nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒04‒27
twelve papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Confidence in Public Institutions and the Run up to the October 2019 Uprising in Lebanon By Fakih, Ali; Makdissi, Paul; Marrouch, Walid; Tabri, Rami V.; Yazbeck, Myra
  2. Assessing Residential Solar Rooftop Potential in Saudi Arabia Using Nighttime Satellite Images: A Study for the City of Riyadh By Hector G. Lopez-Ruiz; Jorge Blazquez; Michele Vittorio
  3. Saudi Vision 2030 Dynamic Input-Output Table: Computing Macroeconomic Forecasts with RAS Method By David Havrlant; Mehmet Ali Soytas
  4. Assessing energy policy instruments : LNG imports into Saudi Arabia By Rami Shabaneh; Maxime Schenckery
  5. Are Covid-19 Cases Independent of the City Sizes? By Aydogan, Yigit
  6. The Candidate Screening in Iran's Parliamentary Elections, 1984-2012 By Tomoyo Chisaka
  7. The Economic Outcomes of an Ethnic Minority: The Role of Barriers By Kasir, Nitsa Kaliner; Yashiv, Eran
  8. The political economy of economic policy in Iraq By Hamilton, Alexander
  9. The Gulf Divided: The Economic Impacts of the Qatar Crisis By Jamal Bouoiyour; Refk Selmi
  10. Évaluer les capacités transformationnelles du commerce équitable. Le cas du territoire de l’arganier By Lahcen Benbihi; Anne Marchais-Roubelat; Khalid Bourma
  11. L’enracinement des dirigeants : cas des entreprises algériennes cotées en bourse (durant la période 2005 – 2017) By Kerzabi, Zouleykha samiya; Kerzabi, Dounya
  12. Die Entwicklung der islamischen Finanzierung zwischen der Zweckmäßigkeit der Wahl und der Nachhaltigkeit des Projekts: Anwendung auf Paneldaten in der MENA-Region By Abderraouf Mtiraoui

  1. By: Fakih, Ali (Lebanese American University); Makdissi, Paul (University of Ottawa); Marrouch, Walid (Lebanese American University); Tabri, Rami V. (University of Sydney); Yazbeck, Myra (University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper uses the 2013 World Value Survey, as well as the 2016 and 2018 waves of the Arab Barometer, to analyze the dynamics of trust in public institutions in Lebanon. It finds strong evidence that confidence in most public institutions has decreased between 2013 and 2016. The evidence of this decrease is robust to the numerical scale assigned to the different ordinal categories of trust and to assumptions on the missing values generating process. This finding highlights the importance for policymakers in developing countries to survey the perceptions and political attitude of their constituents in order to improve the performance of public institutions.
    Keywords: confidence, institutions, uprising, ordinal variable
    JEL: D72 O53 P16 P40
    Date: 2020–03
  2. By: Hector G. Lopez-Ruiz; Jorge Blazquez; Michele Vittorio (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Saudi Arabia is developing utility-scale solar power projects as a first step toward diversifying its electricity generation mix, currently based almost entirely on crude oil, refined oil products and natural gas. The Saudi National Renewable Energy Program aims to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the Kingdom’s power mix, targeting 3.45 gigawatts (GW) of installed renewable energy generation capacity by 2020 and 9.5 GW by 2023.
