nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒05‒21
six papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Estimating Poverty and Inequality in the Absence of Consumption Data: An Application to the Middle East and North Africa By Ragui Assaad; Caroline Krafft; Hanan Nazier; Racha Ramadan; Atiyeh Vahidmanesh; Sami Zouari
  2. Climate Change, Gender, Decision-Making Power, and Migration into the Saiss Region of Morocco By Dina Najjar; Boubaker Dhehibi; Aden Aw-Hassan; Abderrahim Bentaibi
  3. Consumer Loan Response to Permanent Labor Income Shocks: Evidence from a Major Minimum Wage Increase By Guney, Ibrahim Ethem; Hacihasanoglu, Yavuz Selim; Tumen, Semih
  4. What cluster model for the competitiveness of Tunisian companies? By Bouhari, Mohamed; Khabbouchi, Rafika; Mathlouthi, Yamina
  5. Qatar; Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund.
  6. Qatar; 2016 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Qatar By International Monetary Fund.

  1. By: Ragui Assaad (University of Minnesota); Caroline Krafft; Hanan Nazier; Racha Ramadan; Atiyeh Vahidmanesh; Sami Zouari
    Abstract: Measures of consumption and poverty are critical metrics of the wellbeing of individuals, their households, communities, and countries. Collecting data on consumption and poverty is challenging and costly, and therefore these measures are only infrequently available in survey data. In this paper, we demonstrate how information commonly available in household surveys can be used to impute consumption, even recovering the original variance, which is crucial for assessments of poverty and inequality. Our application adds consumption estimates to the publicly available Labor Market Panel Surveys for Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia, which can act as a valuable resource for researchers interested in the intersection of inequality, poverty, and a host of labor market behaviors in the Middle East and North Africa.
    Date: 2017–05–25
  2. By: Dina Najjar (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas); Boubaker Dhehibi; Aden Aw-Hassan; Abderrahim Bentaibi
    Abstract: Studies on migration in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have so far focused on migration to urban areas (local cities and European countries). Little research has explored internal migration into rural areas. Yet in Morocco rural-rural migration is an important strategy for many who are escaping climate variability and unemployment in their hometowns to take advantage of labor opportunities in thriving agricultural enterprises. Gender remains largely missing from migration research in Morocco especially for migrant women. Gender differences are important to account for as men and women have diverse motives, strategies and experiences with migration, and thus require different interventions. In light of gender differences and climate-induced migration and investments in irrigation, this research follows up on the ground to understand the experiences of men and women laborer as the migration continues in three rural areas in the Saiss region (Morocco). These are chosen based on differences in socio-economic, gender norms, and biophysical dynamics to capture as diverse experiences as possible with labor work and migration as possible. These areas also represent both sending and receiving communities. Data was collected through a survey administered to 400 laborers (179 women and 221 men) employed in the intensified agricultural sector of Saiss in Morocco. Using gender analysis, logistic regression models framework and political ecology approach, our findings emphasize that men should be sensitized in their attainment of tertiary education on gender equality and the importance soliciting women’s participation in decision-making, particularly with regards to assets (house). For the economic advancement of women, there should be a sustained focus on their ownership and control over unalienable assets (such as housing). The same recommendation applies to the youth. Finally, we found that migrants were less likely to control houses that they owned probably due to a general lack of title deeds. We recommend formalizing their ownership of housing in the settlement areas.
    Date: 2017–01–06
  3. By: Guney, Ibrahim Ethem (Central Bank of Turkey); Hacihasanoglu, Yavuz Selim (Central Bank of Turkey); Tumen, Semih (Central Bank of Turkey)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of a substantial minimum wage increase, which became effective in January 2016, on consumer loans in Turkey. Using bank-level data and designing an original identification strategy, we ask whether the loans provided by banks with a historically high share of low-wage loan customers have increased relative to those provided by banks with a historically low share of low-wage loan customers after January 2016. Our results suggest that consumer loan flows have displayed a limited but statistically and economically meaningful increase following the minimum wage hike. This increase mostly comes from the increase in long-term general-purpose loans. Vehicle loans have also increased, while there is no change in housing loans. In the overall, the minimum wage hike has generated a moderate and transitory increase in the flow of consumer loans extended to low-wage earners in Turkey – perhaps due to delayed consumption effect. Consumption of durables, which can further increase household borrowing capacity through collateralized debt channel, has only slightly and temporarily increased. The underlying long-term trends in the stock of consumer loans have hardly changed.
    Keywords: consumer loans, labor income shocks, minimum wages, triple difference
    JEL: D14 E24 G21 J31
    Date: 2017–04
  4. By: Bouhari, Mohamed; Khabbouchi, Rafika; Mathlouthi, Yamina
    Abstract: This paper gives purpose to identify the factors of the constitution of "the Tunisian cluster" in an environment open to competition. It is a contribution to the debate on the importance of clusters for competitiveness of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to make more innovative and competitive regions and to promote strategically important sectors in technology. Approaches based on the knowledge economy grew by better integrating forms of proximity, organizational, institutional and geographical, (Torre and Rallet 2005) and relational (Boshma, 2005). An empirical study was conducted on a sample of Information and Communication Technologies ICTs’companies. The results show that the lack of attractiveness of ICT Tunisian companies to form clusters is not due to a lack of suitable infrastructure but to the absence of relations involved in a partnership approach or localized nature between higher education, research centers, industry training and organization, enabling to carry out scientific and technical projects.
    Keywords: Clusters, technology centers, geographical proximity, organized proximity
    JEL: R11 R12 R13
    Date: 2016–03
  5. By: International Monetary Fund.
    Abstract: Qatar: Selected Issues
    Keywords: Qatar;Middle East;
    Date: 2017–04–10
  6. By: International Monetary Fund.
    Abstract: With large financial wealth, Qatar is well positioned to weather lower hydrocarbon prices. Nonetheless, the substantial price decline and the on-going fiscal consolidation are dampening economic performance and the outlook.
    Keywords: Middle East;Qatar;
    Date: 2017–04–10

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