nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2019‒11‒04
twelve papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Inequality in Turkey: Looking Beyond Growth By Bayram Cakir; Ipek Ergul
  3. Morocco; First Review Under the Arrangement Under the Precautionary and Liquidity Line-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Morocco By International Monetary Fund
  4. Trajectories of Knowledge Economy in SSA and MENA countries By Simplice A. Asongu; Antonio R. Andrés
  5. A Review of Wagner's Law and Income Elasticity of the Government Expenditures in Iran 1985-2018 By Reza Najarzadeh; Elham Khorasani
  6. Identifying Syrian refugees in Turkish microdata By Pinedo, Luis.
  7. Lebanon; 2019 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; Informational Annex; and Statement by the Executive Director for Lebanon By International Monetary Fund
  8. Terrorism and Emergency Constitutions in the Muslim World By Bjørnskov, Christian; Voigt, Stefan
  9. Revealed Political Favoritism: Evidence from the Allocation of State Lottery Grants in Israel By Momi Dahan; Itamar Yakir
  10. Lebanon; Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  11. Les cycles économiques ont-ils un effet asymétrique sur le chômage et la pauvreté ? Cas du Maroc By Hamza Saoudi
  12. Der Wirtschaftsstandort Iran zwischen Förderung und Sanktion: Eine ARDL-modellbasierte Analyse ausländischer Investitionen By Sanati, Youssef

  1. By: Bayram Cakir; Ipek Ergul
    Abstract: This paper investigates the relationships between economic growth, investment in human capital and income equality in Turkey. The conclusion drawn based on the data from the OECD and the World Bank suggests that economic growth can improve income equality depending on the expenditures undertaken by the government. As opposed to the standard view that economic growth and income inequality are positively related, the findings of this paper suggest that other factors such as education and healthcare spending are also driving factors of income inequality in Turkey. The proven positive impact of investment in education and health care on income equality could aid policymakers who aim to achieve fairer income equality and economic growth, in investment decisions.
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Gülçin Tap??n (?stanbul Ticaret Üniversitesi)
    Abstract: Central Banks use monetary policy tools in order to reach such ultimate aims as enabling price stability, stabilizing output gap and increasing employment. The effects of monetary policies applied in accordance with the business cycles on the mentioned macroeconomic variables are realized by means of monetary transmission channels. The analysis of monetary transmission mechanisms indicating the macroeconomic outcomes of the change in the monetary policy tools is of high importance in terms of these policies? efficiency. This study examines the efficiency of monetary transmission mechanism in Turkey for the years between 1995:01-2018:11 by using the Toda-Yamamoto causality test.
    Keywords: Monetary Policy, Monetary Transmission Mechanism, Toda-Yamamoto causality test
    JEL: E52 E40 E50
    Date: 2019–07
  3. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Despite a challenging external environment, improved fiscal management and economic diversification have strengthened the resilience of Morocco’s economy in recent years. Yet, economic growth, at 3 percent in 2018, has not been robust enough and unemployment remains high, especially among the youth. The outlook also remains subject to elevated risks, including fragile recovery in the euro area and geopolitical risks in the region. In this context, sustaining the recent momentum in reforms will be key to achieve a higher, more inclusive, and more private sector-led growth. Key priorities include improving the quality of education, the functioning of the labor market and the business environment; continuing the fight against corruption; and, increasing female labor force participation.
    Date: 2019–10–23
  4. By: Simplice A. Asongu (Yaoundé/Cameroon); Antonio R. Andrés (Ostrava, Czech Republic)
    Abstract: In the first critical assessment of knowledge economy dynamic paths in Africa and the Middle East, but for a few exceptions, we find overwhelming support for diminishing cross-country disparities in knowledge-based economy dimensions. The paper employs all the four components of the World Bank’s Knowledge Economy Index (KEI): economic incentives, innovation, education, and information infrastructure. The main finding suggests that sub-Saharan African (SSA) and the Middle East and North African (MENA) countries with low levels of KE dynamics and catching-up their counterparts of higher KE levels. We provide the speeds of integration and time necessary to achieve full (100%) integration. Policy implications are also discussed.
    Keywords: Knowledge economy; Principal component analysis; Panel data; Convergence; Development
    JEL: F42 O10 O38 O57 P00
    Date: 2019–01
  5. By: Reza Najarzadeh (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran); Elham Khorasani (Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran)
    Abstract: Wagner's Law holds that the relative size of public sector increases with the growth of per capita income. The aim of this study is to investigate the validity of Wagner’s Law in Iran. We test the Wagner’s Law by incorporating a vector Autoregression model and vector error correction model for the Iranian economy using 1985-2018 health and education data. The results of the estimates show that this law holds in Iran. The elasticity of government expenditures with respect to national income must be greater than one for the Wagner’s law to hold. However, government spending on health and education have been less than expected. This could suggest that the state does not pay enough attention to health and education. One can conclude that health and education are not priorities of the government in allocating funds to these two sectors.
