nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2018‒09‒03
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Twins, Family Size, and Female Labor Force Participation in Iran By Majbouri, Mahdi
  2. Exploitation and the Decision to Migrate: The Role of Abuse and Unfavorable Working Conditions in Filipina Domestic Workers' Desire to Return Abroad By Naufal, George S; Malit, Jr., Froilan T.
  3. The Impact of Government Spending on GDP in a Remitting Country By Al-Abri, Almukhtar; Genc, Ismail H.; Naufal, George S
  4. Price opinion data in subsidized economies: Empirical evidence from Iraq By Abuelhaj, Tareq; Gassmann, Franziska; O'Donoghue, Cathal
  5. Türkiye'de Faizsiz Bankacılık Prensiplerine Uygun Teverruk Pazarı: Ürün İhtisas Borsası By Kazancı, Fatih

  1. By: Majbouri, Mahdi (Babson College)
    Abstract: Despite the remarkable increase in women's education levels and the rapid fall of their fertility rate in Iran, female labor force participation (FLFP) has remained low. Using the instrumental variable method, this paper estimates the causal impact of number of children on mothers' participation in the labor market. It finds that having an extra (unplanned) child would only reduce female participation rate for low educated mothers and mothers with young children, thus having no causal impact on most mothers' participation. This result explains why the rapid decline in fertility rates did not increase female participation; rather, other factors should be at play. It hence moves us a step forward in explaining the puzzle of female labor force participation in Iran. Policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: female labor force participation, fertility, Iran, twins, instrumental variable
    JEL: J13 J22 O53
    Date: 2018–06
  2. By: Naufal, George S (Texas A&M University); Malit, Jr., Froilan T. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries host at least 2.4 million foreign domestic workers, who are legally excluded from national labor laws and regulations, thus placing them in precarious social, legal, and economic conditions in the GCC labor markets. Despite the recent growth of academic scholarship on domestic work in the GCC and beyond, little attention has been paid to absconding foreign domestic workers and the complex role abuse plays in determining their future decision to migrate. This paper examines the likelihood that Filipina domestic workers will migrate after absconding from their previous employer. Applying a unique dataset of absconding Filipina domestic workers collected at the Philippine Labor Office (POLO) in Qatar between 2013 - 2015, we find that abuse and poor working conditions do not act as deterrents for future migration. Paradoxically, absconding domestic workers who have been financially abused are more likely to want to return and seek employment abroad. This study offers empirical and theoretical insights into the connection between migrant exploitation and domestic workers' desire to migrate once again.
    Keywords: migration, absconding, domestic workers, GCC countries, abuse, mobility
    JEL: J61 J68 O15
    Date: 2018–07
  3. By: Al-Abri, Almukhtar (Sultan Qaboos University); Genc, Ismail H. (American University of Sharjah); Naufal, George S (Texas A&M University)
    Abstract: The literature on remittances is large and growing. However, its focus has mainly been on the effects of remittance inflows on the receiving economies. Little has been done on the sending economies. In this paper, we use data from Saudi Arabia, one of the top remitting countries in the world, to identify the impact of government spending on Saudi Arabia's real output considering the role of remittance outflows. The results suggest that remittance outflows have a weak effect, if at all, on government spending, which, in turn, has an insignificant impact on GDP. The paper discusses some policy implications.
    Keywords: remittances, multipliers, fiscal policy, GCC
    JEL: C23 E61 F24 N15
    Date: 2018–07
  4. By: Abuelhaj, Tareq (Maastricht University); Gassmann, Franziska (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University); O'Donoghue, Cathal (UNU-MERIT, Maastricht University, and National University of Ireland)
    Abstract: Distortions resulting from consumption subsidies or rationing systems often lead welfare analysts to use market price opinions, where household budget survey respondents are asked to provide their opinions of equivalent market prices of subsidized or rationed goods, to value consumption of the rationed goods. This is because prices paid by households for rationed goods do not represent the true marginal utility from consumption of these goods. This is the case in household budget surveys undertaken in Iraq, for example, where rationed food items received through the Public Distribution System are valued at market prices using price opinion data rather than at official prices facing households. Despite the fact that most Living Standards Measurement Surveys conducted in countries that maintain consumption subsidies collect market price opinions, little evidence exists to support the notion that respondent opinions on market prices adequately approximate shadow prices of subsidized or rationed commodities. This paper explores the adequacy of market price opinions of subsidized food commodities using data from Iraq. The evidence presented here suggests that price opinions of subsidized food commodities are influenced by the importance of the subsidy in the household economy - a reflection of household welfare levels and preferences. This leads to the conclusion that price opinion data for subsidized goods distorts the estimated transfer value of the PDS food subsidy and biases welfare analysis, particularly affecting the ability to monitor trends over time.
    Keywords: Subsidies, rationing, prices, welfare, poverty analysis
    JEL: I32 D63 D45 D41 H23
    Date: 2018–08–21
  5. By: Kazancı, Fatih
    Abstract: Participation banks in Turkey use the “tawarruq” method to restructure their uncollectible receivables and the “commodity murabahah” method, which is a kind of tawarruq, to manage their liquidity. All participation banks to perform these operations use the London Metal Exchange (LME). The realization of tawarruq transactions through a commodity or metal exchange to be established in Turkey has been discussed in recent years. This article is about whether the product specialization stock exchange planned to be established in 2018 can contribute to Turkish participation banking and how it should work with a model if it is used in tawarruq and commodity murabahah transactions.
    Keywords: Tawarruq, Commodity Murabahah, Product Specialization Exchange, Electronic Product Certificate
    JEL: F30 G21 G24
    Date: 2018

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