nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2018‒11‒19
twelve papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Livestock for resilience : Revisiting the role of livestock in the major agricultural production systems of the MENA region By Frija, A.; Afi, M.; Dhehibi, B.
  2. A Comparison of the Economics Impacts of Conditional and Unconditional Cash Transfers in Egypt By Imane Helmy; Christian Richter; Khalid Siddig; Hebatallah Ghoneim
  3. Capacity Development in Environmental Management Administration through Raising Public Awareness: A Case Study in Algeria By Mitsuo Yoshida
  4. Public versus Private Sector Wage Gap in Egypt: Evidence from Quantile Regression on Panel Data By Tansel, Aysit; Keskin, Halil Ibrahim; Ozdemir, Zeynel Abidin
  5. The role of the Audit Committee and the Board of Director in mitigating the practice of earnings management: Evidence from Jordan By Khaldoon Al Daoud
  6. Teachers? Reflective Journal Analysis of iPad Based Language Learning through the Activity Theory Framework By Tsoghik Grigoryan
  7. The effects of business cycle indicators on stock market indices of food industry in Iran By Mohammadi, H.; Abolhasani, L.; Shahnoushi, N.; Shabanian, F.
  8. Marketing higher education during times of war: the Syrian case By Anas Al-Fattal
  9. Determinants of Banking Sector Profitability: Empirical Evidence from Palestine By Abugamea, Gaber
  10. Measuring Poverty in West Bank and Gaza By Jawad Al-Salehi; Feda Twam; Aziz Atamanov; Nethra Palaniswamy
  11. Financial Development and Economic Growth in Oil-Dependent Economy: The case of Bahrain By Naser, Hanan
  12. مساهمة قطاعي الزراعة و الصناعة في النمو الاقتصادي و التنمية في الاقتصاد الفلسطيني خلال الفترة 1968-2012 By Abugamea, Gaber

  1. By: Frija, A.; Afi, M.; Dhehibi, B.
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the contribution of livestock to the resilience of major agricultural systems in the MENA region. We considered study areas from Jordan, Tunisia, and Morocco. We started by providing a typology of resilience profiles of production systems in these study areas and then we calculated resilience indexes for the identified farm types in the different countries. Secondly, we analyzed the role of livestock in each of these systems by testing the correlation between a set of livestock variables and the resilience indexes. Results show that livestock is playing a crucial role in enhancing agricultural systems resilience in the MENA region. Mixed crops-livestock systems, in addition to the pastoral production systems, identified in the considered countries, were found to have significantly high resilience indexes. Beside being an important source of income in the dry rain fed areas, animal heads are being considered as assets that could be easily converted into cash to face financial shortage and crisis. Our results also show that livestock producers appear to be more socially engaged and more open to their neighborhood, this is mainly due to practicing transhumance and sharing rangeland with other farmers, which enhances their positioning over the resilience scale. Acknowledgement : This paper has partly benefited from the financial support of the Consortium Research Program (CRP) on Livestock, Led by ILRI. Data of the paper has been collected during the CRP Dryland System. The paper also benefited from financial support of the Erasmus Mundus program.
    Keywords: Livestock Production/Industries
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Imane Helmy (Faculty of Management Technology, German University in Cairo); Christian Richter (Faculty of Management Technology, German University in Cairo); Khalid Siddig (Faculty of Lif Sciences, Humboldt University in Berlin); Hebatallah Ghoneim (Faculty of Management Technology, German University in Cairo)
    Abstract: This paper uses a computable general equilibrium model to distinguish between the economy-wide impact of targeting conditional and unconditional cash transfer to Egyptian households following the full removal of subsidies. Analyzing the impact on the middle class whose vulnerability increased during the reform is another addition of this paper that makes an empirical contribution to the literature discussing the effectiveness of cash transfer compared to price subsidies. The STAGE model is calibrated on the Egyptian Social Accounting Matrix 2012/13. The results show that the removal of subsidies will have the largest negative impact on the consumption of middle class. Moreover, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) maintains the best policy for mitigating the harmful effect of removing subsidies. It has a positive impact on the demand for labor in education and health sectors where the majority of labor is skilled males and semi-skilled females. Similarly, introducing CCT will boost production in health and education sectors.
    Keywords: Subsidies Reform, Conditional Cash Transfer, CGE model
    JEL: C68 R20 O21
    Date: 2018–09
  3. By: Mitsuo Yoshida
    Abstract: During the civil war of the mid-1990s, large-scale destruction of social infrastructure and environmental management systems occurred in Algeria, leading to significant environmental deterioration. In the course of national reconciliation and the reconstruction process that began in 2000, environmental authorities were established and, with the support of international donor agencies, the national environmental policy, plan, and strategy were prepared. While these efforts shaped Algeria’s environmental management administration system into its modern form, they have not been effective in actually controlling environmental problems in the country. Under these conditions, the unexpected discovery of a severe mercury contamination had a major effect on the situation in the country. The discovery itself was announced at a public seminar, and Japan’s experience with industrial mercury pollution as a result of the “Minamata Disease incident” was widely shared with the public through mass media. The wide reporting of these experiences as well as others of pollution in local cities by the mass media, accelerated public concerns and eventually formed public opinions into a demand for immediate depollution efforts. The environmental management administration became functional at this time and backed by growing public awareness and strict law enforcement, it started to conduct specific countermeasures against mercury pollution. The Algerian case suggests that raising public awareness through the disclosure of information on environmental monitoring may trigger the realization of an effective environmental management administration system.
