nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒01‒06
eighteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Terror and Tourism : The Economic Consequences of Media Coverage By Besley, Timothy; Fetzer, Thiemo; Mueller, Hannes
  2. Attitudes and Opinions of Social Media Users Towards Smart Meters' Rollout in Turkey By Yash Chawla; Anna Kowalska-Pyzalska; Burcu Oralhan
  3. Discovering Hidden Patterns in Loan Reimbursement By Niknamian, Sorush
  4. Interaction of Monetary and Fiscal Policies in Turkey By Tayyar Buyukbasaran; Cem Cebi; Erdal Yilmaz
  5. Curbing Corruption Through Better Economic Governance in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia By Christopher J. Jarvis; Gaelle Pierre; Benedicte Baduel; Dominique Fayad; Alexander de Keyserling; Mariusz A. Sumlinski; Babacar Sarr; Arthur D. P. Rossi; Wouter Bossu; Jaime Cardoso; Elie Chamoun; Arkadiusz Majewski; Riaan van Greuning; Chady El Khoury; Ozlem Aydin Sakrak; Alessandro Gullo; Ioana Luca; Jonathan Pampolina; Jonathan Swanepoel
  6. Socioeconomic Determinants of Gender Specific Life Expectancy in Turkey: A Time Series Analysis By ŞENTÜRK, İsmail; Ali, Amjad
  7. Marriage Market in Turkey: An Ionized Radiation Driven Natural Experiment By Gokben Aydilek; Murat Anil Mercan
  8. Foresight for sustainable energy policy in Egypt: results from a Delphi survey By Mohamed Ramadan A. Rezk; Amr Radwan; Nahed M. Salem; Mahmoud M. Sakr; Manuela Tvaronavičienė
  9. Determinants of and Trends in Labor Force Participation of Women in Turkey Abstract: By Meltem Dayioglu; Murat Guray Kirdar
  10. Cyclically Adjusted Current Account Balance of Turkey By Okan Eren; Gulnihal Tuzun
  11. Challenges to the integration of Syrian refugees By Amaral, Ernesto F. L.; Woldetsadik, Mahlet A.; Armenta, Gabriela
  12. Estimating Poverty for Refugee Populations: Can Cross-Survey Imputation Methods Substitute for Data Scarcity? By Dang, Hai-Anh; Verme, Paolo
  13. Hidden Reserves as an Alternative Channel of Firm Finance in a Major Developing Economy By Ibrahim Yarba
  14. Piloting territorial tourism in Morocco Proposal for a tourism index for the destination Fez By Aziz Hmioui; Lhoussaine Alla; Badr Bentalha
  15. Aspects of diversity in multiple comparisons: A case study of selected hybrid and local cows in Gezira state, Sudan (1969-2000) By Ibrahim, Sahar F.; Bushara, Mohamed O.A.
  16. Does Location Matter? Evidence on Differential Mortgage Pricing in Israel By Natalya Presman; Nitzan Tzur-Ilan
  17. Transformations structurelles et diversité des comportements des exploitations agricoles en Tunisie : Analyse au niveau local dans les gouvernorats de Zaghouan et Mednine By Jouili, Mustapha
  18. درنگی سنجشگرایانه درباره‌ی نئولیبرالیسم By Vahabi, Mehrdad; Mohajer, Nasser

  1. By: Besley, Timothy (London School of Economics); Fetzer, Thiemo (Warwick University); Mueller, Hannes (IAE - CSIC)
    Abstract: This paper studies the economic effects of news-coverage of violent events. To do so, we combine monthly aggregated and anonymized credit card data on tourism spending from 114 origin countries and 5 tourist destinations (Turkey, Egypt,Tunisia,Israel and Morocco) with a large corpus of more than 446 thousand newspaper articles covering news on the 5 destination countries from a subset of 57 tourist origin countries. We document that violent events in a destination are followed by sharp spikes in negative reporting at origin and contractions in tourist activity. Media coverage of violence has a large independent effect on tourist spending beyond what can be accounted for by controlling for the incidence of violence. We develop a model in which tourist beliefs, actual violence and media reporting are modelled together. This model allows us to quantify the effect of violent events and reporting.
