nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2018‒05‒14
fifteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Are consumers leaning towards hedonic, symbolic or functional attributes ? Brand benefits scale development and validation in emerging markets: case of Tunisia By Jérôme Lacoeuilhe; Selima Ben; Hager Turki; Samy Belaid
  2. Social protection after the Arab Spring By Rafael Guerreiro Osorio; Fábio Veras Soares
  3. Turkey; 2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Turkey By International Monetary Fund
  4. The role of political patronage on risk-taking behavior of banks in Middle East and North Africa region By Rihem Braham; Lotfi Belkacem; Christian De Peretti
  5. Factors Effecting the Locations of Public and Private Hospitals in Turkey By Kerem Yavuz Arslanli; Vedia Dokmeci
  6. Water Content in Trade: A Regional Analysis for Morocco By Eduardo Amaral Haddad; Fatima Ezzahra Mengoub; Vinicius A. Vale
  7. The Determinants of Price Frequency in Turkey By Yılmaz, Engin; Süslü, Bora
  8. Does Democracy Increase Bilateral Trade in MENA Region? By Roesmara Donna, Duddy; Widodo, Tri; Adiningsih, Sri
  9. Investigating UAE Residential valuation systems: results and recommendations By Ebraheim Ali Lahbash; Simon Huston; Ali Parsa
  10. Israel; Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  11. Inflation and the Erosion of the Poverty Reduction Impact of Iran's Universal Cash Transfer By Ali Enami; Nora Lustig
  12. The Impact of Product Recalls on the Secondary Market:Evidence from Dieselgate By Ater, Itai; Yosef, Nir
  13. Israel; 2018 Article IV Consultation-Press Release and Staff Report By International Monetary Fund
  14. War economy, governance and security in Syria’s opposition-controlled areas By Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Vesna; Turkmani, Rim
  15. Vergi ve Anayasal Düzenlemelerin Politik Krizler Çağında Önemi: 1903–1909 Döneminde Osmanlı İmparatorluğu ve Paris Borsası By Avni önder Hanedar; Mustafa Çalışkan

  1. By: Jérôme Lacoeuilhe (IRG - Institut de Recherche en Gestion - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12); Selima Ben (Nova Southeastern University); Hager Turki (IHEC - Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales [Carthage] - Université de Carthage); Samy Belaid
    Abstract: Branding is an important part of consumer decision making whether domestically or internationally. Brand choices are the reflection of consumers’ motivations. Given the importance of branding to international marketers, its role has been studied in different markets developed as well as developing economies. However, most of the studies have focused on developed economies without taking into consideration the value of branding in less developed economies. The North African Market is a market that has been neglected in such research. This study seeks to understand brands benefits in the Tunisian market. The purpose of this study is to develop a psychometric scale measuring brand benefits in Tunisia. The scale development is based on Churchill’s paradigm. Results show that brand benefits converge towards a two-factor structure consisting in a functional and symbolic factor. Since the choice of a brand reflects the motivations an individual seeks to satisfy through its possession, marketing managers could use such a scale to measure the benefits associated with the brands they commercialize in a north-african environment.
    Abstract: Que ce soit au plan national ou international, les marques jouent un rôle important dans le processus de choix du consommateur. Les choix de marques reflètent les bénéfices du consommateur. Vu l’importance que revêt la marque pour les praticiens du marketing au plan international, son rôle a été étudié tant dans les économies développées que dans celles en développement. Cependant, la plupart des études se sont focalisées sur les économies développées sans englober l’intérêt de la marque dans les pays les moins développés. Le marché nord-africain fait partie des marchés laissés à l’écart par ces recherches. La présente étude vise à appréhender les bénéfices rattachés aux marques sur le marché tunisien. Le but de cette étude consiste à développer une échelle psychométrique de mesure des bénéfices rattachés aux marques en Tunisie. Le développement de cette échelle s’appuie sur le paradigme de Churchill. Les résultats montrent que les bénéfices reliés aux marques convergent vers une structure à deux facteurs – les facteurs fonctionnels et symboliques. Dans la mesure où le choix d’une marque reflète les aspirations qu’une personne cherche à satisfaire au travers de sa possession, les gestionnaires en marketing pourraient utiliser cette échelle pour mesurer les bénéfices associés aux marques qu’ils commercialisent dans un contexte nord-africain.
