nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2019‒01‒28
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Economic Policy Uncertainty in Turkey By La-Bhus Fah Jirasavetakul; Antonio Spilimbergo
  2. The impact of FDI on economic growth in Tunisia: An estimate by the ARDL approach By Bouchoucha, Najeh; Ali, Walid
  3. Saudi’s Growth and Financial Spillovers to Other GCC Countries: An Empirical Analysis By Olumuyiwa S Adedeji; Sohaib Shahid; Ling Zhu
  4. Free health care for the poor: a good way to achieve universal health coverage? Evidence from Morocco By Raphaël Cottin
  5. Multidimensional and fuzzy poverty at regional level in Iran By Ali Asadi; Gianni Betti; Francesca Gagliardi; Hossein Khoshbakht
  6. Lending cycles and real outcomes : Costs of political misalignment By Bircan, Çağatay; Saka, Orkun
  7. Le city branding comme moteur de développement pour le Maroc ? Cas de la ville de Dakhla By Ahsina, Khalifa; Ettahir, Noura; Moussalih, Abdellah
  8. Étude de causalité entre la consommation d’électricité et la croissance économique au Liban By Nour Wehbe; Bassam Assaf; Salem Darwich

  1. By: La-Bhus Fah Jirasavetakul; Antonio Spilimbergo
    Abstract: Uncertainty over economic policy plays a key role in economic outcomes. But evidence and quantification for emerging markets are elusive because of measurement and reverse causality issues. In this paper, we construct a news-based economic policy uncertainty (EPU) index for Turkey and assess how it affects Turkish firms. To disentangle the issues of endogeneity and reverse causality, we use a difference-in-differences approach, exploiting the fact that firms with a high share of irreversible investment are more exposed to policy uncertainty. In sectors with large irreversible investment EPU has a greater effect on growth, investment, and leverage. The results are robust to different definitions of investment irreversibility, lag structure, and selection of sectors.
    Keywords: Turkey;Europe;Policy uncertainty, economic uncertainty, firm-level, sector-level, investment decisions, employment growth, leverage strategies, diff-in-diff estimation, General, General, General Outlook and Conditions, General
    Date: 2018–12–10
  2. By: Bouchoucha, Najeh; Ali, Walid
    Abstract: This paper attempts to examine the impact of foreign direct investment on economic growth in Tunisia using times series data for the period 1980-2015. In this study, we used the ARDL (Autoregressive Lag Distribution) approach to study the short-term and long-term relationship between foreign direct investment and economic growth. The empirical findings show that FDI has positive impact on economic growth in both the short and the long term. For the other determinants of economic growth, we have shown that domestic investment and human capital have had a positive and significant effect on the economic growth of the Tunisian economy in the short run rather than in the long run. On the other hand, the degree of trade openness has a negative effect on short-term and long-term economic growth.
    Keywords: FDI, economic growth, Tunisia, ARDL
    JEL: F0 F43
    Date: 2019–01–14
  3. By: Olumuyiwa S Adedeji; Sohaib Shahid; Ling Zhu
    Abstract: This paper examines real and financial linkages between Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries. Growth spillovers from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain are found to be sizeable and statistically significant, but those to other GCC countries are not found to be significant. Equity market movements in Saudi Arabia are found to have significant implications for other GCC countries, while there is no evidence of co-movements in bonds markets. These findings suggest some degree of interdependence among GCC countries.
    Keywords: Saudi Arabia;Middle East;Growth, Gulf Corporation Council, Spillovers, Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy, Country and Industry Studies of Trade, Trade Forecasting and Simulation, International Policy Coordination and Transmission
    Date: 2018–12–11
  4. By: Raphaël Cottin (1PSL, Université Paris Dauphine, LEDa, DIAL)
    Abstract: Policies and programs aimed at giving access to health care free of charge for some segments of the population are increasingly being put in place by low- and middle income countries, going against the Washington-consensus era recommendation to impose user fees on public health care to insure a better quality of service. Yet, such policies may not be suited for middle-income countries, where user fees are not necessarily be the biggest barriers to health care. We study a nationwide example of such a policy with the generalization of the Medical Assistance Regime or RAMED in the Kingdom of Morocco, a policy aiming at giving free access to hospital care to the poorest quarter of the population. Using nationally representative panel data collected before, during and after the extension of the policy, we show that the removal of user fees did have a positive impact on access to health care, but that this impact comes mostly from poorer, rural households. We also study the impact on health expenditures, and find that it has not led to a decrease of the financial burden, except for the subset of urban households that have recurring health expenditures. Overall, our result show that in a middle income country , user fees, even modest, seem to significantly deter healthcare usage for the rural part of the population.
