and the nature of their bilateral trade. It appears that, like most African countries, Morocco's and Senegal’s trade flows are largely done with their Western partners. Senegal remains the main partner of Morocco in West Africa with a very small share in its total trade (less than 5% of Moroccan flows are heading to Africa).In the second part, and to estimate the potential of trade, the use of a gravity model based on panel data seems to be the most appropriate approach. We selected a random effects model using generalized least squares. This model focuses on a sample of 25 countries (16 African and 9 non-African countries), which is spread over the period 2001-2013. The estimation was carried out to assess the trade potential with Senegal and the rest of the sample countriesThe results of this work show that Morocco's commercial potential to Senegal as in a number of African countries is very low or nonexistent. For the rest of the countries and in this case the traditional partners (Germany, France, Italy, The Netherlands), Morocco has a strong commercial potential. The same result was reached in trade with Algeria and Egypt with a commercial potential that exceeds 4 times the observed exports.
    Keywords: Morocco, Developing countries, Regional modeling
    Date: 2015–07–01
  7. By: Anda David; Mohamed Ali Marouani
    Date: 2017
  8. 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); Okay Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In this paper, we specify and estimate the “domestic production scarcity of time use” as the time use demand elasticity of commodity use in domestic activity. We integrate domestic production technology as the good intensity of time use into scarcity in time use and monetary expenditure which enables us to better differentiate for which consumption groups households have a more complementary than substitutable nature with regards to domestic production. We match the Time Use Survey for 2006 with the Household Budget Survey for the years between 2007 and 2013 (inclusive) by using a new matching method proposed by Rubin (1986).
    Abstract: Dans cet article, nous spécifions et estimons la « rareté de l'emploi du temps dans la production domestique » comme l'élasticité de la demande du temps pour des produits utilisés dans l'activité domestique. Nous intégrons la technologie de production domestique, comme l'intensité de produit par le temps utilisé, dans la rareté de temps et les dépenses monétaires qui nous permettent de mieux différencier pour quels groupes de consommation les ménages ont un caractère plus complémentaire que substituable par rapport à leurs productions domestiques. Les inputs monétaires et temporels dans les dépenses de consommation des ménages sont obtenues par l'appariement statistique des enquêtes turques sur l'Emploi du Temps 2006 avec l'enquête sur le Budget des Familles pour les années 2007 et 2013 en utilisant une nouvelle méthode d'appariement proposée par Rubin (1986).
    Keywords: Household production technology,Matching statistics,Time use elasticity of substitution,La technologie de production domestique des ménages,l'appariement statistiques,l'élasticité de substitution de l'utilisation du temps
    Date: 2017–03
  9. By: Anda David; Mohamed Ali Marouani
    Date: 2017
  10. By: Mouna Ben Othman; Mohamed Ali Marouani
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Selwaness, Irène; Zaki, Chahir
    Abstract: Using a panel of MENA countries, this paper tries to examine the interaction between trade reforms and labor market regulations on the outcome of the labor market. The theoretical predictions on this literature show that the effects of trade liberalization in any given country are conditional on the nature of labor market regulations since trade liberalization is more likely to have a positive impact on employment and wages in countries with flexible labor markets and vice versa. Moreover, more regulated labor markets tend to have higher wages at the expense of sector wide employment. Our main findings show that labor market rigidity reduces the positive impact of trade reform on employment. While this result is stronger for females, it is not for males.
    Keywords: Labor Market Rigidity,Trade,MENA
    JEL: F14 F16 J08 J88
    Date: 2017
  12. By: Ben Braham Mehdi; Mohamed Ali Marouani
    Date: 2016
  13. By: Anastasia M. Ivanova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: In the course of the Middle ages, the Copts experienced a variety of drastic changes in the attitude of Muslim rulers towards them, from confidence to disgrace. The latter included not only the increasingly rigorous tax policies, but also social and domestic constraints, which can be surely defined as religious discrimination. Though the Copts managed to regain the trust of the authorities by their profound skills in administrative and courtly functions and, of course, compromise in terms of religion, which allowed them to enjoy high ranks and other benefits of their proximity to the Egyptian court. This, in its turn, made them an outstanding social group and can be considered “positive discrimination” in contrast with the definitely negative discrimination based on confessional conditions. The question of the balance between positive and negative discrimination as an instrument of regulating intrastate social cooperation can be crucial for understanding the specific of these relationships during the described period. So, the main goal of this work is to trace historical precedents which can be considered either negative or positive discrimination, and their suppositional influence on the Copts’ turning into a minority
    Keywords: Egypt, Islam, Middle ages, Copts, religion, Arabic culture, history, islamization
    JEL: Z
    Date: 2017
  14. By: Abeer Elshennawy; Dirk Willenbockel
    Abstract: Utilizing an Intertemporal General Equilibrium model for Egypt, this paper seeks to analyze the interaction between informality of labor and trade liberalization. Although it is documented in the literature that trade liberalization can be associated with short run transitional unemployment, we find that in the presence of informal labor markets this seizes to occur. Informality thus reduces the adjustment costs to trade liberalization. Policy makers are thus encouraged to exploit the benefits of informality. Issues related to the sequencing of formalization and trade liberalization were also explored. In this regard, we find that it is not advisable that formalization precedes trade liberalization as the gains foregone by delaying trade policy reform are likely to dominate the outcome. See above See above
