nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒01‒13
fourteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Foreign Policy Decision-Making in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey By Tsourapas, Gerasimos
  2. Reading Macroeconomics From the Yield Curve: The Turkish Case By Ipek Turkey; Bayram Cakir
  3. Terror and Tourism: The Economic Consequences of Media Coverage By Timothy Besley; Thiemo Fetzer; Hannes Mueller
  4. Theorizing State-Diaspora Relations in the Middle East: Authoritarian Emigration States in Comparative Perspective By Tsourapas, Gerasimos
  5. Water security and sustainable development By Zineb Moumen; Najiba El Amrani El Idrissi; Manuela Tvaronavičienė; Abderrahim Lahrach
  6. Livelihood Diversification Strategies: Resisting Vulnerability in Egypt By Helmy, Imane
  7. Monetary policy transmission in Morocco: Evidence from borrowers-level data By Bennouna, Hicham; Chmielewski, Tomasz; Doukali, Mohamed
  8. Social Safety Nets in Tunisia: Do Benefits Reach the Poor and Vulnerable households at the Regional Level? By Nasri, Khaled
  9. Decomposing Uncertainty in Turkey into Its Determinants By Emine Meltem Bastan; Umit Ozlale
  10. The Performance of Islamic Banks during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis: Evidence from the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries By Hussien, Mohammed Ebrahim; Alam, Md. Mahmudul; Murad, Wahid; , Abu N.M. Wahid
  11. How Do Changing U.S. Interest Rates Affect Banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries? By Olumuyiwa S Adedeji; Yacoub Alatrash; Divya Kirti
  12. Term Premium in Turkish Lira Interest Rates By Halil Ä°brahim Aydin; Ozgur Ozel
  13. A Concise Legal and Economic Review of Sanctions Imposed on Iran by the United States of America and Its Effectiveness on Iranian Authorities By Atashbeik, Mahdis Moharami
  14. Les enjeux de la réforme du régime de change du Maroc By Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney

  1. By: Tsourapas, Gerasimos (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: How does forced migration affect the politics of host states and, in particular, how does it impact upon states’ foreign policy decision-making? The relevant literature on refugee politics has yet to fully explore how forced migration encourages host states to employ their position in order to extract revenue from other state or non-state actors for maintaining refugee groups within their borders. This article explores the workings of refugee rentier states, namely states seeking to leverage their position as host states of displaced communities for material gain. It focuses on the Syrian refugee crisis, examining the foreign-policy responses of three major host states – Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. While all three engaged in post-2011 refugee rent-seeking behavior, Jordan and Lebanon deployed a backscratching strategy based on bargains, while Turkey deployed a blackmailing strategy based on threats. Employing primary sources in English and Arabic, the article inductively examines how the choice of strategy depended on the host state’s size of refugee community and domestic elites’ perception of their state’s geostrategic importance vis-à-vis the target state(s). The article concludes with a discussion on the significance of its findings for understanding the international dimension of the Syrian refugee crisis and paves the way for future research on the effects of forced displacement on host states’ political development.
    Date: 2019–05–03
  2. By: Ipek Turkey; Bayram Cakir
    Abstract: This paper aims to analyze the relationship between yield curve -being a line of the interests in various maturities at a given time- and GDP growth in Turkey. The paper focuses on analyzing the yield curve in relation to its predictive power on Turkish macroeconomic dynamics using the linear regression model. To do so, the interest rate spreads of different maturities are used as a proxy of the yield curve. Findings of the OLS regression are similar to that found in the literature and supports the positive relation between slope of yield curve and GDP growth in Turkey. Moreover, the predicted values of the GDP growth from interest rate spread closely follow the actual GDP growth in Turkey, indicating its predictive power on the economic activity.
    Date: 2019–12
  3. By: Timothy Besley; Thiemo Fetzer; Hannes Mueller
    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.
