nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2017‒10‒01
eleven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The contribution of education to economic growth: Empirical analysis in the Middle East and North Africa region By Sbaouelgi, Jihène
  2. Threshold effects of Budgetary Policy and Economic Growth in Morocco By Atman Dkhissi; Mohamed Khariss
  3. Inequality and Growth in Tunisia: Empirical evidence on the role of macroeconomic factors By Mbazia, Nadia
  4. Long Memory in Turkish Unemployment Rates By Luis A. Gil-Alana; Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir; Aysit Tansel
  6. Informality, Public Employment and Employment Protection in Developing Countries By Yassin, Shaimaa; Langot, François
  7. "Analyzing Wage Differentials by Fields of Study: Evidence from Turkey" By Antonio Di Paolo; Aysit Tansel
  8. Are the Religiously Observant Discriminated Against in the Rental Housing Market? Experimental Evidence from Israel By Sansani, Shahar
  9. Chocs budgétaires et dynamique économique en Tunisie sous une approche de type VAR Structurel By Slimani, Slah
  10. Diffusion technologique et inégalités numériques : Une exploration de la fracture numérique dans l'espace MENA By Najeh Aissaoui; Lobna Ben Hassen
  11. Türkiye İhracatının Ölüm-Kalım Meselesi By Pişkin, Erhan

  1. By: Sbaouelgi, Jihène
    Abstract: In this paper we will focus on education. Indeed, most theoretical analyzes have confirmed that human capital has a positive and significant effect on growth. The paper aims to examine in time series the causality between human capital and growth in MENA’s region. For this, we carry out our empirical investigation by employing various human capital measures suggested in the literature. The results show that cointegration between education and economic growth exists only in Tunisia, Turkey, Morocco, Iran and Israel. However, in the other countries the causality does not exist because they don’t have effective means to improve their growth.
    Keywords: education; economic growth; causality and cointegration
    JEL: O3 O4
    Date: 2017–09–21
  2. By: Atman Dkhissi (Université Mohamed V - Souissi); Mohamed Khariss (Université Mohamed V - Souissi)
    Abstract: The use of threshold effects in the implementation of budgetary policy, enroll in a logic of economic and social policies evaluation. The presence of threshold effects suggests the coexistence of different budget regimes conditional on the public debt. The budgetary discipline imposed to the Moroccan public finances since the 80s, may be counterproductive and harmful to the Moroccan economic growth. The objective is not to propose optimal debt and deficit levels, but to show the importance of establishing a flexible budgetary rule that takes into account the economic and social realities of the Moroccan economy. Threshold effects suppose the non-linearity in terms of budgetary effort and the lack of the "one best way" in the setting budgetary policy.
    Abstract: Le recours aux effets de seuil dans la mise en place de la politique budgétaire, s'inscrit dans une logique d'évaluation des politiques économiques et sociales. La présence d'effets de seuil suggère la coexistence de différents régimes budgétaires conditionnels à l'endettement public. La discipline budgétaire imposée aux finances publiques marocaines depuis les années 80, risque d'être contreproductive et nuisible à la croissance économique. L'objectif n'est pas de proposer des taux d'endettement et de déficit budgétaire optimaux, mais de montrer l'importance de la mise en place d'une règle budgétaire flexible qui prend en considération les réalités économiques et sociales de l'économie marocaine. Les effets de seuil supposent la non-linéarité en matière de politique budgétaire et l'absence du « one best way » concernant la fixation de son orientation budgétaire. Mots-clés : Politique budgétaire, Soutenabilité de la dette publique, Effets de seuil, Discipline budgétaire, Dynamique économique, Déficit budgétaire, règle budgétaire, Séries chronologiques.