    Date: 2019
  2. By: Yash Chawla; Anna Kowalska-Pyzalska; Burcu Oralhan
    Abstract: Increasing the efficiency of electricity transmission is nearing the top of the agenda in many countries around the world. Turkey, the world's newly industrialized country, is no different. Modernizing the current transmission grids to Smart Grids (SG) and national rollout of smart meters (SM), are some of the measures taken by the government to meet the growing demand for electricity. Consumer acceptance and engagement are among the most important elements for success of SG and SM, however, there has been no such study done among Turkish electricity consumers. This study was aimed to fill this gap, by outlining the attitudes and expectations of Turkish citizens regarding SM and listing recommendations for energy companies based on the findings. Through an online questionnaire, responses from 504 social media users were collected and analyzed. Results show that the consumers are open towards the acceptance of SM, but there is a need to raise the awareness and knowledge through proper communication channels. Even though the study was conducted among social media users, it was revealed that a range of conventional and digital channels need to be actively used in order to enhance consumer willingness. Increasing social interactions regarding SM is one of the key recommendations detailed by the authors.
    Keywords: smart meters; social acceptance; knowledge; Turkish electricity market; consumers; social media;
    JEL: D12 D90 D91 Q01 Q55
    Date: 2019–12–10
  3. By: Niknamian, Sorush
    Abstract: Loans are the major resources at banks. However, in some cases the cost that they incur to banks soar and finally makes them detrimental, as a result of irregular or delaying reimbursement or not paying at all. Due to the low wage rates in Iranian banks and the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) regulations in determining interest rates for deposits and loans, banks are becoming more and more dependent to the loans and their related profits. Therefore, banks have to look for customers with low risk for punctual payment. According to defect loan reimbursement in past years, banks have to specify severe prerequisites and limited contracts in granting loans to their customers. Contravening banking regulations and lack of consistent customers' accreditation banks are getting into heavy losses. Evaluating situations of the granted loans in EN Bank of Iran during a six-month period, based upon the profiles and loans history and the trend of payments useful patterns are discovered; designing a practical model of loan payment in Iran, the future default or failure to regain the granted loans is predicted and sensible methods of granting loans in Iran are developed. In order to extract hidden patterns in data statistical methods and data mining tools with focus on decision tree techniques are applied.
    Date: 2019–04–29
  4. By: Tayyar Buyukbasaran; Cem Cebi; Erdal Yilmaz
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the interaction between monetary and fiscal policies in Turkey. For this purpose, a Bayesian Structural Vector Auto-Regression (SVAR) model with sign and zero restrictions is used. We particularly focus on how the fiscal and monetary policy variables respond to various macroeconomic shocks and whether the type of shocks matters. Our results confirm the importance of nature of shocks in terms of interaction between monetary and fiscal policies with the finding that both policy shocks are complementary in response to demand and supply shocks while they are substitute in response to shocks caused by the each other. Our main findings are robust to alternative variable definitions and identifying restrictions.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, Fiscal policy, Structural VAR, SVAR, Bayesian VAR, Sign and zero restrictions
    JEL: C11 C32 E52 E62
    Date: 2019
  5. By: Christopher J. Jarvis; Gaelle Pierre; Benedicte Baduel; Dominique Fayad; Alexander de Keyserling; Mariusz A. Sumlinski; Babacar Sarr; Arthur D. P. Rossi; Wouter Bossu; Jaime Cardoso; Elie Chamoun; Arkadiusz Majewski; Riaan van Greuning; Chady El Khoury; Ozlem Aydin Sakrak; Alessandro Gullo; Ioana Luca; Jonathan Pampolina; Jonathan Swanepoel
    Abstract: Curbing corruption can help countries achieve higher and more inclusive growth. The paper focuses on the Middle East, North Africa, and the Caucasus and Central Asia. The roots of corruption often lie in poor economic governance, and thus improving governance of economic institutions can help curb corruption. While every MCD country possesses its own strengths and weaknesses, there are some common themes and problems that emerge.
