nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2019‒12‒02
eighteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Rethinking the Lebanese economic miracle: The extreme concentration of income and wealth in Lebanon By Lydia Assouad
  2. The Costs and Gains of Coordinating Electricity Generation in the Gulf Cooperation Council Utilizing the Interconnector By David Wogan; Frederic Murphy; Axel Pierru
  3. Oman Electricity Sector: Features, Challenges and Opportunities for Market Integration By Shahid Hasan; Turki Al-Aqeel; Yagyavalk Bhatt
  4. Lefebvre’s Production of Space in the Context of Turkey: A Comprehensive Literature Survey By Ghulyan, Husik
  5. Mirrors of Capitalist Modernization in Turkey: Review of Adalet, Begüm, Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey By Ghulyan, Husik
  6. The Prosperity of UAE By Al-Shargie, Fares; Ahmed, Entesar
  7. The Value of Saving Oil in Saudi Arabia By Jorge Blazquez; Baltasar Manzano; Lester C. Hunt; Axel Pierru
  8. Assessment of the Political Feasibility of Developing a GCC Power Market By Paul Mollet; Imtenan Al-Mubarak; Brian Efird; Saleh Al Muhanna; Omar Al-Ubaydil
  9. Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in the Middle East and North Africa By Moghadam, Valentine M.
  10. Estimating the Household Consumption Function in Saudi Arabia By Goblan Al Gahtani; Carlo Andrea Bollino; Simona Bigerna; Axel Pierru
  11. Assessing Energy Policy Instruments: LNG Imports Into Saudi Arabia By Rami Shabaneh; Maxime Schenckery
  12. Electric Vehicle Deployment and Carbon Emissions in Saudi Arabia: A Power System Perspective By Amro Elshurafa; Nawaz Peerbocus
  13. Policy Pathways to Meet Saudi Arabia’s Contribution to the Paris Agreement By David Wogan; Elizabeth Carey; Douglas Cooke
  14. Drivers of New Light-Duty Vehicle Fleet Fuel Economy in Saudi Arabia By Rubal Dua; Tamara Sheldon
  15. An Estimation of the Drivers Behind OPEC’s Quota Decisions By Philipp Galkin; Tarek Atalla; Zhongyuan Ren
  16. The Impact of Bank Capital and Institutional Quality on Lending: Empirical Evidence from the MENA Region By Maya El Hourani; Gérard Mondello
  17. Deepening Cooperation Between Saudi Arabia and China By Dongmei Chen; Wenke Han
  18. Tourisme à Marrakech: Locomotive de développement d'une économie en crise. By Hicham Saddou

  1. By: Lydia Assouad (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: I combine household surveys, national accounts and personal income tax records for the 2005-2014 period to produce the first estimates of the national income distribution in Lebanon. I find that income is extremely concentrated, with the top 1 and 10% of the adult population receiving 25 and 55% of national income on average, placing Lebanon among the countries with the highest level of income inequality in the world. These figures, which are the first recent statistics on income inequality in an Arab country, question the view of Lebanon as a paragon of economic success in the Middle East. The dynamism of the tourism, banking and real-estate sectors has benefited only a minority of the population, while a large part still lives in extreme poverty.
    Keywords: Lebanon,Inequality
    Date: 2019–06
  2. By: David Wogan; Frederic Murphy; Axel Pierru (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have installed a network of high-voltage transmission lines, known as the GCC Interconnector, which links the member states of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Interconnector has successfully provided reliable services to GCC countries but has not yet realized its full potential as a platform to fully integrate individual electricity systems. This paper analyzes the potential costs and gains of electricity exchange among the GCC countries. Given the current political climate, it does not consider electricity exchange with Qatar, except as a sensitivity case.
    Keywords: Crude oil, Electricity, Electricity exchange, Electricity systems, Fuel subsidies, GCC interconnector, Natural gas, Policy development, Vision 2030, Water sector
    Date: 2018–06
  3. By: Shahid Hasan; Turki Al-Aqeel; Yagyavalk Bhatt (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: This discussion paper is part of a KAPSARC research project initiated to develop insights that can facilitate the creation of a well-functioning integrated electricity market comprising the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The project identifies and examines the key issues affecting electricity market integration within the GCC and the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and suggests the enablers needed to facilitate market integration. This report focuses on Oman’s electricity sector, the liberalization of which started in 2004. The country’s power reforms are now poised to move to the next level, with the aim of creating a more competitive electricity industry in the Sultanate.
    Keywords: Electricity Market Design, Energy Regulators, Gulf Cooperation Council, Power Markets
    Date: 2019–05–29
  4. By: Ghulyan, Husik
    Abstract: This paper presents a comprehensive survey of applications of Henri Lefebvre’s theorizations on space in the Turkish context. Through an intensive search and screening of the literature, this paper ‘maps’ relevant studies in terms of research topic, geographic and historical scope and the conceptual framework and concepts used while presenting the general trends and patterns of applications of Lefebvrean space frameworks in the Turkish context. According to the main argument of the study, although there have been intensive applications of various Lefebvrean conceptualizations on space for the case of Turkey, in most of the relevant scholarship, the focus has been on the spatial triad framework or its various components, rather than on a systematic and comprehensive contextualization of the theory.