    Keywords: Renewable energy, Rooftop Solar Panels, Nighttime Satelite images, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
    Date: 2020–04–20
  3. By: David Havrlant; Mehmet Ali Soytas (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: When an economy is in the midst of a transformation and diversification process, it is hard to assume that its sectoral composition and inter-industry transactions will remain unchanged. This is especially the case since substantial adjustments to a country’s economic structure are at the heart of any restructuring plan. This paper introduces an approach that combines macroeconomic forecasts with the RAS method to produce long-term projections of input-output tables (IOTs), with an emphasis on key targets of Saudi Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s blueprint for economic diversification. A significant advantage of the input-output framework is its high sectoral granularity, allowing it to capture the impacts of adjustments to final demand or government policies with respect to individual sectors. Our hybrid approach enables the introduction of different growth paths for the main variables, so that Vision 2030’s transformation plan is reflected appropriately in the projected IOTs. The framework is flexible enough to accommodate sudden adjustments with relative ease, such as the introduction of new technologies or entire sectors into the economy. Saudi Vison 2030 includes a set of targets relating to economic diversification, improved energy efficiency, the introduction of new technologies, social transformation and the support of selected emerging sectors. These policies are expected to have a substantial impact on the Saudi economy, underlining the need for an adequate and flexible tool for projecting and evaluating structural adjustments in the economy.
    Keywords: Economic Diversification, Economic projection, Input-Output table, Saudi Vision 2030
    Date: 2020–04–12
  4. By: Rami Shabaneh (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center); Maxime Schenckery (IFP School, IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles - IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles)
    Abstract: Saudi Arabia relies heavily on oil-based generation to meet its power needs within a geographically unbalanced pattern of natural demand and supply. Many initiatives are currently being assessed to reduce the high opportunity cost of burning oil for the country. This paper examines the cost and implication of a disruptive policy where Saudi Arabia imports liquefied natural gas (LNG). To determine the possible and optimal sources to procure LNG into Saudi Arabia we use and configure a partial equilibrium model, specified as a linear programming problem. Two import scenarios were tested: the first assumes an import terminal with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) and the other scenario assumes 22 MTPA. Results show that Saudi Arabia can import LNG for power generation at a discount to the opportunity cost of oil. Especially during the summer months, as Saudi Arabia's gas demand is counter-seasonal to major importing regions it leads to even more interesting market pricing conditions. It also shows a small difference in landed cost of LNG between the two scenarios which implies the global LNG market can accommodate relatively large demand from Saudi Arabia without distorting significantly the global market pricing mechanism.
    Keywords: Power generation,Natural gas,LNG trade,Saudi Arabia,Electricity sector,Optimization
    Date: 2020–02
  5. By: Aydogan, Yigit
    Abstract: In this paper it is shown that more crowded cities did not exacerbate the Covid-19 pandemic. Reports from Turkey constitutes evidence that the Gibrat’s Law holds and the infection grows among population in proportion to the city sizes. Covid-19 cases are lognormally distributed throughout the country. While the 0-19 age group of the society is associated with a negative impact on the reported cases, 40-59 group has the most additive effect. Distribution of the reported deaths from Covid-19 does not grow in proportion to the city size, and may well be approximated by both exponential and normal distributions.
    Keywords: Covid-19, Gibrat’s Law, Law of the Proportionate Effect, City Size Distribution.
    JEL: C21 D01 I18
    Date: 2020–04–09
  6. By: Tomoyo Chisaka (Ph.D. student, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University; Research Fellow, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science)
    Abstract: This discussion paper examines historical development of the candidate screening for Iran's parliamentary elections from 1984 to 2012. Scholars have discussed disqualification of reformists by the Guardian Council, but little is known about to what extent the pattern of disqualification was consistent in the elections. Using various local newspapers, I identified who were disqualified at elections in a long period of time. The result shows that the Guardian Council gradually expanded the target of disqualification. In some cases even incumbents who were once allowed were later disqualified. The paper concludes that the Guardian Council played an important role in excluding those who challenge the Supreme Leader's authority.
    Keywords: Iran’s parliamentary elections, candidate screening, the Guardian Council
    Date: 2020–04
  7. By: Kasir, Nitsa Kaliner (Haredi Institute for Policy Studies); Yashiv, Eran (Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: The Arab population in Israel constitutes an ethnic minority, at around 20% of the population. The economy of this minority is characterized by inferior outcomes relative to the Jewish majority by all indicators, including employment, wages, occupational status, social welfare, education, and housing. This paper reviews key data facts and presents a model of barriers to integration facing Arabs in Israel, taking it to the data. The empirical analysis, based on a general equilibrium model of occupational choice with optimizing agents and barriers, points to an increase over time in barriers to the acquisition of human capital in highly skilled occupations, and, concurrently, a reduction in labor market barriers in all occupations. The analysis offers insights relevant to other developed economies with large ethnic minorities.