    Keywords: Budgetary deficit., Economic dynamic,Budgetary Policy, Sustainability of public debt, Threshold effects, Budgetary discipline
    Date: 2015–10–23
  3. By: Mbazia, Nadia
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between income inequality, economic growth and the main macroeconomic factors in Tunisia. We investigate two effects: the effect of inequality on growth, and particularly, the effect of growth on inequality. Also, attention has been focused on the role of the monetary policy, via introducing money supply as an independent variable, in affecting inequality and growth. Our empirical study is based on a series of annual data from 1975 to 2015 using the Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (DOLS) method in order to estimate the cointegrating equations. The findings of the paper show that income inequality increase economic growth in Tunisia. Other factors having significant positive effect on economic growth include money supply and life expectancy at birth. However, inflation rate, primary education and unemployment have statistically significant and negative effect on economic growth. On the other hand, the results indicate that money supply, inflation rate, unemployment and savings are positively and significantly related to income inequality, whereas, life expectancy at birth and gross fixed capital formation decrease inequality in Tunisia. The policy implications of these results are discussed.
    Keywords: Income Inequality; Economic Growth; Tunisia, Money Supply; Education; Unemployment; Health
    JEL: C32 E52 I14 I24 O2
    Date: 2017–09–04
  4. By: Luis A. Gil-Alana (Faculty of Economics and ICS, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain); Zeynel Abidin Ozdemir (Department of Economics, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey and Economic Research Forum (ERF), Cairo, Egypt); Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey and Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany and Economic Research Forum (ERF), Cairo, Egypt)
    Abstract: In this paper we have examined the unemployment rate series in Turkey by using long memory models and in particular employing fractionally integrated techniques. Our results suggest that unemployment in Turkey is highly persistent, with orders of integration equal to or higher than 1 in most cases. This implies lack of mean reversion and permanence of the shocks. We found evidence in favor of mean reversion in the case of female unemployment and this happens for all the groups of non-agricultural, rural, urban and youth unemployment series. The possibility of non-linearities are observed only in the case of female unemployment and the degree of persistence is higher in the cases of female and youth unemployment series. Important policy implications emerge from our empirical results. Labor and macroeconomic policies will most likely have long lasting effects on the unemployment rates.
    Keywords: Unemployment, hysteresis, NAIRU, fractional integration, Turkey
    JEL: C22 E24
    Date: 2017–09
  5. By: Mohammed Amine Balambo (CRET-LOG - Centre de Recherche sur le Transport et la Logistique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Jamal Elbaz (Ecole Supérieure de Technologie d'Agadir - Université Ibn Zohr (MOROCCO))
    Abstract: Plusieurs recherches constatent le contrôle des Amazighs du commerce de détail au Maghreb. Au Maroc, les Souassa sont réputés maitriser et contrôler le canal de distribution traditionnel. Cet article a pour objectif de comprendre la nature et les bases de développement de la confiance dans les réseaux sociaux liés à ce canal de distribution traditionnel. Il vise ainsi à démontrer que la nature de la confiance développée obéît aux caractéristiques culturelles du réseau dans lequel les acteurs sont encastrés. Pour étudier le contexte du canal de distribution traditionnel au Maroc, cet article se fondera sur la théorie de l’échange social, celle de l’encastrement dans les réseaux sociaux, et la théorie de la culture. En adoptant une approche exploratoire, nous nous baserons sur des entretiens semi-directifs avec guide d’entretien, qui feront l’objet d’une analyse thématique de contenu.
    Keywords: Réseau social, canal de distribution, grossistes, détaillants, confiance.
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Yassin, Shaimaa (University of Lausanne); Langot, François (University of Le Mans)
    Abstract: This paper proposes an equilibrium matching model for developing countries' labor markets where the interaction between public, formal private and informal private sectors are taken into account. Theoretical analysis shows that gains from reforms aiming at liberalizing formal labor markets can be annulled by shifts in the public sector employment and wage policies. Since the public sector accounts for a substantial share of employment in developing countries, this approach is crucial to understand the main labor market outcomes of such economies. Wages offered by the public sector increase the outside option value of the workers during the bargaining processes in the formal and informal sectors. It becomes more profitable for workers to search on-the-job, in order to move to these more attractive and more stable types of jobs. The public sector therefore acts as an additional tax for the formal private firms. Using data on workers' flows from Egypt, we show empirically and theoretically that the liberalization of labor markets plays against informal employment by increasing the profitability, and hence job creations, of formal jobs. The latter effect is however dampened or even sometimes nullified by the increase of the offered wages in the public sector observed at the same time.
