nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2019‒11‒25
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The spatialization of Islamist, populist, and neo-Ottoman discourses in the Turkish capital under AKP rule By Ghulyan, Husik
  2. Pork and Turkey: Distributive Politics in the Allocation of Public Investments into Turkish Electoral Districts 1987–2004 By Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali; Yaraşır-Tülümce, Sevinç
  3. The Effects of International Sanctions on Military Spending of Iran: A Synthetic Control Analysis By Mohammad Reza Farzanegan
  4. Evolution of the Women's Movement in Contemporary Algeria Organization, Objectives and Prospects By Bouatta, Cherifa
  5. The Impact of a Failed Coup d'État on Happiness, Life Satisfaction, and Trust: The Case of the Plot in Turkey on July 15, 2016 By K. Ali Akkemik; Gerçek Çiçek; Charles Yuji Horioka; Yoko Niimi
  6. Promoting an academic culture in the Arab world By Moustafa, Khaled
  7. Oil Driven Macroeconometric Model of Kuwait By Salih, Siddig A.; Branson, William H.; Ebraheem, Yusuf H. Al
  8. Decadal land-use/land-cover and land surface temperature change in Dubai and implications on the urban heat island effect: A preliminary assessment By Abdi, Abdulhakim M
  9. Firm-Level Data and Monetary Policy: The Case of a Middle Income Country By Lahcen Bounader; Mohamed Doukali
  10. Economic Reforms, Women's Employment, and Social Policies Case Studies of China, Viet Nam, Egypt, and Cuba By Moghadam, Valentine M.

  1. By: Ghulyan, Husik
    Abstract: This article discusses the recent politics of space in Turkey during the rule of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) through a focus on the capital city of Ankara. In order to analyze the recent politics of space in Turkey, the article elaborates upon the recent politics of toponym changes and the discourse over space and place in the Turkish capital. Particular attention is paid to the spatialization of neo-Ottoman, Islamist, and populist discourses and to the production of various representational and counter-representational spaces. One of the key foci of the article is its elaboration on the new Presidential Complex (Cumhurbaşkanlığı Külliyesi) as a case that, in its representational and conceptual aspects, reflects the spatialization of Islamist and populist discourses and symbolizes the recent transformations of social space and the emergent sociospatial order in Turkey.
    Date: 2019–10–30
  2. By: Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali; Yaraşır-Tülümce, Sevinç
    Abstract: We investigate the political factors involved in the allocation of public investments into Turkish electoral districts. In contrast to the general presumption in the literature, we argue that the Closed-List Proportional Representation electoral rule is associated with pork barrel politics, given the strong reelection motives of the legislators. Using a unique data set from Turkey covering detailed individual characteristics of approximately 2,000 MPs over five legislative periods during 1987–2004, we test this argument and demonstrate that the composition of legislator characteristics in a district proxying pork barrel engagement such as seniority, education, and former profession, matters significantly for attracting investments into specific geographic constituencies. The findings also indicate the strong presence of partisan motivations and targeted support for core and smaller opposition groups in public investment allocations. We also document that a stronger right-wing tendency in the cabinet, a single-party government, and fractionalized voter preferences and higher voter turnout in the electorate are all associated with increased public investments.
    Keywords: Pork Barrel; Turkey; Individual Legislator Characteristics
    JEL: H4
    Date: 2019–10–01
  3. By: Mohammad Reza Farzanegan
    Abstract: We use the synthetic control method to estimate the effect of international banking and energy sanctions from 2012 to 2015 on military spending of Iran. We create a synthetic control group that mimics the socioeconomic characteristics of Iran before the international sanctions of 2012. We then compare the military spending of the counterfactual Iran without sanction to the factual Iran with sanction for the period of 2003-2015. Over the entire 2013–2015 period, per capita military spending was reduced by about 119 US$ per year on average, which amounts to approximately 54% of the 2012 baseline level. Our findings are robust to a series of tests, including placebo tests.
    Keywords: sanctions, military spending, Iran, synthetic control methodology
    JEL: F50 H56 N15 O19
    Date: 2019
  4. By: Bouatta, Cherifa
    Abstract: The paper discusses some of the social and historical factors behind the evolution of contemporary women's organizations in Algeria. The paper states that the women question was never a priority. Yet, since the late 1980s, women became advocates of their own cause. After 1991, terrorism has also perturbed the activities of women organizations. However, amidst the turbulence, the women movement appears as the most forward looking among all other civic movements and as a necessary element to build up Algeria's democratic future.