    Keywords: Utilitaire ,Échelle ,Fonctionnel ,Symbolique ,Marque ,Bénéfices ,Affectif ,Expérientiel ,Économies
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Rafael Guerreiro Osorio (IPC-IG); Fábio Veras Soares (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "When countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) achieved their independence, formal social protection schemes established by former colonial powers were, to varying degrees, assimilated or mimicked by the State, particularly pension systems for government and formal-sector workers. These systems, however, have proven to be highly subsidised and regressive in terms of income distribution in the face of large segments of the population engaged in the informal sector (or rural work), who have remained excluded from formal social protection unless eligible for some social assistance programmes, mostly with lower coverage and benefits. In fact, a significant share of the social expenditure with a social protection function in most of these countries was assigned to universal or quasi-universal subsidies of fuel and staple foods". (...)
    Keywords: Social protection, Arab Spring
    Date: 2017–12
  3. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Growth rebounded sharply in 2017, helped by strong policy stimulus in the wake of the 2016 post-coup attempt slump and by favorable external conditions. Although expansionary policies were initially warranted, they are no longer appropriate as the economy is showing clear signs of overheating. Monetary policy appears too loose and its credibility is low; and on- and off-budget fiscal policies (including credit guarantee schemes and PPP activities) are expansionary and risk undermining Turkey’s hard-earned fiscal credibility. As a result, the economy faces internal and external imbalances: a positive output gap, inflation well above target, and a current account deficit of more than 5 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, political uncertainty and regional instability remain elevated, and the integration of the many refugees poses challenges.
    Date: 2018–04–30
  4. By: Rihem Braham (LAREMFIQ - Laboratory Research for Economy, Management and Quantitative Finance - Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Université de Sousse), SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon); Lotfi Belkacem (LAREMFIQ - Laboratory Research for Economy, Management and Quantitative Finance - Institut des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (Université de Sousse)); Christian De Peretti (SAF - Laboratoire de Sciences Actuarielle et Financière - UCBL - Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 - Université de Lyon, LEO - Laboratoire d'économie d'Orleans - UO - Université d'Orléans - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: In the view of the growing interest in the role of political patronage in banking, several issues are highlighted with regards to performance and behavior of politically connected banks that may differ from their non-connected peers. In this article, the effect of political patronage on bank risk taking is examined by considering the ratio of loan loss reserves as measure of credit risk for a sample of 32 banks in some Middle Eastern and North African MENA countries. In general, we find that the presence of political patronage impact significantly bank risk, both directly and indirectly, consistent with our hypothesis that politically backed banks tend to exploit the moral hazard which, will cause them behave less prudently.
    Keywords: political patronage,banks,risk taking,moral hazard,MENA
    Date: 2018–04–10
  5. By: Kerem Yavuz Arslanli; Vedia Dokmeci
    Abstract: Health is the basic condition of economic growth and the investment on health facilities should be parallel to other investments.. In general, the distribution of those facilities will encourage balanced economic prosperity. After 1990’s privatization of health facilities had started but very little research done about factors affecting the outcome. In this paper the distribution of public and private health facilities are investigated with respect to, socio-demographic, economic and education levels of provinces. Distribution of Public and Private Hospital beds with respect to province population throughout time is analyzed. Public hospitals are generally distributed with balanced population except some southeast and east Anatolian provinces. Private hospitals are five times less the volume of public hospitals and 15 provinces have no private hospitals. Most of the private hospitals are located in a few higher income provinces and rest is distributed by population. Regression model the number of hospital beds are taken as dependent variable and population of provinces, income and education level are taken as independent variables. According to analysis, public hospitals are affected by population and education levels. For private hospitals only population is found to be effecting the distribution. So, in parallel to health facilities, distribution of education and job opportunities should be considered throughout Turkey.