    Keywords: Egypt, Trade issues, General equilibrium modeling
    Date: 2015–07–01
  15. By: Wong, Pui-Hang (UNU-MERIT, and Maastricht University)
    Abstract: Despite its uncertain effects on political violence, foreign aid is still used as a means to counter insurgency. Recent examples include the US Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP) in Iraq and Afghanistan. This paper describes how local political dynamics can complicate the causal effect of development assistance on insurgent attacks and estimates the effect of small development projects on attacks targeting foreign donors. Dynamic panel data analysis shows that development assistance induced more attacks against the Coalition forces than reduced them. To further uncover the causal mechanism behind the relationship, I also examine three prominent explanations in the literature. The analysis reveals that the level of violence increased neither because insurgency became a more attractive option than legal economic activities (the opportunity costs explanation) nor because the insurgents tried to sabotage the development projects to pre-empt the hearts and minds effect (the pre-emption explanation). Furthermore, although the third, enrichment explanation agrees with the case, my analysis reveals that Iraqi insurgents did become stronger not only by looting, as most studies suggest. The level of violence in Iraq increased because project contractors needed to pay local leaders and insurgents to get access and buy security. While the US military buys down violence against them, discontented leaders contract violence out to third-party, most likely foreign fighters, to initiate attacks against the Coalition forces on behalf of them. In this light, future counterinsurgency efforts need to mind the ties between aid recipients and other actors, provide better security to contractors, or try to allocate aid more strategically.
    Keywords: Development aid, counterinsurgency, dynamic panel data model, Iraq
    JEL: D74 F50 O11 O53
    Date: 2017–02–03
  16. By: Okay Gunes (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Households' consumption patterns are deciphered through estimates of demand elasticities based on the domestic production decisions determined by constraints on time use and monetary budgets for different subpopulations. We first estimate the shadow wage rates of the households and later estimate the full demand elasticities which are computed using full prices proposed by Gardes (2016) derived through the hypotheses of complementarity or substitutability existing between monetary and time expenditures. Detailed results are obtained for the whole population by breaking the dataset into age groups and into households according to poverty level, as determined by the OECD-modified equivalence scale.
    Abstract: Les schémas de consommation des ménages sont déchiffrés à partir d'estimations de l'élasticité de la demande en fonction de décisions de production domestique déterminées par les contraintes sur l'utilisation du temps et les budgets monétaires pour les différentes sous-populations. Nous estimons d'abord les taux salariaux fictifs des ménages et ensuite nous estimons les élasticités complètes de la demande qui sont calculées en utilisant l'approche de prix complets proposés par Gardes (2016) dérivés par les hypothèses de complémentarité ou de substituabilité existant entre les dépenses monétaires et temporelles. Des résultats détaillés sont obtenus pour l'ensemble de la population et pour les sous-populations selon les groupes d'âge et le niveau de pauvreté déterminé par l'échelle d'équivalence de l'OCDE.
    Keywords: Time allocation,domestic production,full prices,opportunity cost of time,demand elasticities,Rubins' matching statistics,L'allocation du temps,la production domestique,les prix complets,le coût d'opportunité du temps,les élasticités de la demande,l'appariement de Rubin
    Date: 2017–03
  17. By: Benner, Maximilian
    Abstract: This policy paper discusses the direct and indirect role of culture as a driver of local and regional development. It identifies the interactions between local framework conditions, culture, creative industries, culturally relevant products and local development, and discusses the systemic role of culture in translating local framework conditions such as diversity, creativity and experimentation into local or regional development impacts such as economic growth and employment. Case studies from two Mediterranean countries, Cyprus and Israel, illustrate the link between culture and local development. In the final part of the paper, conclusions for local and regional policy are drawn and key recommendations are presented with a particular focus on Mediterranean countries.
    Keywords: culture; creative industries; local development; regional development; Mediterranean countries; Cyprus; Israel
    JEL: O31 O34 O35 O38 O43 R58
    Date: 2017–03–21
  18. By: Razin, Assaf
    Abstract: US attracts more high skill immigrants than Europe. One key factors is US research centers. US universities and research centers, funded directly and indirectly by the US federal and state governments, attract talented researchers from all over the world. Many of them remained in the US after completing their original term of education, training or research. Many became citizens. In the confines of the generous welfare state, low skill immigrants impose fiscal burden on the native born. In contrast, high-skill immigrants help in relieving the burden. This is the economic rationale behind skill-based immigration policies. The other side of the skill bias in immigration policy is that the international migration of skilled workers (the so-called brain drain) deprives the origin country from its scarce resource - human capital. Israel supply of high skill workers is unique. Today, Israel ranks third in the world in the number of university graduates per capita, after the United States and the Netherlands. It possesses the highest per capita number of scientists in the world, The paper links Israel's brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies. The paper links Israel's brain drain to skill-based immigration policies, prevailing in the advanced economies.
    JEL: F22 H10 J1
    Date: 2017–03
  19. By: Gaëlle Gillot
    Date: 2016

This nep-ara issue is ©2017 by Paul Makdissi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.