    Keywords: capacity development, environmental management administration, pollution, information disclosure, public awareness
    Date: 2018–08
  4. By: Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University); Keskin, Halil Ibrahim (Cukurova University); Ozdemir, Zeynel Abidin (Gazi University)
    Abstract: This paper considers the public and private sector wage earners in Egypt and examines their wage distribution during 1998-2012 using Egyptian Labor Market Panel Survey. We estimate the public-private sector wage gap with Mincer wage equations both at the mean and at different quantiles of the wage distribution. In this process we take into account observable and unobservable characteristics of the individuals using the panel feature of the data with a fixed effects model. We address sector of employment selection issue for both males and females. We find that there is very little evidence of sample selection in our data. Therefore, we present both the selection corrected results and the results with no selection correction. We find a persistent public sector wage penalty for males and public sector wage premium for females in the face of extensive sensitivity checks. They are larger when unobserved heterogeneity is taken into account for males but insignificant for females. They are similar across the quantiles for males but, smaller at the top than at the bottom of the conditional wage distribution for females. We further examine the public sector wage gap over time and in different sub-groups according to age and education. The public sector wage penalty for males has decreased recently over time and is larger for the better educated and younger. We also find substantial regional differences in public sector wage gap for males.
    Keywords: public sector, private sector, wage gap, gender, sample selection, quantile regression, panel data, Egypt
    JEL: C21 C23 J16 J31 J45
    Date: 2018–10
  5. By: Khaldoon Al Daoud (Yarmouk University)
    Abstract: Recently, the audit committees and boards of directors have been considered to be corporate governance mechanisms that can play key roles in mitigating earnings management practices. This study?s purpose is to explore the impact of the board of directors (i.e., size, CEO duality, independence and financial expertise and knowledge) and the presence of an audit committee with earnings management practices in Jordanian firms. The study used the leverage ratio as a control variable. The sample covered industrial firms listed in the Amman Stock Exchange from the years 2014-2016. This study used multiple regression in determining if the board of directors and the audit committee affect earnings management practices. The study revealed that the presence of an audit committee negatively affected the earnings management practice in industrial Jordanian firms. This study suggested that characteristics of the board of directors, namely, independence and CEO duality, significantly influenced the practices of earnings management Furthermore, the findings indicate that separating the position of CEO and chairman along with more independent board members plays an increasingly important role in preventing earnings management practices by ensuring the effective monitoring of management. The study recommends extending such research to offer a more comprehensive awareness of earnings management in emerging capital markets using new variables of corporate governance.
    Keywords: Earnings management, board of director, audit committee and Jordan.
    Date: 2018–10
  6. By: Tsoghik Grigoryan (Higher Colleges of Technology)
    Abstract: This is an experimental study of an iPad based language learning in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) context. A tertiary level college in the UAE went paperless in 2012 and implemented iPads for its Foundations Program, eliminating paper and pen teaching-learning methods from the classroom. The innovation brought up challenges in the technical and methodological fields, as well as in language learning ways, skills and practices. The aim of this study was to find the emerging themes of the teachers? reflective journals in the evaluation of their lessons and diagnosis of problems throughout the two-phase experiment. The data sources that informed this study were: soft copies of four teachers? weekly written reflections in phase one, which lasted for four weeks, and soft copies of two teachers? weekly written reflections in phase two which lasted for another four weeks. So, four teachers teaching four groups for four weeks wrote sixteen journals in phase one, and two teachers teaching two groups for another four weeks wrote eight journals in phase two. By the end of the experiment the teachers produced twenty-four reflective journals, which this study looked at through the Activity Theory framework. The results showed that today?s ?digital natives?, who were elementary level Emirati language learners, demonstrated a strong preference and motivation for using iPads for their everyday language learning.