    Date: 2019–07–11
  5. By: Ghulyan, Husik
    Abstract: Review of Adalet, Begüm, Hotels and Highways: The Construction of Modernization Theory in Cold War Turkey (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2018).
    Date: 2019–05–20
  6. By: Al-Shargie, Fares (American University of Sharjah); Ahmed, Entesar
    Abstract: Competition between nations is essential in achieving prosperity and economic development. Nations cannot have competitive advantage in all aspects. Some nations enjoy competitive advantage in specialized areas, for example, Switzerland has a competitive advantage in the watches industry, while Italy has competitive advantage in the shoes industry. Competition advantage relates to nation’s productivity, which is explained by nation’s output value per a unit of capital or labor, in a cost effective and efficient manner. Initially economists believed that country’s national resources, labor force, interest rates, as well as currency value are the key determinant of nation’s competitive advantage. This paper presents different aspects of prosperity in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and compare it with that in Saudi Arabia.
    Date: 2019–10–24
  7. By: Jorge Blazquez; Baltasar Manzano; Lester C. Hunt; Axel Pierru (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: What is the value of saving a barrel of oil that would otherwise had been consumed domestically? This study explores the question, taking a long-run perspective into a general equilibrium approach. In the case of Saudi Arabia, the difference between the domestic price of oil and the international price represents an opportunity to improve economic efficiency across different activities and sectors. In this context, we study different policies aimed to reduce the domestic consumption of oil.
    Keywords: Carbon emissions, Domestic oil consumption, Dynamic general equillibrium model, Fuel efficiency, Intenational oil price, Natural gas, Oil consumption, Oil exports, Policy development, Power generation, Renewable energy, Social welfare
    Date: 2018–03
  8. By: Paul Mollet; Imtenan Al-Mubarak; Brian Efird; Saleh Al Muhanna; Omar Al-Ubaydil (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Countries in the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, commonly known as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), established a regional power grid to support member countries’ high voltage networks in 2001 but, to date, the system has remained underutilized. The intended purpose of the grid was to provide backup electricity during emergencies caused by power system outages, especially during the summer, and to share spinning reserves, optimize capital investments in electricity and reduce fuel costs. The grid has been fully operational since 2011 and has satisfied its intended purpose. However, GCC member states have largely failed to take advantage of options associated with the grid to trade electricity. This paper uses the KAPSARC Toolkit for Behavioral Analysis platform, a model of collective decision-making processes developed at KAPSARC, to examine the political feasibility of expanding the utilization of the GCC grid to include trading electricity.
    Keywords: Electricity grid, Electricity market, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
    Date: 2018–09
  9. By: Moghadam, Valentine M.
    Keywords: International Development
  10. By: Goblan Al Gahtani; Carlo Andrea Bollino; Simona Bigerna; Axel Pierru (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: This research is part of a joint project between the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC). This paper estimates a micro-based life cycle consumption model for Saudi Arabia over the period 1970-2017 The estimate of consumption behavior in this paper is identified as centering on the income effect and the wealth effect: The income effect is defined as the direct impact on consumption of a variation in income. The wealth effect is defined as a consumer’s perception of a change in his or her wealth and a concomitant decision either to liquidate some of that wealth to enable an increase in consumption (in the case of a positive wealth change) or to decrease consumption in order to restore the consumer’s desired level of wealth (in the case of a negative wealth change). The wealth effect on consumption can be substantially different from the income effect because it is more closely related to consumers’ expectations of, and fluctuations in, the value of real and financial assets. The authors’ estimation shows that both income and wealth have significant effects on household consumption in Saudi Arabia, with a long-run marginal propensity to consume (MPC) out of income of around 0.73-0.95, and out of wealth of around 0.06. The sensitivity of consumption to income and wealth in Saudi Arabia appears to be consistent with the growth of the Saudi economy.
    Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Consumer Energy Use, Domestic energy consumption, Electricity
    Date: 2019–02
  11. By: Rami Shabaneh; Maxime Schenckery (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Natural gas is already playing a prominent role in diversifying Saudi Arabia’s power mix away from a heavy reliance on oil-based fuels. Between 2010 and 2017, the share of natural gas used in power generation in Saudi Arabia grew from 44% to 54%. The country’s gas fields are being developed to increase domestic gas supplies. However, imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) could remedy the near-term scarcity of gas from domestic sources and provide the support needed to integrate more renewable and other alternative sources of energy into the country’s power mix. Developments in global gas markets in recent years, including procurement and technological innovations in LNG, have unlocked value for producers and consumers.
    Keywords: Liquified Natural Gas, Natural Gas
    Date: 2019–09–02
  12. By: Amro Elshurafa; Nawaz Peerbocus (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: A power system model for Saudi Arabia was built to quantify the carbon emission implications of deploying electric vehicles (EVs) within the Kingdom. The model represented the four operating regions in the Kingdom as segmented by the electricity regulator.