    Keywords: Gross Domestic Product, Wagner's Law, Government Expenditure, Vector Autoregression, Vector Error Correction Model
    Date: 2019–08
  6. By: Pinedo, Luis.
    Keywords: 1, 2, 3
    Date: 2019
  7. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Lebanon’s economic position continues to be very difficult, with very low growth, high public debt and large twin deficits. While financial stability has been maintained, deposit inflows, critical to finance the budget and external deficits, slowed down during the past year, reducing the authorities’ room for maneuver. The new government has taken some important policy steps to start the needed policy adjustment, which could help raise confidence among investors and donors. The parliament has approved a plan to reform the electricity sector and reduce its fiscal cost as well as a budget that aims to reduce the overall fiscal deficit in 2019. However, substantial new measures are still needed to reduce the exceptionally large domestic and external imbalances and mitigate Lebanon’s vulnerabilities.
    Keywords: Economic conditions;Central banks;Financial crises;External sector;Economic growth;ISCR,CR,BdL,Proj,percent of GDP,lBP,concessional
    Date: 2019–10–17
  8. By: Bjørnskov, Christian; Voigt, Stefan
    Abstract: The Middle East is the most terror-prone region of the world. It is almost exclusively governed by autocratic regimes that often explicitly refer to Islam to justify some of their policies. In this paper, we analyse government reactions to terrorist events in the states that are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We find that the respective emergency constitutions, despite the political characteristics of the region, do channel their behaviour. Emergency constitutions that make it relatively cheap for governments to declare a state of emergency are more likely to lead to such declarations. Our evidence thus suggests that emergency constitutions also impact on the behaviour of largely autocratic governments.
    Keywords: terrorism,state of emergency,constitutional emergency provisions,institutions,positive constitutional economics,Middle East,Organization of Islamic Cooperation
    JEL: K40 Z13
    Date: 2019
  9. By: Momi Dahan; Itamar Yakir
    Abstract: This paper offers a complementary empirical approach that might be better suited to identify the extent of political favoritism in a multi-decision-maker institution than the standard identification strategy. The typical diff-in-diff identification strategy to estimate political favoritism, which rests on a comparison of two decision makers that allocate public funds to two groups, seems inadequate in a multi-player setting due to the multiple and conflicting political interests and social affiliations. To illustrate how our approach uncovers the degree of political favoritism, we use a policy change in allocating state lottery revenues to Israeli municipalities from discretion-based allocation to rules-based allocation. We find significant political favoritism under the old regime relative to the new one toward Jewish (versus Arab) and affluent (versus less affluent) municipalities. Our results suggest that adopting rules-based allocation might be effective in coping with political favoritism.
    Keywords: political favoritism, grant allocation, local government, rules vs. discretion
    Date: 2019
  10. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Selected Issues
    Keywords: Energy sector;Tariff structures;Capital expenditure;Energy policy;Purchasing power;ISCR,CR,private generator,electricity sector,non-technical,kWh,electricity provision
    Date: 2019–10–17
  11. By: Hamza Saoudi
    Abstract: Ce papier évalue les effets asymétriques des cycles économiques sur le chômage et la pauvreté au Maroc, à travers un modèle VAR estimé sur des données trimestrielles allant de 2003 à 2012. Ce modèle inclut les composantes cycliques de quatre variables à savoir : l’output-gap, le salaire minimum réel, le taux de chômage et le taux de pauvreté. Afin de tester la robustesse des résultats, deux versions du modèle VAR ont été estimées, en utilisant les composantes cycliques calculées selon deux filtres statistiques, Hodrick-Prescott (1997) et Hamilton (2017).
    Date: 2019–02
  12. By: Sanati, Youssef
    Abstract: Der Wirtschaftsstandort Iran bietet ausländischen Investoren gute Investitionsmöglichkeiten. Zudem sind die institutionellen Rahmenbedingungen für Auslandsinvestitionen in diesem Land seit der Implementierung des neuen Investitionsgesetzes in 2001 günstig. Der Zufluss der Auslandsinvestitionen in den Iran folgt zwischen 1993 und 2017 zwar einem Aufwärtstrend, ist jedoch in einigen Perioden ins Stocken geraten. Als mögliche Erklärung hierfür kann die politische Instabilität herangezogen werden. Vor diesem Hintergrund wurde im vorliegenden Arbeitspapier eine empirische Untersuchung bezüglich der Auswirkung der externen politischen Restriktionen (wie US- und EU-Embargos) auf Auslandsinvestitionszuflüsse in den Iran durchgeführt. Das Ergebnis der Regressionsanalyse mittels Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model (ARDL) zeigt, dass die politische Instabilität unter Berücksichtigung anderer Einflussfaktoren sowohl kurzfristig als auch langfristig den Zufluss der Auslandsinvestitionen in den Iran negativ beeinflusst hat. Dieses Ergebnis verweist auf die entscheidende Rolle der multilateralen Abkommen wie JCPOA bei der Förderung der Auslandsinvestitionen im Iran.
    Keywords: Auslandsinvestition,Iran,Politische Instabilität,Sanktionen Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model (ARDL)
    Date: 2019

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