nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2019‒03‒04
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Did the Arab Spring Reduce MENA Countries' Growth? By Arayssi, Mahmoud; Fakih, Ali; Haimoun, Nathir
  2. Natural resources volatility and economic growth: evidence from the resource-rich region By Hayat, Arshad; Tahir, Muhammad
  3. English Skills, Labour Market Status and Earnings of Turkish Women By Di Paolo, Antonio; Tansel, Aysit
  5. Complexity Theory, Democratic Transition and Public Policy Choices in Iraq By Cerami, Alfio

  1. By: Arayssi, Mahmoud (Lebanese American University); Fakih, Ali (Lebanese American University); Haimoun, Nathir (University of Lethbridge)
    Abstract: This paper examines the economic ramifications of the recent political reconfigurations that the MENA region witnessed, commonly known as the Arab Spring, utilizing MENA countries data during period 2005-2016. Using the Arellano-Bond dynamic panel estimation, the paper estimates a growth model using the difference in the log of GDPC between periods t and t+1. Buttressed by sufficient empirical evidence, the paper's findings corroborate that the Arab Spring had been negatively associated with growth.
    Keywords: Arab Spring, growth, MENA countries, panel data
    JEL: G2 O16 P48 N25
    Date: 2019–02
  2. By: Hayat, Arshad; Tahir, Muhammad
    Abstract: This research paper investigates the impact of natural resources’ volatility on economic growth. The paper focused on three resources rich economies namely; UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Using data from 1970 to 2016 and employing the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) cointegration approach developed by Pesaran, Shin, and Smith (2001), we found that both natural resources and their volatility matters from the growth perspective. The study found strong evidence in favor of a positive and statistically significant relationship between the natural resource and economic growth for the economy of UAE and Saudi Arabia. Similarly, for the economy of Oman, a positive but insignificant relationship is observed between natural resources and economic growth. However, we found that the volatility of natural resources has a statistically significant negative impact on the economic growth of all three economies. This study contradicts the traditional concept of resources curse and provides evidence of resources curse in the form of a negative impact of volatility on economic growth.
    Keywords: Natural Resources, Volatility, Economic Growth, ARDL Modeling, GCC
    JEL: O4 Q33
    Date: 2019
  3. By: Di Paolo, Antonio (University of Barcelona); Tansel, Aysit (Middle East Technical University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the effect of the level of English skills on the labour market outcomes of Turkish women, using data from the Adult Education Survey of 2007. By adopting a bivariate equation framework, we jointly model the effect of English skills on labour market status and, conditional on being a wage earner, on monthly earnings and occupational status. The multinomial equation that explains labour market status allows for a different effect of language knowledge on the probability of being employed, unemployed but actively looking for a job, an unpaid family worker or involved in household tasks. The results indicate that being proficient in English is conditionally associated with a higher probability of being employed as a wage earner and, to a lesser extent, unemployed but looking for a job, whereas it decreases the likelihood of being involved in household tasks. Moreover, there is a significant conditional correlation between having a high level of skills in English and earnings, which is only modestly reduced when job-related variables and (especially) occupation dummies are included as additional controls. Indeed, being proficient in English barely affects occupational status when selection into employment status is controlled for. Therefore, the knowledge of foreign languages (in this case English) seems to stimulate labour market participation and earnings capacity, but does not substantially affect the occupational position of women in the Turkish labour market.
    Keywords: English skills, females, labour market status, earnings, occupation
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 O15 Z13
    Date: 2019–02
  4. By: Mustafa Disli; Koen Schoors (-)
    Abstract: We analyze the dynamic effects of bank rebranding in a sample of Turkish banks. We hypothesize that bank rebranding resorts positive effects if the rebranding strategy exploits familiarity bias, which refers to the behavioral heuristic that investors favor firms they are more familiar with. We measure the effect of bank rebranding on depositor attitudes by the change in depositor discipline. In line with our hypothesis, rebranding from a foreign into a Turkish name (increased familiarity) is associated with reduced depositor discipline, while rebranding from a Turkish into a foreign name (reduced familiarity) is associated with increased depositor discipline instead. Local projections indicate that the positive familiarity bias effect of rebranding lasts up to four years.
    Keywords: depositor discipline; rebranding; familiarity bias
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Cerami, Alfio
    Abstract: This article adopts Complexity Theory to improve understanding of Iraq's future patterns ofdemocratic stabilization and consolidation. It emphasizes the importance of soft technologies, aswell as hard technologies for making better public policy choices. The article also sheds light onIraq's institutional evolution, on its processes and mechanisms of variation and replication. Itemphasizes the importance of new culturally-sensitive public policies and political economies. Thefirst part of the article briefly describes the main political, economic, social and cultural changes inIraq since the fall of the Saddam regime. The second part discusses the system of social security inIraq and in formerly ISIS controlled territories. The final section deals with important challenges ofde-radicalization necessary that are necessary for the democratization, liberalization,institutionalization and consolidation of new institutions. A new spatial politics of public policymaking in formerly ISIS-occupied territories is also discussed in the concluding section.
    Keywords: Iraq, ISIS, Complexity Theory, Soft Technologies, Hard Technologies, Political Economy
    JEL: D6 D7 F5 H5 H55 P4
    Date: 2018–08–02

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