    Keywords: Corruption;Governance;Middle East and Central Asia;North Africa;Governance; corruption; Middle East; North Africa; Central Asia; macroeconomic policy
  6. By: ŞENTÜRK, İsmail; Ali, Amjad
    Abstract: This paper has tried to analyze the socioeconomic determinants of total as well as gender specific life expectancy in Turkey from 1971 to 2017. Data stationarity has been checked by ADF, PP and DFGLS unit root tests and cointegration has been checked with the help of the ARDL bound testing method. The estimated results show that the overall level of education, purchasing power and economic development have a significant role in deciding total average life expectancy in Turkey. Whereas, population growth and environmental degradation have an insignificant contribution in deciding total average life expectancy in Turkey. Estimates show environmental degradation, purchasing power and level of male education have contributed significantly in male life expectancy in Turkey. Economic development and share of the male population have an insignificant role in deciding life expectancy of male in Turkey. Environmental degradation, the level of female education, fertility rates and female population significantly effected female life expectancy, but purchasing power has an insignificant role in deciding life expectancy of female in Turkey. The results recommend that the government of Turkey should enhance the level of education and try to stable purchasing power and sustainable development with controlled fertility rates for higher level life expectancy.
    Keywords: life expectancy, education, environmental degradation, population growth
    JEL: O1 Q0
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Gokben Aydilek (Gebze Technical University); Murat Anil Mercan (Gebze Technical University)
    Abstract: The disaster in the atomic power plant in Chernobyl in northwestern Ukraine on 26 April 1986 discharged extensive amounts of radioactive materials. The destroyed reactor released large amounts of radioactive material to the environment and atmospheric conditions carried the radioactive discharges to other regions, enwidening its area of impact and changing the lives of those who are exposed during different times of their lifecycles. In addition to the physiological health hazard it has caused, the Chernobyl Forum report on Health defines the mental health impact of Chernobyl as the largest public health problem caused by the very accident. Though there are studies analysing the effects of prenatal exposure to ionizing radiation on the physical health status of people in their later lives, there are not many studies examining the psychosocial effects of prenatal exposure to the Chernobyl disaster. Previous studies examining the psychological effects of prenatal exposure to Chernobyl disaster conclude that people who are exposed to prenatal stress due to Chernobyl are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and poor self-rated health status compared to others. In Turkey, one of the countries affected by Chernobyl mostly in the Blacksea Region, there are no studies regarding the potential psychosocial damage that this disaster might have caused. As the exposure to Chernobyl could be regarded as a natural experiment, this study aims to fill the gap in the literature by analysing the psychosocial effects of the prenatal exposure to Chernobyl disaster in Turkey regarding the marriage decisions of people as a proxy for attachment. In this study, ?Family Structure Survey ? year 2016? data from the TurkStat questionnaire is exploited. The data is taken from a cross-sectional household survey conducted face-to-face on a nationally representative sample of 17,239 households; 35,475 individuals in the households who are above 15 years of age are interviewed. Given the strong cultural tendency of both men and women in Turkey to get married, the preliminary findings suggest a rather surprising effect that women who are exposed to maternal stress from their third trimester onwards are highly less likely to get married compared to those who are not. Our preliminary findings might suggest that stress related perturbations in fetal brain development during the third trimester might be related with the expanded predominance of negative mental status and might result in people leaving the marriage market by significantly differing from the cultural pattern.
    Keywords: Natural experiment, Chernobyl disaster, marriage market, prenatal exposure
    JEL: I10 I10 I19
    Date: 2019–10
  8. By: Mohamed Ramadan A. Rezk (Academy of Scientific Research & Technology); Amr Radwan (Academy of Scientific Research & Technology); Nahed M. Salem (Academy of Scientific Research & Technology); Mahmoud M. Sakr (Academy of Scientific Research & Technology); Manuela Tvaronavičienė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University)
    Abstract: This paper presents energy opportunities, particular areas of high potential and reflections on energy challenges in Egypt by the year 2040. Energy foresight significantly contributes in the effective review and formulation of national energy policies and strategies. In this work, 350 experts participated in real-time Delphi survey and responded to a set of structured and cross-linked questionnaires that aim to assess and provide future dimension to the energy sector in Egypt. Priorities are presented across 14 energy cluster-areas with 180 identified topics. The two-round Delphi study with an iterative process was performed to determine and measure the expectations of the different stakeholders with specific emphasis on the prospects of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The designed cross-linkages between survey components allowed the systematic pooling and convergence of knowledge in addition to the technical insights and different perspectives. About 50% of Egypt's energy demand was foresighted to be met by renewable energies around 2030. The results showed that all types of energy would not only provide economic and environmental benefits but also improve living standards. This work demonstrates that involving large diversity of expertise and different stakeholders, comprising heterogeneous groups, in foresight studies would potentiate the forecasting power, reduce the polarization effect, and enhance the reliability of the foresight exercise.
