nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2018‒05‒21
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The Planning System and Housing Sector in Turkey By Elif Alkay; Craig Watkins
  2. Discerning causal relationship between operational cost and bank profit for commercial banks: Turkish evidence with ARDL approach By Unal, Huseyin; Masih, Mansur
  3. Non-contributory social protection through a child and equity lens in Algeria By International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth
  4. The social dimensions of Saudi Vision 2030: a paradigm shift By Amina Said Alsayyad; Abdel-Hameed Nawar
  5. The role of zakat in the provision of social protection: a comparison between Jordan, Palestine and Sudan By Anna Carolina Machado; Charlotte Bilo; Imane Helmy
  6. Towards redistributive social protection systems? Insights from Senegal and Morocco. By Sarah Vaes; Bénédicte Fonteneau; Jan Van Ongevalle
  7. Does Public Debt Matter For Economic Growth? Evidence from southern Mediterranean countries. By ouhibi, saoussen; hammami, sami
  8. Decomposition of urban-rural inequality in Mauritania By El Moctar LAGHLAL;

  1. By: Elif Alkay; Craig Watkins
    Abstract: There have been extensive rearrangement of the Turkish planning system in terms of both institutional restructuring and reform of planning laws between 2000-2014. Planning reforms have emerged a recentralized planning system that remarkably differs from the period of 1985-200, which adopted decentralization of planning authorities. New regulations basically provide the basis for government institutions to be more influential in urban development processes, and strengthen the power of the role of some municipalities in planning whilst defenestrating others. In this paper, the prospective impacts of the new planning system on housing development are discussed. The discussion of the new planning system from the housing development perspective is based on documentary analysis and semi-structured interviews. The interviewee sample includes two main groups: the first group involves planning authorities and the second group involves market actors in housing development sector. This system-wide discussion aims to reflect policy-makers, governmental decision-makers and market actors’ perspectives on the housing development views on the new planning system beyond and the opportunities and/or conflicts that arise.
    Keywords: Housing; Market; planning regime; planning regulation; Policy
    JEL: R3
    Date: 2017–07–01
  2. By: Unal, Huseyin; Masih, Mansur
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify the causality relationship between bank profits and operational expense for the commercial banks in Turkish banking sector. A robust time series technique, ARDL is applied by using the monthly data for the year between 2007 and 2017, which is collected from the website of Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency of Turkey. While Net Profits (PR) and Operational Expense (OE) are determined as focus variables, Total Asset (TA) and Liquidity (LQ) are chosen as control variables. The results indicate that there is long-term causality relationship between PR and OE. We found OE as an exogenous variable leading PR which is an endogenous variable. Operational expense as the most exogenous variable leads the bank profits in the long run. Findings suggest that efficient operational investments will provide more profitability. Therefore, investing in sales and marketing, new branches, advertisement, human forces, IT services which are called efficient operational cost is suggested for more profitability in the long-term.
    Keywords: Operational Expense, Bank Profit, Causality Relationship, ARDL
    JEL: C58 G21
    Date: 2017–12–27
  3. By: International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "Algeria is located in North Africa, on the Mediterranean coast. In 2016, around 33 per cent of the country's 40.6 million inhabitants were younger than 18 years, and 11.6 per cent were younger than 5. With a Human Development Index of 0.745, Algeria ranks in the 'high human development' category (83rd out of 188 countries). In 2011, 5.5 per cent of the population lived below the national poverty line. Poverty levels tended to be higher in urban areas (5.8 per cent) than in rural areas (4.8 per cent)". (...)
    Keywords: Non-contributory, social protection, child, equity, lens, Algeria
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Amina Said Alsayyad (IPC-IG); Abdel-Hameed Nawar (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "The decline in oil prices from the middle of 2014 until the end of 2016 caused a huge fall in Saudi Arabias financial resources. The oil revenues in the national budget decreased from USD277 billion in 2014 to USD163 billion in 2015 and USD141 billion in 2016. This precipitous decline required pressing reforms to maintain the governments ability to undertake public economic and social spending, including economic and social transfers, and being the employer of last resort. Since HRH King Salman took office in January 2015, a large number of legislative, regulatory and public policy changes have been launched. In April 2016, Vision 2030 was launched, followed by two executive programmes, the National Transformation Programme (NTP) 2020 and the Fiscal Balance Programme (FBP) 2020, which aimed to balance the budget by 2020. The state apparatus was restructured, including the integration of the portfolio of labour and social affairs into a new Ministry of Labour and Social Development. Earlier this year, 10 additional programmes were announced to achieve the vision by 2030". (...)
    Keywords: Social, dimensions, Saudi, Vision, 2030, paradigm, shift
    Date: 2017–08
  5. By: Anna Carolina Machado (IPC-IG); Charlotte Bilo (IPC-IG); Imane Helmy (IPC-IG)
    Abstract: "Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam and can be understood as a form of religious duty, purifying one's wealth and at the same time functioning as a means to redistribute wealth to those in need. In Arabic, zakat means, among others, growth and purity (Dean and Khan 1997). In Muslim-majority countries, it has a long tradition of providing income, goods for consumption and other basic services such as health care and education to poor and marginalised populations. A growing body of research has investigated the role of zakat in the provision of social protection?understood here as income and in-kind transfers with the aim of protecting vulnerable people against risks?and its importance as a poverty reduction mechanism (see Ali 2014; Hassan 2010; Hassanain and Saaid 2016; Ibrahim and Ghazali 2014). Although much of the criticism of zakat institutions evolves around their lack of coordination, efficiency and transparency (Johari, Ali, and Aziz 2015), zakat has several advantages when it comes to assisting poor people. In countries where the State provides limited social protection?due to ongoing conflicts, for example?zakat can play a crucial role in providing support to those in need". (...)
    Keywords: Role, zakat, provision, social protection, comparison, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan
    Date: 2018–05
  6. By: Sarah Vaes (HIVA, KU Leuven); Bénédicte Fonteneau (HIVA, KU Leuven); Jan Van Ongevalle (HIVA, KU Leuven)
    Abstract: Social protection has come to feature more and more prominently on international and national development agendas. This quest for social protection in developing countries raises on important question: how can social protection act as an instrument for redistribution of wealth at the national level? The redistributive potential of a social protection mechanism will determine to a great extent its sustainability, ownership and impact on inequality, as well as its contribution to financing development. Assessing and enhancing this redistributive potential requires a multi-dimensional analysis and approach, encompassing political, technical, institutional and financial considerations.
    Date: 2017–04
  7. By: ouhibi, saoussen; hammami, sami
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine the impact of public debt on economic growth using the dynamic panel data for a 9 southern Mediterranean countries over the period 1990-2015. Our empirical results showed that public debt is negatively and significantly related to economic growth. They also indicate that inflation, investment and total reserves are the main factors of economic growth in the southern Mediterranean countries.
    Keywords: public debt, economic growth, GMM.
    JEL: H6 O1
    Date: 2018–03–14
  8. By: El Moctar LAGHLAL;
    Date: 2018

This nep-ara issue is ©2018 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.