    Keywords: terror, armed violence, tourism, media reports, economic integration, supervised machine learning, random forest
    JEL: D83 F14 D74 L82 F15 H12
    Date: 2020–01
  4. By: Tsourapas, Gerasimos (University of Birmingham)
    Abstract: Recent scholarly interest in the politics of migration and diaspora across the Global South has yet to address how authoritarian states attempt to reach out to populations abroad. In an effort to shift the discussion on state-diaspora relations beyond liberal democratic contexts and single-case studies, this article comparatively examines how authoritarian emigration states in the Middle East – Libya, Syria, Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan – behave towards their own citizens living beyond state borders. It identifies how each state develops multi-tier diaspora engagement policies aimed at three separate stages of citizens’ mobility: first, policies of exit regulate aspects related to emigration from the country of origin; second, overseas policies target citizens beyond the territorial boundaries of the nation state; finally, return policies set processes of readmission into the country of origin. In doing so, the article identifies similarities across disparate Middle East states’ engagement with emigration and diaspora policymaking. At the same time, the article paints a more complex picture of non-democracies’ strategies towards cross-border mobility that problematizes existing conceptualizations of authoritarian practices and state-diaspora relations.
    Date: 2019–07–24
  5. By: Zineb Moumen (USMBA - Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah); Najiba El Amrani El Idrissi (USMBA - Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah); Manuela Tvaronavičienė (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University); Abderrahim Lahrach
    Abstract: In the realms of Climate change impact, economic and population growth, and pollution, Water security, and sustainable development are paramount, for addressing the food-water-energy nexus and mitigating the impact of the cited drawbacks. The presented paper in the first part, emphasizes water security and sustainable development notions. In 2015 s the 2030 agenda were approved by 193 members of the United Nation, it consists of 17 goals (SDG) for environmental sustainability, social inclusion, economic development, peace, justice, good governance, and partnership. The 6th target of SDG is dedicated to clean water and sanitation since it is considered as one of the central focuses of Sustainable Development Goals. The second part is focused on Moroccan's water management plans. This latter elaborate a legal framework for water use, the law n° 36-15 that comprises the protection of human health through the regulation of exploitation, and provision of sanction. The green Morocco Plan (PMV) which aims first to develop modern agriculture aligned with the world global market requirement, and second to eliminate poverty by helping smallholder farming. The 140 dam's that Morocco counts provide strong support to economic growth. However, under the actual uncontrollable changing rate, Morocco is still threatened by low "water security", the access of drinkable water and sanitation services are improved but not totally covered, Moreover, the climate change
    Keywords: water security,sustainable development,Green Morocco Plan,SDG6,Moroccan Dam's policy
    Date: 2019–12–15
  6. By: Helmy, Imane
    Abstract: Livelihood diversification is attracting considerable interest as a tool to cope with economic shocks and resist vulnerability. This paper investigates the evolution of livelihood diversification in Egypt with a particular focus on wealth and urban-rural divides. Using Egypt Labor Market Panel data from 2006 to 2018, I find that rural households have a more diversified livelihood portfolio, yet they diversified away from farming over time. Poor rural households remained dependent on informal livelihood strategies due to the high entry barriers to formal employment. Urban households had significantly less livelihood diversification than rural households. Wealthy households in urban areas tended to depend on relatively more specialized livelihood clusters which were stable over time. These findings imply that distress is a potential reason for diversification in urban areas.
    Keywords: livelihood,diversification strategies,vulnerability,informality,Egypt
    JEL: O10 D1 D60
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Bennouna, Hicham; Chmielewski, Tomasz; Doukali, Mohamed
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of monetary policy on firms’ liability structure depending on their specific characteristics (size, age, profit, and collateral) over the period 2010 to 2016 using firm-level data. Our results provide evidence that firms borrowing tend to decrease after a restrictive monetary policy, in line with the traditional interest rate channel. We confirm that small and medium firms are more significantly affected by tight monetary policy conditions than large firms, suggesting the existence of the balance sheet channel in Morocco.
    Keywords: Corporate balance sheets, monetary policy transmission, panel data.
    JEL: E44 E52 G20
    Date: 2019–11–30
  8. By: Nasri, Khaled
    Abstract: Teaser: Tunisian social programs provide direct transfers and free or reduced rate access to public health care for families selected by local and regional commissions. In some areas, poor and vulnerable families are excluded from these programs whose places are occupied by other households. The center is often ill-informed about the performance of different regions in reaching the poor and about the exclusion and inclusion errors sources. This lack of information can severely limit the options for designing reforms that will improve targeting performance. In a nutshell : Two components of social safety nets in Tunisia: one covers more, and the other is more generous. The regional commissions often select households headed by women widowed and elderly as beneficiaries. At the regional level, some beneficiaries are not eligible, and the eligible are not beneficiaries. The inclusion of the non-poor and the exclusion of the poor at the regional level are due to disagreement between eligibility criteria and a person’s poverty status.