    Keywords: job search, informality, public sector, Egypt, unemployment, wages, policy interventions
    JEL: E24 E26 J60 J64 O17
    Date: 2017–09
  7. By: Antonio Di Paolo (Department of Econometrics, University of Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 696; 08034 Barcelona,Spain.); Aysit Tansel (Department of Economics Middle East, Technical University, 06800 Ankara,Turkey.)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the drivers of wage differences among college graduates who hold a degree in a different field of study. We focus on Turkey, an emerging country that is characterized by a sustained expansion of higher education. We estimate conditional wage gaps by field of study using OLS regressions. Average differentials are subsequently decomposed into the contribution of observable characteristics (endowment) and unobservable characteristics (returns). To shed light on distributional wage disparities by field of study, we provide estimates along the unconditional wage distribution by means of RIF-Regressions. Finally, we also decompose the contribution of explained and unexplained factors in accounting for wage gaps along the whole distribution. As such, this is the first work providing evidence on distributional wage differences by college major for a developing country. The results indicate the existence of important wage differences by field of study, which are partly accounted by differences in observable characteristics (especially occupation and, to a lesser extent, employment sector). These pay gaps are also heterogeneous over the unconditional distribution of wages, as is the share of wage differentials that can be attributed to differences in observable characteristics across workers with degrees in different fields of study.
    Keywords: Fields of Study, Wage Differentials, Decomposition, Unconditional Wage Distribution, Turkey. JEL classification: J31, J24, I23, I26.
    Date: 2017–09
  8. By: Sansani, Shahar
    Abstract: In this paper, I test for discrimination against the religiously observant in the Israeli rental housing market. I perform a correspondence study where half of the requests have a religious signal (‘basad’ written at the top of the request), while the other half do not. Because the requests are identical otherwise, differences in call-back rates represent the causal effect of writing ‘basad’ at the top of the request. I find that requests with a religious signal receive 12 percent less responses than requests with no such signal, with this differential being greater in cities with more left-leaning voters and when the contact person is female. For comparison, requests signaling individuals from the Former Soviet Union receive about the same percentage of call-backs as religious requests, while requests signaling an Arab individual receive significantly fewer call-backs than the other groups.
    Keywords: Discrimination; religiosity; housing; correspondence study
    JEL: C93 J15 Z12
    Date: 2017–09–10
  9. By: Slimani, Slah
    Abstract: To evaluate the effectiveness of fiscal policy in Tunisia, we use the SVAR approach based on the work of Blanchard and Perotti (2002). Our paper shows the short-term macroeconomic efficiency of a structural increase in budgetary expenditure in Tunisia with a budget multiplier close to 2.7%, in line with the Keynesians models. However, the estimated effect of a structural increase in tax revenues on activity is non-Keynesian (increase in the level of economic activity). This is explained by the presence of the voracity effect in the case of the Tunisian economy. Thus, a structural shock in tax revenues leads to a rapid and immediate adjustment of budgetary expenditure, which neutralizes the recessionary effect of the tax increase on economic activity in Tunisia.