    Keywords: Paperless learning, iPad, reflective journals, EFL, Activity Theory
    Date: 2018–11
  7. By: Mohammadi, H.; Abolhasani, L.; Shahnoushi, N.; Shabanian, F.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of the business cycle indicators on stock market indices of food industry companies in Iran stock market. Using dynamic panel and Panel VAR methods for seasonal data of 2001-2015, the results show that the effect of GDP and agricultural value-added as indicators of business cycle on stock market indices of sales volume, price index, net profit and stock return are positive. The results of panel VAR models also show that the shocks entered by GDP and agricultural value ?added have a different effect on stock market indices of sales volume, price index, net profit and ?stock return. Due to the positive effects of the business cycles indicators on the stock market indices of food industry companies, it is recommended that policy-makers consider strategies to increase GDP and agriculture value-added. Acknowledgement : I am attaching herewith a manuscript entitled ?The Impacts of Business Cycle Indicators on Stock Market Indices of Food Industry for the 30th international conference of agricultural economics. With the submission of this manuscript, I would like to undertake that the above-mentioned manuscript has not been published elsewhere, accepted for publication elsewhere or under editorial review for publication elsewhere. Please don't hesitate to contact me for further information. Thanks in advance for your time and consideration. Sincerely Hosein Mohammadi, Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran
    Keywords: Agribusiness
    Date: 2018–07
  8. By: Anas Al-Fattal (College of Banking and Financial Studies)
    Abstract: Based on the marketing mix model, the study aims at exploring current strategies used in private higher education in Syria. This an exploratory study employing sixteen interviews with key participants from two private universities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted. Findings show high sensitivity to market changes. Reflecting on the marketing mix model for higher education, major modifications were found Two main aspects were evident in shaping these modifications; these were survival strategies and security matters. The findings provide useful information for people in charge of marketing related issues at private higher education in Syria and possibly other countries suffering similar conditions.
    Keywords: Syria, marketing higher education, marketing mix, war, conflict, crisis, private university
    JEL: M19
    Date: 2018–11
  9. By: Abugamea, Gaber
    Abstract: The objective of this study is to examine the impact of bank-specific and major macroeconomic factors on the profitability of banking sector of Palestine by using the aggregate bank balance sheet data over the time period 1995-2015. This paper employs the Ordinary Least Square method to investigate the effect of bank’s asset size, capital, loans, deposits, economic growth and inflation on key bank profitability indicators, i.e., return on assets (ROA), return on equity (ROE) and net interest margin (NIM), separately. The main findings show that size has positive impact on ROE. Capital is positively related to ROA. Loans are positively correlated with both ROA and ROE. Deposits are negatively related to both ROA and ROE. Also, it is found that neither internal nor external factors have significant impact on NIM, despite the fact that overall internal and external factors have a significant effect as denoted by F-statistics value. Moreover, banking sector has not benefited significantly from both the inflationary environment and economic growth. These findings are of value to both academicians and policy makers.
    Keywords: Banking Sector, Banking Profitability, Internal & External Factors, OLS, Palestine
    JEL: G21
    Date: 2018–05–30
  10. By: Jawad Al-Salehi; Feda Twam; Aziz Atamanov; Nethra Palaniswamy
    Keywords: Poverty Reduction - Inequality Poverty Reduction - Living Standards Poverty Reduction - Poverty Lines Poverty Reduction - Poverty Monitoring & Analysis
    Date: 2018–07
  11. By: Naser, Hanan
    Abstract: This paper attempts to identify the relationship between energy consumption, oil prices, market shares, dividend yields and economic growth for the Kingdom of Bahrain from year 2006 to 2016. For this purpose, unit root test, Johansen cointegration techniques for analysing the long run relationship, and Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) are used. The key findings are summarized as follow: (i) long run relationship exists between the suggested variables. (ii) Both energy and financial markets are significant in the long run relationship, and positively affect the economic growth of Bahrain. (iii) According to the estimated ECM term, the model is stable in the short run. (iv) Decline in the international price of oil has negative significant drawback on the economic growth of Bahrain. Accordingly, it is recommended that policy makers in the Kingdom of Bahrain focuses on implement strong strategies that aim at encouraging investments in non-oil sectors and carbon emissions reduction policy in the long run without impeding energy sector or economic growth in order to move towards sustainability.
    Keywords: Oil prices; energy consumption; financial sector performance; economic growth; Bahrain.
    JEL: C51 C58 E61 G14
    Date: 2018–07–11
  12. By: Abugamea, Gaber
    Abstract: This study investigates the contribution of agriculture and industry sectors to economic growth and development in Palestine for the period 1968-2012. It sets a modeling connects economic growth once and economic development another one to contribution of the main production sectors, agriculture and industry. Moreover, it employs OLS estimation procedures on First Difference of the involved variables due to nonstationarity of variables in case of using Augmented Dicky Fuller (ADF) tests. Estimation results show that industrial sector is contributing higher than agriculture sector on economic growth though both possessed a significant positive impact on economic growth. Noticeably, we found that only agriculture sector impacted economic development significantly. Meanwhile both sectors jointly are main determinants of economic growth and development. Study recommends a number of policies aiming at pushing towards a balanced effective development.
    Keywords: : Agriculture & Industry Sectors, Economic Growth, Development, OLS, Palestine
    JEL: L6 O1 O4 Q1
    Date: 2018–10–31

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