nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
four papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. How incentives matter ? An illustration from the Targeted Subsidies reform in Iran By Stephane Gauthier; Taraneh Tabatabai
  2. Determinants of technology catch-up in MENA and SSA countries: a panel data analysis By Francisco Serranito
  3. An Analysis of the Economic Determinants of Food Security in North Africa By Elena Kopnova; Lilia Rodionova

  1. By: Stephane Gauthier (PSE - Paris School of Economics); Taraneh Tabatabai (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: We use the Targeted Subsidies Reform implemented in Iran in 2011 to recover empirically the social valuations of Iranian households relying on the assumption of optimal taxes. Unlike the existing literature, we do not restrict attention to a specific pattern for the incentive constraints associated with nonlinear income taxation. Instead we recover the Lagrange multipliers corresponding to these constraints. We find evidence of a significant redistribution toward the bottom three deciles of the income distribution before the reform. This redistribution is however limited by an incentive constraint where the rich envy the social treatment of the poor. At the outcome of the reform incentives no longer matter and the social welfare function of the government of Iran displays a Benthamite-like form.
    Keywords: social valuations,Iran,Targeted Subsidies,Principal-agent,incentive constraints,AIDS
    Date: 2017–06–20
  2. By: Francisco Serranito (Centre d'Economie de l'Université de Paris Nord (CEPN))
    Abstract: This paper aims at testing the determinants of TFP in the case of a panel of African and Middle-East countries for the period 1970-2010. We get two main results. Firstly, the degree of openness of a country is the only variables that have a positive and robust effect on the TFP growth. Secondly, convergence is not an automatic phenomenon for all countries. The possibility of a convergence effect depends on the ability of countries to adopt foreign technology. The absorptive capacity depends on the stock of human capital and the degree of financial market development.
    Keywords: Technology gap, Catching-up, Dynamic Panel Data, GMM estimation, Middle-East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan African countries
    JEL: I2 O1 O3 O4
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Elena Kopnova (National Research University Higher School of Economics); Lilia Rodionova (National Research University Higher School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the issue of food security as the basis for stable economic development using the example of North Africa. A statistical analysis of economic and financial factors in relation to the determinants of food security was carried out using a panel cointegrating model based on official international statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Bank for 1991-2014. According to the results, population growth and the intensification of agricultural production, foreign trade and foreign direct investment play a crucial role in food security. The study revealed the relationship between food security and the development of the banking and financial systems in the region, and their degree of globalization. The strategy of a long-term investment policy pursued by the World Bank and FAO to combat hunger and poverty was justified. The methodology proposed can be used to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of policies to maintain food security in the regions of Arfica.
    Keywords: food security, financial institutions, financial markets, panel cointegration, time series analysis, economic indicators, statistical data, North Africa
    JEL: F52 I38 R11
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Daudi Mika Mungure
    Abstract: This paper investigated the major challenges that encounter science and mathematics student teachers during the implementation of teaching practice exercise in Morogoro Municipality. Morogoro Teachers college, Lupanga practicing school and Morogoro secondary school were used in the data collection. Despite the experiences that science and mathematics student teachers enrich during teaching practice exercise, they also encounter some challenges which in one way or another can hamper their ability to derive maximum benefit in becoming effective and competent science and mathematics teachers through teaching practice exercise.The study employed qualitative approach with a case study design where Key informant interview, observation focus group discussion and documentary review were the main methods of data collection. The 34 respondents were purposively involved in data collection. Content analysis was used to analyze data thematically. The major challenges revealed by the study were the lack of raking of practicing schools and improper allocation of science and mathematics student teachers, improper time frame to start teaching practice, inadequate funds, lack of teaching and learning resources, lack of cooperation and support as well as lack of the involvement in extra co-curricular activities. The researcher recommend the Ministry of education, teachers’ colleges and practicing secondary schools to be aware of the challenges that hamper science and mathematics student teachers to achieve their desired outcome that is to become effective and competent science and mathematics teachers through teaching practice exercise. Key Words: Teaching Practice, Challenges, Implementation, Science and Mathematics Student Teachers, Teachers’ Colleges, Practicing Schools. Policy
    Date: 2017–06

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