    Keywords: Politique budgétaire, SVAR, Chocs,dynamique économique, efficacité
    JEL: E6 H3 H5
    Date: 2017–09–25
  10. By: Najeh Aissaoui (Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Sfax - FSEGS, Compétitivité, décision commerciale et Internationalisation - Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Sfax); Lobna Ben Hassen (Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Sfax - FSEGS, Compétitivité, décision commerciale et Internationalisation - Faculté des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion de Sfax)
    Abstract: Bien que la thèse de la fracture numérique ait fait couler beaucoup d’encre, peu de travaux sont consacrés à la région MENA. Deux approches différentes sont attachées à l’étude de la fracture numérique : l’une s’occupe de problèmes de mesure et l’autre s’intéresse à ses déterminants. En combinant les deux, notre contribution consiste à explorer la fracture numérique dans 21 pays de la région MENA durant la période 2000-2012. Cette étude est la première, à notre connaissance, qui tente -à la foisd’analyser, de quantifier et de détecter les déterminants de la fracture numérique dans la région MENA et ce, en utilisant des indicateurs pertinents, mis au point, en suivant la même méthodologie que celle retenue par l’Union Internationale de Télécommunication « l’UIT » (2009) et l’Orbicom2 (2003). Les principaux résultats montrent, d’abord, l’existence de clivages importants en termes de profils numériques au sein de la région, notamment entre Israël, Malte, certains pays du Golfe et les autres pays de la région. Nous détectons, ensuite, l’existence de trois sous fractures numériques : la première est liée à l’âge, la seconde est liée au genre et la troisième est liée à la densité de population (fracture rurale-urbaine). Puis, nous démontrons que favoriser la concurrence par les infrastructures sur le marché de téléphonie mobile et assouplir les modes de pilotages et de régulation sont primordiaux dans la réduction du gap numérique qui sépare les pays de la région MENA de leur partenaire européen. Enfin, une série de pistes de réflexions et de recommandations sont avancées afin de pouvoir remédier aux lacunes des pratiques gouvernementales relatives aux politiques de télécommunications et aux plans d’action contre la fracture numérique.
    Keywords: diffusion technologique, indicateur numérique synthétique.,fracture numérique, TIC, région MENA
    Date: 2016
  11. By: Pişkin, Erhan
    Abstract: The standard theory of international trade almost implies that trade patterns are highly static and persistent. Therefore, the issue of trade duration is generally ignored in these standard trade models. The literature on trade duration has been popular since the seminal works by Besedes and Prusa (2006a-b). These papers reveal that trade relationships are often very short-lived contrary to previously thoughts. In line with this unexpected result, this study provides a thorough statistical description and regression analysis of the duration of Turkish exports. The aim of this study two-fold. Firstly, it attempts to identify the duration of Turkish exports by performing a highly detailed analysis of descriptive statistics and the Kaplan-Meier method. Secondly, this study explores the factors that affect on the hazard rates of export flows. To this end, two different regression analysis are performed by using Cox proportional hazard model and discrete-time Probit, Logit and Cloglog hazard models. The detailed trade data reported by CEPII-BACI are employed to investigate Turkey's export to 245 partners from 1998 to 2013 according to the 6-digit Harmonized system. Results obtained from the analysis of descriptive statistics suggest that the duration of Turkish exports is very short-lived. The median and mean duration of Turkish exports are merely one year and 3,41, respectively. 51% of all trade spells, however, cease during the first year. The Kaplan-Meier estimates of survival functions show that all survival curves are downward sloping with decreasing rate and about 42% of export relationships is likely to fail in the first year. The results of regression analysis indicate that discrete-time Logit hazard model is more suitable hazard model for estimation. Empirical evidences of discrete-time Logit hazard model demonstrate that common language, common border, importer GDP, relative real exchange rate, initial export value, lagged duration, total export value, number of export products and number of export markets variables have a strong negative impact on the hazard rates of export flows. Whereas distance, difference in GDP per capita and EU-27 variables have a positive effect on the hazard rates of export flows.
    Keywords: Survival Analysis, Trade Duration, Kaplan-Meier Survival Analysis, Continuous-time Hazard Models, Discrete-time Hazard Models
    JEL: F1 F14
    Date: 2017–08–24

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