    Keywords: Hospitals; Privatization; Spatial Distribution; Turkey
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  6. By: Eduardo Amaral Haddad; Fatima Ezzahra Mengoub; Vinicius A. Vale
    Abstract: This paper reports the results of an application using an interregional input-output matrix for Morocco together with regional information on water consumption by sectors. We develop a trade-based index that reveals the relative water use intensities associated with specific interregional and international trade flows. We estimate, for each flow associated with each origin-destination pair, measures of trade in value added and trade in water that are further used to calculate our index. We add to the existing literature on virtual water flows by encompassing the subnational perspective in the case study of a country that shows a “climate divide”: while a great part of the southern territory is located in the Sahara Desert, with serious water constraints, the northern part is relatively more privileged with access to this natural resource. Furthermore, we compare that Trade-Based Index of Water Intensity to similar metrics related to the use of other natural resources.
    Date: 2018–04
  7. By: Yılmaz, Engin; Süslü, Bora
    Abstract: The effect of monetary and fiscal policy on the output depends on the frequency of price changes. When the prices change infrequently or prices change slowly, monetary and fiscal policy have a real effects on the output. Developed countries generally have a rigid prices but developing countries have a relatively flexible prices. This difference is originated from the reality that the developing countries have higher average inflation than the developed countries. Economic literature focuses on the micro reasons of the frequency of price changes, on the other hand, the inflation is seen the main factor which affects the frequency of price changes in the macro perspective. This study holds down the assumption that the frequency of price changes is a function of the inflation rate in the macro perspective. In addition to this, it is also focused on the direct relationships between the frequency of price changes and the macro variables which affect the inflation rate. It is revealed the effect of macro factors on the frequency of price changes in this work. It is concluded that the determinants of the frequency of price changes in the macro perspective in Turkey are the expected inflation and the exchange rate rather than output gap. It can be said that firms’ price frequency behavior directly depends on cost push factors in Turkey.
    Keywords: Price Frequency, Price Frequency Calculation, Price Rigidity
    JEL: E30 E31
    Date: 2018–04–20
  8. By: Roesmara Donna, Duddy; Widodo, Tri; Adiningsih, Sri
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the effects of democracy to the trade of countries in MENA Regions. The Gravity Model used to test the effects of democracy on trade. Estimation is done with several models, that is FE, RE, MLE, and PPML. From this estimation can be detected endogenity problem that is caused by simultaneity between export and democracy. The FE model with the infant mortality rate as instrumental variable was chosen to address the problem. After controlling endogenity, it can be concluded that democracy positively affects (3-4 per cent) of trade in MENA Regions, especially democracy in partner countries.
    Keywords: trade, export, democracy, Gravity Model, MENA.
    JEL: F14 F17
    Date: 2018–01–05
  9. By: Ebraheim Ali Lahbash; Simon Huston; Ali Parsa
    Abstract: To manage development pressures, smart cities need reliable information systems. In turbulent times, a robust valuation system can help to regulate transactions and guide property investment. Reliable valuations are particularly important for Gulf cities like Dubai whose property and capital markets absorb regional oil and global liquidity. The transformation of the Emirate from a fishing village to a global trade, tourism, financial and logistics hub stimulated property markets. Generally, as a market matures, investors downplay speculative bets, valuations standards tighten and players undertake more systematic project quality evaluations. The research investigated the UAE residential valuation system (‘RVS’) based on valuation output reasonableness, stakeholder information transparency, administrative capability, end-user trust and valuation standards salience. Mixed methods evidence involved embedded observations, transactions analysis, expert interviews and confirmatory discussions. Initial results suggest that key UAE residential valuation system improvements should focus on information dissemination, institutional capabilities and dissemination of valuation standards.