    Keywords: science policy,foresight,Delphi survey,energy,sustainable development,renewable energy
    Date: 2019–12–15
  9. By: Meltem Dayioglu; Murat Guray Kirdar
    Date: 2019–02
  10. By: Okan Eren; Gulnihal Tuzun
    Abstract: We estimate the impact of the domestic and trade partners’ business cycles on the current account balance of Turkey and build a cyclically-adjusted current account balance from 2003Q1 to 2019Q1. To this end, we adopt a methodology that is based on the estimation of domestic and foreign business cycles by a modified version of HP filter and the approximation of their impact on the goods and services trade balances, separately. Our findings suggest that the level and evolution of the current account balance are mainly determined by non-cyclical factors although the size of cyclical adjustment reaches up to 1.4 percent of GDP in certain periods. The domestic business cycles seem to be the main driver of the cyclical changes in the current account balance throughout the period of analysis. Furthermore, the cyclical adjustment is more pronounced in the goods trade balance than the services trade balance. Foreign business cycles have a much bigger effect on the services trade balance than the goods trade balance when compared to the impact of domestic business cycles. Finally, the incorporation of price cycles into the analysis points out that the final cyclically-adjusted current account balance turns out to be more positive in recent periods unlike the case in which only the business cycles are taken into account.
    Keywords: Current Account Balance, Cyclical Adjustment, Business Cycles
    JEL: E32 F14 F32
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Amaral, Ernesto F. L. (Texas A&M University); Woldetsadik, Mahlet A.; Armenta, Gabriela
    Abstract: In this study, we provide an overview of the situation of Syrian refugees and other non-citizens living in host countries. We explored the cases of several countries: Turkey, which is one of the main destinations for refugees fleeing the Syrian crisis; Germany and the United Kingdom, which are high-income countries where the public sentiment about refugees has changed overtime; Greece and Italy, nations that share a close border with countries experiencing large refugee influxes; and Canada and Australia, which have had different approaches regarding inflows of refugees and do not share borders with countries that have significant outflows of migrants and refugees. Our review of policies suggests that the successful resettlement of Syrian refugees is dependent on political commitment that is coupled with public support and community engagement. Successful social and economic policies to address the refugee crisis demand a combined effort in terms of planning, implementing, monitoring, and assessing initiatives. Most importantly, record-keeping and sharing data with stakeholders need to be improved, which is a joint request of nonprofit organizations and academic institutions.
    Date: 2018–11–30
  12. By: Dang, Hai-Anh (World Bank); Verme, Paolo (World Bank)
    Abstract: The increasing growth of forced displacement worldwide has led to the stronger interest of various stakeholders in measuring poverty among refugee populations. However, refugee data remain scarce, particularly in relation to the measurement of income, consumption, or expenditure. This paper offers a first attempt to measure poverty among refugees using cross-survey imputations and administrative and survey data collected by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Jordan. Employing a small number of predictors currently available in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees registration system, the proposed methodology offers out-of-sample predicted poverty rates. These estimates are not statistically different from the actual poverty rates. The estimates are robust to different poverty lines, they are more accurate than those based on asset indexes or proxy means tests, and they perform well according to targeting indicators. They can also be obtained with relatively small samples. Despite these preliminary encouraging results, it is essential to replicate this experiment across countries using different data sets and welfare aggregates before validating the proposed method.
    Keywords: poverty imputation, Syrian refugees, household survey, missing data, Jordan
    JEL: C15 I32 J15 J61 O15
    Date: 2019–12
  13. By: Ibrahim Yarba
    Abstract: This study analyses the argument that whether Turkish non-financial firms utilize any informal source of alternative funding during economic uncertainties over the last decade. This study is the first to explore the issue and provide some insights regarding how small and medium-sized enterprises do react to the financial constraint problem in such an economic environment. Both trend analysis and dynamic panel model estimations provide supporting evidence that Turkish non-financial firms have some reserves (e.g., owners’, relatives’ and/or friends’ personal wealth) that are utilized during the times of persistent stress and tightening of macroprudential policies. Most strikingly, this is the case for only small and medium-sized enterprises but not for large firms.