    Keywords: Demand for health care, targeted policies, Morocco
    JEL: I11 G22 H43
    Date: 2018–11
  5. By: Ali Asadi; Gianni Betti; Francesca Gagliardi; Hossein Khoshbakht
    Abstract: In the present paper we propose a multidimensional and fuzzy set approach for measuring poverty at province level in Iran. We go beyond the conventional study of poverty based simply on the poor/non-poor dichotomy defined in relation to some poverty line chosen on the basis of income or total expenditure only. On the contrary, multidimensional poverty is treated as matters of degree determined in terms of the relative position of individuals in Iran, i.e. in the distribution of some aspects of their living conditions. The state of deprivation is thus seen in the form of ‘fuzzy sets’ to which all members of the population belong but to varying degrees. The methodology is the applied to HBS survey in Iran, collected from March 2016 to March 2017 (1395 Solar Hijri year in Iran).
    JEL: I32 R13
    Date: 2018–12
  6. By: Bircan, Çağatay; Saka, Orkun
    Abstract: We use data on the universe of credit in Turkey to document a strong political lending cycle. State-owned banks systematically adjust their lending around local elections compared with private banks in the same province. There is considerable tactical redistribution: state-owned banks increase credit in politically competitive provinces which have an incumbent mayor aligned with the ruling party, but reduce it in similar provinces with an incumbent mayor from the opposition parties. This effect only exists in corporate lending as opposed to consumer loans, suggesting that tactical redistribution targets job creation to increase electoral success. Political lending influences real outcomes as credit-constrained opposition areas suffer drops in employment and firm sales. There is substantial misallocation of financial resources as credit constraints most affect provinces and industries with high initial efficiency.
    JEL: G21 D72 D73 P16
    Date: 2019–01–21
  7. By: Ahsina, Khalifa; Ettahir, Noura; Moussalih, Abdellah
    Abstract: Today, competition and competitiveness are key factors in economic development. Inserted into a globalized economy, dominated by the laws of the market, the territories have no alternative but to stand out from each other to attract potential investors. (M E, Ferréol 2013). The use of the territorial brand (culture, musical, culinary, artisanal, tourist, industrial, etc) is one of the major innovations in the promotion of territories. This marketing strategy conceives the territory as a product that must be sold, starting from the creation of a brand image, the development of a communication strategy and a promotion plan. In this context, there is a growing interest in territorial marketing strategies by public entities in charge of territories, be they cities (Babey & Giauque, 2009), regions (Mihalis Kavaratzis, Warnaby & Ashworth, 2015), from states (Papadopoulos & Heslop, 2002). This poses the opportunity for the implementation of a city branding strategy of the city of Dakhla and this to influence the economic and social development of the region.
    Keywords: City branding, territorial marketing, desert economics, sustainable development.
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2018–01–15
  8. By: Nour Wehbe (ART-Dev - Acteurs, Ressources et Territoires dans le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - UM - Université de Montpellier - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Bassam Assaf (Université Libanaise); Salem Darwich (Université Libanaise)
    Abstract: This article studies the causal relationship between electricity consumption and economic growth in Lebanon over the period 1971-2012. This relationship is examined using cointegration and Granger causality tests. The results of the estimates indicate that economic growth and electricity consumption in Lebanon are not cointegrated and that there is no causal relationship between variables according to Granger's tests. However, a unidirectional causality is detected in the post-war period (1990-2012), ranging from electricity consumption to economic growth. The results of this research prove strongly, and with an econometric approach, that electricity consumption was the fundamental source of economic growth after the civil war in Lebanon, which explains the appearance of this causal relationship. In addition, the most relevant implication of this study is that mitigation of current power generation shortages should be a national priority, given its potential positive effect on the Lebanese economy.
    Keywords: cointegration.,Granger causality,Electricity consumption,economic growth
    Date: 2018

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