    Keywords: capabilities; Information; Residential valuation system; Trust; Valuation Standards
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  10. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Selected Issues
    Date: 2018–05–01
  11. By: Ali Enami (CEQ Institute); Nora Lustig (CEQ Institute)
    Abstract: In December 2010, Iran replaced its energy and bread subsidies with an unconditional and universal cash transfer (UCT). In the short-run, this shift away from generalized subsidies had a significant effect on poverty. Studies show that the direct effect of the reform was a reduction in the headcount ratio from 22.5% to 10.6%. However, since the introduction of the reform, inflation has severely eroded the real value of the transfer because adjustments to its nominal value have been minimal in comparison. We estimate that after five years, during which time there was a cumulative 136.5% increase in prices (since 2011/2012 or 1390 in the Iranian calendar), the real value of the transfer was cut nearly in half. As a result of this cut, the poverty reducing effect of the transfer declined by about 40%, which translates into roughly a 5 percentage point increase in the headcount ratio. We find that this deleterious consequence of inflation is much higher in rural areas where the contribution of the transfer to the reduction in the incidence of poverty declines from 21.9 to 11.0 percentage points over the course of these five years. The only way for the UCT to recover the poverty reducing results observed at the beginning, without increasing the budget, is by making it a more targeted program focused on the poorest 40% of the population.
    Keywords: Inflation, incidence analysis, universal cash transfer, poverty, Iran
    JEL: D31 D63 H22 I32 I38
    Date: 2018–04
  12. By: Ater, Itai; Yosef, Nir
    Abstract: We examine the effects of Volkswagen's emissions scandal (`Dieselgate`) on the secondary car market in Israel. Using administrative data on all car transactions in Israel, we measure the scandal's effect on the number and the composition of transactions involving used vehicles made by the Volkswagen Group. We also use data from the leading classified ad website and measure the effect of the scandal on the resale price of used Volkswagen vehicles. According to our findings, the Volkswagen emissions scandal had a statistically significant negative effect on the number of transactions involving vehicles made by Volkswagen (nearly -18.0%) and on their resale price (nearly -6.0%). We also find that the reduction in the number of transactions was driven mostly by private sellers and that non-private sellers barely shied away from the market. We discuss potential explanations for these findings.
    Keywords: Durable goods; Product recall; Secondary market; Vehicles
    JEL: D12 D80 L14 L62
    Date: 2018–04
  13. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Israel’s economy is growing well with inflation remaining low and the housing market cooling. Growth of about 3½ percent in 2017 helped bring unemployment below four percent in early 2018, supporting robust wage rises averaging 3¼ percent. Yet, partly owing to the appreciation of the shekel, inflation remained below the 1–3 percent target range. House price increases slowed to below two percent as proposed tax measures deterred investor interest. Prospects for the next few years are for growth to remain around 3½ percent with inflation rising gradually.
    Date: 2018–05–01
  14. By: Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Vesna; Turkmani, Rim
    Abstract: This paper explores links between the war economy and civilian security by using evidence from the three opposition-held areas in Syria. The study of Eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Atareb shows how different type of behavior by non-state armed groups engaged in criminal war economy, shaped by the broader war economy conditions, impacts on the ability of the local populations to address their security predicaments. Our findings will challenge the assumption prevalent in the scholarship on the war economy that civilian security is unequivocally undermined by insurgents’ criminal war economy dealings. We show that in some local contexts a diverse range of economic choices and actors provide the local population with more opportunities to develop coping strategies by engaging in different parts of the war economy.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2018–04–06
  15. By: Avni önder Hanedar (Sakarya University, Faculty of Political Sciences); Mustafa Çalışkan (Sakarya University, Faculty of Political Sciences)
    Abstract: Çalışma, 1903 ve 1909 döneminde Osmanlı İmparatorluğu’nu etkisi altında bırakan idari ve mali değişimlerin etkin sonuçlar yaratıp yaratmadığını değerlendirme konusu yapmaktadır. Dönem içerisinde bütçe açıklarını kapatmak ve anayasal sistemi tesis etmek için uygulanan kişisel vergi düzenlemesi ve İkinci Meşrutiyet bulunmaktadır. Çalışma, 1903–1909 yılları arasında Paris Borsası’nda işlem gören Osmanlı Devleti'nin standart borçlanma aracı olan Konsolide Borç Tahvili günlük fiyat verilerini kullanmaktadır. Sonuçlar, Anayasal sistemin 1908 yılında tekrar tesis edilmesinin yatırımcılar açısından güven tazeleyici bir önlem olarak algılandığını göstermektedir. Ayrıca, yatırımcılarca yerel politik gerilimlere göre Rus-Japon Savaşı gibi uluslar arası sorunların daha fazla önemsendiği bulunmuştur.
    Date: 2018

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