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Emine Meltem Bastan; Umit Ozlale
    Abstract: This study aims at decomposing macroeconomic uncertainty into its components and constructs uncertainty indicators using the responses given to the Business Tendency Survey in Turkey with the method of Bachmann et al. (2010).The uncertainty indicators concentrate on questions on production capacity, total orders, expected fixed investment and general conditions. They are decomposed into their determinants using variables related to economic activity, exchange rate, interest rates, oil prices and both domestic and foreign price indices. The results show that variables related to economic activity, exchange rates, interest rates and consumer price indices have significant impact on uncertainty indicators, with the distinguished impact of non-linear variables noted for the exchange rate variables. In addition, the effects of the macroeconomic variables are more in line with expectations for production and total orders’ uncertainty compared to the investment and general conditions’ uncertainty.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic uncertainty, Bachmann method, Cross-sectional standard deviation, Business Tendency Survey, Random effects method
    JEL: E32 E20 E22 E23
    Date: 2019
  10. By: Hussien, Mohammed Ebrahim; Alam, Md. Mahmudul (Universiti Utara Malaysia); Murad, Wahid; , Abu N.M. Wahid
    Abstract: Purpose – The purpose of this study is to analyze the profitability performance of Islamic banks of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region during 2008 global financial crisis. Design/methodology/approach – Bank specific data are taken from the Bank Scope database and macroeconomic data are collected from International Financial Statistics. Using a panel data series of 30 banks for the period of 2005 to 2011, the study shows the evidence of structural break for the crisis year as well as the factors that impact the profitability of Islamic banks. Findings – The performance of GCC Islamic banks was significantly influenced during the crisis period by capital adequacy, credit risk, financial risk, operational efficiency, liquidity, bank size, gross domestic product, growth rate of money supply, bank sector development and inflation rate. The study also finds that there is a structural change before and after the global financial crisis. Originality/value – This is an original study that shows that the shariah compliant banks have performed better during the crisis and are not affected based on their internal performance records; rather, they have been affected indirectly from the macro shock due to the overall economic crisis.
    Date: 2019–06–15
  11. By: Olumuyiwa S Adedeji; Yacoub Alatrash; Divya Kirti
    Abstract: Given their pegged exchange rate regimes, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries usually adjust their policy rates to match shifting U.S. monetary policy. This raises the important question of how changes in U.S. monetary policy affect banks in the GCC. We use bank-level panel data, exploiting variation across banks within countries, to isolate the impact of changing U.S. interest rates on GCC banks funding costs, asset rates, and profitability. We find stronger pass-through from U.S. monetary policy to liability rates than to asset rates and bank profitability, largely reflecting funding structures. In addition, we explore the role of shifts in the quantity of bank liabilities as policy rates change and the role of large banks with relatively stable funding costs to explain these findings.
    Date: 2019–12–06
  12. By: Halil Ä°brahim Aydin; Ozgur Ozel
    Abstract: In this paper we decompose Turkish government bond yields and currency swap rates into expected short rate and term premium components. We use two well-established approaches and find similar results. Our findings show that the term premium displays countercyclical behavior and it is affected from expected inflation and share of foreign investors in bond market. Compared to survey-based expectations, expected short rate estimates of our model are more responsive to global and domestic market developments. Our estimations carry important information about the stance of monetary policy and investor behavior.
    Keywords: Interest rates, Term premium, Yield curve
    JEL: E43 G10 G12
    Date: 2019
  13. By: Atashbeik, Mahdis Moharami
    Abstract: The economic impact and legal aspects of the sanc- tions imposed by the United States of America is summarised here to study its effectiveness as means for persuasion.
    Date: 2019–09–11
  14. By: Sylviane Guillaumont Jeanneney (FERDI - Fondation pour les Etudes et Recherches sur le Développement International, CERDI - Centre d'Etudes et de Recherche en Droit de l'Immatériel - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - UP11 - Université Paris-Sud - Paris 11)
    Abstract: Le choix d'un régime de change par un pays en développement est toujours une décision difficile. Le taux de change réel qui exprime le prix relatif des biens locaux par rapport aux prix des biens étrangers, et plus généralement le prix des biens faisant l'objet du commerce international par rapport aux biens n'en faisant pas l'objet ou biens domestiques, influence l'ensemble de la structure des prix et ce faisant exerce des impacts multiples, financiers, économiques et sociaux. Quant au choix de son régime des changes le Maroc semble à la croisée des chemins.
    Date: 2019–07–19

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