    Keywords: International Development
  5. By: K. Ali Akkemik (Yamaguchi University); Gerçek Çiçek (MEF University and Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg); Charles Yuji Horioka (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University, Osaka University, Asian Growth Research Institute, and National Bureau of Economic Research); Yoko Niimi (Doshisha University and Asian Growth Research Institute)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the failed coup d'état attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016, on people's happiness, life satisfaction, and trust and finds that the plot had a significant negative effect on all three variables. This paper is the first to show that coups d'état can have a significant adverse effect on people's well-being, as in the case of terrorist attacks.
  6. By: Moustafa, Khaled
    Abstract: A wide gap between academic education and ethical conducts is perceptible in many research and scientific activities. Basically, scientists with high academic degrees are expected to behave ethically but unfortunately this is not always the case. Scientific research in the Arab world is sometimes challenged with many flaws and shortcomings such as the lack of ethics, effectiveness and well-defined investment strategies. The academic environment is also entangled with invidiousness, selfishness, and overwhelming bureaucracy in an obvious and paradoxical way with the Arab culture that emphasizes ethics. Unethical symptoms are ranging from trivial bad behaviors, such as the absence of basic communication ethics and nonresponse to formal requests or emails to more serious misconducts in research and medical practices. The objectives of science and research programs in many Arab institutions are directed toward artificial and superficial prestige more than toward real and local scientific and socio-economic developments. To alleviate such issues, Arab scientists and policymakers need to deeply rethink the way research and development policies are currently planned and performed with particular focus on local priorities with the highest ethical and methodological values considered.
    Date: 2018–07–11
  7. By: Salih, Siddig A.; Branson, William H.; Ebraheem, Yusuf H. Al
    Abstract: Kuwait is a well endowed, small and open economy. In this economy the Government is the owner of the bulk of the wealth. Its wealth comes basically from underground oil and oil-accumulated assets. Since there is virtually no tax, the government influences economic activity through its expenditure and expenditure is determined by returns from its wealth. Moreover, the country depends heavily on imports. The structure of the model contains these features and the inherent dichotomy of Oil vs. Non-oil, and Kuwaiti vs. Non-Kuwaiti.jf The empirical analysis of the 1970-1986 data confirmed the dominance of the Government in the economy and the characteristics of a small and open economy. More importantly, the simulation exercise emphasizes the leading role of oil prices in overall economic activities and various accounts to the extent that a modest rise in oil prices is likely to turn the budget deficit into huge public savings and foreign accounts into mounting surpluses.
    Keywords: International Development
  8. By: Abdi, Abdulhakim M
    Abstract: The emirate of Dubai is the most populous and most developed of the seven emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. By the end of the 20th century, the emirate had shifted its economy from being primarily petroleum-based to a focus on tourism and financial services. The emirate’s capital, also named Dubai, has been growing at a rapid pace; the population in 1999 was 862,000 inhabitants, and increased in ten years to 1.8 million. In this letter, I evaluate the extent of land-use and land-cover, and land surface temperature change between 1999 and 2009. Landsat satellite images from the month of September 1999 and 2009 were used in this study. Both images were classified using spectral information divergence to measure the discrepancy of probabilistic behaviors between spectral signatures of different surfaces in the study area. Changes in land cover between 1999 and 2009 were quantified using post-classification analysis in a geographic information system. The results have shown a 76.11 percent change in land cover and a 1.75 Celsius average increase in land surface temperature over the 10-year study period. The composition of land cover features significantly influence the magnitude of land surface temperature and the percent cover of stabilized land and impervious surfaces have had the most substantial affect. In contrast, the percentage of vegetation cover is the most essential driver that alleviates land surface and ambient temperature. Keeping the cooling effects of urban greenery in perspective, I suggest that their proper management can directly mitigate the urban heat island effect in Dubai.
    Date: 2019–06–05
  9. By: Lahcen Bounader; Mohamed Doukali
    Abstract: We test the existence of the balance sheet channel of monetary policy in a middle-income country. Firm-level data scarcity and quality, in such a context, make the identification of this channel a steep challenge. To circumvent this challenge, we use panel instrumental variables estimation with measurement error to analyze the financial statements of 58 500 Moroccan firms over the period 2010-2016. Our analysis confirms the existence of this channel. It shows that monetary policy has a significant impact on small and medium enterprises’ access to banks’ financing, and that firm-specific variables are key determinants of firms’ financing decisions.
    Date: 2019–11–01
  10. By: Moghadam, Valentine M.
    Abstract: The papers in this volume emanate from a research project of UNU/WIDER on 'Economic Reforms, Women's Employment and Social Policies'. This project is part of the Institute's programme on the human dimension of the global development process.
    Keywords: International Development

This nep-ara issue is ©2019 by Paul Makdissi. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.