    Keywords: Hidden reserves, Alternative firm financing channels, SME, Macroprudential policy, Uncertainty, Persistence of uncertainty
    JEL: C23 D21 D81 G18 G32
    Date: 2019
  14. By: Aziz Hmioui (E.N.C.G - Ecole nationale de commerce et de gestion - Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University); Lhoussaine Alla (E.N.C.G - Ecole nationale de commerce et de gestion - Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University); Badr Bentalha (E.N.C.G - Ecole nationale de commerce et de gestion)
    Abstract: Both domestically and internationally, tourist destinations are under great pressure to make their attractiveness more effective and their performance more sustainable. This is all the more true since the current context is more marked by the crisis in the tourism sector, increased competition and profound changes in tourism supply and demand. As a result, each tourist territory has an obvious challenge in terms of competitiveness, as tourism professionals must develop strategies capable of building and maintaining profitable positions (Bartikowski, 2008). This requires a reinvented piloting of its permanence, here approached by the touristic nature of their area of competence. Thus, the current problem for destinations is no longer to respond to the market but to do better than the competition. Indeed, tourism must be analysed in terms of the relationship between competitiveness and the supply of tourist attractions, but also in terms of the relationship between competitiveness and the ability of stakeholders in the destination territory to cooperate.
    Abstract: Tant au niveau interne qu'international, les destinations touristiques sont soumises à de grandes pressions quant à l'efficacité de leur attractivité et à la durabilité de leur performance. Ceci est d'autant plus vrai que le contexte actuel est davantage marqué par la crise du secteur touristique, l'accentuation de la concurrence et les profondes mutations de l'offre et de la demande touristiques. En conséquence, chaque territoire touristique a un défi évident à relever en termes de compétitivité, les professionnels du tourisme se devant de développer des stratégies capables de construire et de maintenir des positions profitables (Bartikowski, 2008). Ce qui nécessite un pilotage réinventé de sa permanence, ici approchée par la touristicité de leur territoire de compétence. C'est ainsi que la problématique actuelle des destinations n'est plus tant de répondre au marché que de faire mieux que la concurrence. En effet, la touristicité doit s'analyser en terme certes de relation entre compétitivité et dotation en attractions touristiques, mais aussi de relation entre compétitivité et aptitude des parties prenantes du territoire-destination à coopérer.
    Keywords: pilotage de la touristicité,indice touristicité territoriale,touristicité territoriale,Attractivité territoriale
    Date: 2017–12–01
  15. By: Ibrahim, Sahar F.; Bushara, Mohamed O.A.
    Keywords: Livestock Production/Industries
    Date: 2019–09
  16. By: Natalya Presman (bank of Israel); Nitzan Tzur-Ilan (bank of Iseael)
    Abstract: Abstract This paper explores the contribution of various factors to determining mortgage interest rates in Israel. We use a unique database combining loan-level data on mortgage loans originated by the Israeli banking system during 2010–13 with proprietary data on assets underlying mortgage origination as well as several additional variables designed to capture risk associated with regional real estate markets and the extent of competition prevailing in the banking system. We show that significant differences exist in real mortgage interest rates among different locations and neighborhood qualities. While homebuyers purchasing assets in the more prosperous central neighborhoods pay the lowest interest rates, those purchasing assets in the peripheral and economically weak neighborhoods pay the highest ones. Observable characteristics of the borrower, the mortgage and the underlying asset risk, and banking competition explain up to two thirds of the regional and socioeconomic differences in mortgage interest rates found in the raw data. Other factors that may explain remaining regional differences in the interest rates include unobservable borrower characteristics such as financial literacy and bargaining ability, unknown characteristics of borrower's employment and statistical discrimination of some groups of borrowers.
    Date: 2019–11
  17. By: Jouili, Mustapha
    Keywords: Agribusiness
    Date: 2019–09
  18. By: Vahabi, Mehrdad; Mohajer, Nasser
    Abstract: This paper discusses different meanings and ambiguities of “neoliberalism” as a concept. Three dimensions of this concept as an economic doctrine, principles of economic policies (Washington Consensus) and a particular type of accumulation regime (post-Fordism) are explored. It also explores the evolution of this concept among its left and right advocates since the financial Crisis in 2008 notably the “authoritarian liberalism” and the “crisis of liberalism”. Finally, it reviews this concept is used in explaining certain aspects of the political economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
    Keywords: Neoliberalism, Authoritarian liberalism, Classical Liberalism, Social Liberalism, Washington Consensus, Keynes, Hayek, Mises, Friedman, Accumulation regime
    JEL: B2 E5 E58 G2 H7 N4
    Date: 2019–12–26

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