    Keywords: Carbon Emissions, Electric Vehicles, Power Systems
    Date: 2019–10–09
  13. By: David Wogan; Elizabeth Carey; Douglas Cooke (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: The 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change fundamentally altered the nature of global climate governance by introducing a new framework based on a bottom-up system of nationally determined contributions (NDCs). As a signatory Party to the Agreement, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia communicated its intended nationally determined contribution (which became its first NDC) in November 2015. This included a goal of avoiding up to 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent emissions per annum by 2030. This paper evaluates several supply-side policy approaches to mitigate CO2 emissions from the Saudi Arabian power and water sectors, which together account for more than 40% of the Kingdom’s greenhouse gas emissions. The paper aims to help inform the policymaking process in the Kingdom ahead of the communication of its second NDC in 2020.
    Keywords: Carbon Dioxide Emissions (CO2), Climate Change, Climate Change Policy, KAPSARC Energy Model (KEM), Paris Agreement
    Date: 2019–02–27
  14. By: Rubal Dua; Tamara Sheldon (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the drivers of recent improvements in Saudi Arabia’s new light-duty vehicle fleet fuel economy. A vehicle choice model is estimated using aggregate and disaggregate new vehicle purchase data. The estimates are used to simulate counterfactual policy scenarios.
    Keywords: Automobile Transport, Fuel Efficient Vehicles, Fuel Price, Gasoline Consumption, Gasoline Demand
    Date: 2019–04–30
  15. By: Philipp Galkin; Tarek Atalla; Zhongyuan Ren (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: This paper identifies key determinants that appear to shape OPEC’s quota strategy and implementation. Using econometric estimations, it examines the factors that seem to most influence members’ adherence to their production commitments in the short term and what drives the organization’s quota decisions and level of compliance in the longer term.
    Keywords: Crude oil, External shocks, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Oil demand, OPEC, Petroleum industry and trade, Spare capacity
    Date: 2018–07
  16. By: Maya El Hourani (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS); Gérard Mondello (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the influence of bank capitalization and institutional quality on the lending activity of commercial banks in the MENA region over the period from 2000 to 2016. By applying the fixed effect panel data estimator, we find that, commercial bank lending depends on bank-specific variables, macroeconomic variables and the institutional environment. Our results show that any increase in bank capitalization and the implementation of capital regulation (Basel II and Basel III) have negative impacts on the credit supply. We find, also, that political stability and good regulatory quality encourage foreign, domestic and private banks to improve their credit supply. However, commercial banks tend to behave cautiously when there is increasing government effectiveness and financial freedom.
    Keywords: Bank capital, institutional quality, credit supply, MENA region
    Date: 2019–11
  17. By: Dongmei Chen; Wenke Han (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: In recent decades China and Saudi Arabia have gradually deepened their collaboration in many areas. Five indicators are used to assess the overall progress of the two countries’ collaboration and to help form recommendations for ways to improve the integration between China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Saudi Vision 2030. The strategic partnership between China and Saudi Arabia has presented opportunities for a new level of collaboration at a time when both countries are seeking economic transformation and sustainable growth.
    Keywords: China Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Low Carbon Technology, Foreign Direct Investment, Infrastucture Investment, Sustainable Development
    Date: 2019–03
  18. By: Hicham Saddou (UCA - Université Cadi Ayyad [Marrakech], Faculté des lettres et Sciences Humaines Marrakech, Université Cadi Ayyad)
    Abstract: Over the last 20 years, few tourist destinations in the world have been appealing as fast as that of Marrakech to the extent that the "destination Morocco" is often confused with the "red city", the case of Marrakech is unique in the world. This is due to a strong willingness and a political commitment to make tourism a locomotive of development of the country. Thus, the tourism sector occupies an important place in the Moroccan economy, given the revenues it generates, the job opportunities it creates and its role in boosting other sectors. In this article, we show how tourism can be a locomotive of development for a region like Marrakech and its economy. To do this, we will first present the geographical and economic situation of the region. We will then expose the data and statistics making the city of Marrakech the first tourist destination in Morocco. The last section of this article will examine the impact of tourism activity on the city's economic sectors.
    Abstract: Sur les 20 dernières années, rares sont les destinations touristiques dans le monde qui ont construit un succès aussi rapide que celui de Marrakech. À tel point que la « destination Maroc » se confond souvent avec celle de la « ville rouge » ; le cas de Marrakech est unique au monde. Derrière cette prouesse, une volonté et un engagement politique pour faire du tourisme une locomotive de développement du pays. Ainsi, le secteur touristique occupe une place importante dans l'économie marocaine, vu les recettes qu'il génère, les emplois qu'il crée et son rôle dans la dynamisation des autres secteurs. Dans cet article, nous démontrons comment le tourisme peut constituer une locomotive de développement pour une région comme celle de Marrakech et pour son économie. Pour ce faire, nous présenterons dans un premier temps la situation géographique et économique de la région. Nous exposerons ensuite les données et les statistiques faisant de la ville de Marrakech la première destination touristique au Maroc. La dernière section de cet article sera consacrée à l'examen des retombées de l'activité touristique sur les secteurs économiques de la ville.
    Keywords: tourism,economic development,Marrakech
    Date: 2019

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.
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