    Keywords: ethnic minority, economic outcomes, human capital barriers, labor market barriers, occupational choice
    JEL: J15 J24
    Date: 2020–04
  8. By: Hamilton, Alexander
    Abstract: Since 2003, despite an abundance of resources and a more pluralistic political settlement, Iraq’s economic reform process has failed to take off. This paper explores the link between the evolution and consolidation of Iraq’s post-2003 political settlement and the way this has impacted the incentives decision-makers face when implementing economic policy. Paradoxically, the fact that the settlement has accommodated more groups than its repressive predecessor has not resulted in more inclusive, long-term oriented and programmatic economic decision-making. This is because the inclusion of more (elite) groups reflects the fact that more actors can now generate violence if they are not placated with state-generated rents. Consequently, Iraq’s political transition has exacerbated incentives for decision-makers to pursue more short-termist policies that have diverted resources away from long-term productive investments and reconstruction, and towards a focus on satisfying ethnic and religious clientelist networks. Transitioning away from this modus operandi will require patient and opportunistic economic reforms that slowly create new pressures on political actors to support the delivery of public goods and a policy environment more conducive to private sector growth.
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2020–03
  9. By: Jamal Bouoiyour (CATT - Centre d'Analyse Théorique et de Traitement des données économiques - UPPA - Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau); Refk Selmi (IRMAPE - Institut de Recherche en Management et Pays Emergents - ESC Pau, ESC Pau)
    Date: 2020–01–31
  10. By: Lahcen Benbihi (Université Ibn Zohr [Agadir], LIRSA - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche en sciences de l'action - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM]); Anne Marchais-Roubelat (LIRSA - Laboratoire interdisciplinaire de recherche en sciences de l'action - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM]); Khalid Bourma (Université Ibn Zohr [Agadir])
    Abstract: Communication on the impact of fair trade is of prime interest for its development. In line with researches on fair trade's capacities to transform socio-economic relationships in the long term, this article aims to compare its impact at the level of producer organizations with the level of the territory where they operate.The research carried out on the argan tree territory in Morocco stresses an evolution of the studied cooperatives. They become aware of becoming stakeholders in regional planning in a logic of sustainable development, beyond the short-term economic interest, which was initially their trigger. This awareness contrasts with the conception of the limited role played by fair trade in the sustainable transformation of socio-economic relations on the territory scale put up by the key players of the network of public institutions and representatives of producers created by the Moroccan government for the argan sector's development. Beyond the initial project of evaluating the local effects of fair trade and its capacity to transform socio-economic relationships in the long term in the perspective of communicating with consumers, this research highlights a plurality of communication issues upstream of the sector, on a territorial scale.
    Abstract: La communication autour des effets du commerce équitable sur les territoires dans lesquels il s'inscrit joue un rôle essentiel dans son développement. Dans la mouvance des travaux de recherche sur l'impact du commerce équitable et sur ses capacités à transformer durablement les relations socio-économiques, cet article a pour objectif de comparer les effets du commerce équitable à l'échelle des organisations de producteurs et à celle du territoire où ils vivent. La recherche effectuée sur le territoire de l'arganier au Maroc montre une évolution des coopératives étudiées qui prennent conscience de devenir parties prenantes de l'aménagement du territoire dans une logique de développement durable, au-delà de l'intérêt économique à court terme qui constituait initialement leur unique facteur de motivation. Cette prise de conscience contraste avec la conception du rôle limité que joue le commerce équitable dans la transformation durable des relations socio-économiques à l'échelle du territoire qu'ont les acteurs clefs du réseau d'institutions publiques et de représentants de producteurs créés par le gouvernement marocain pour le développement de la filière de l'argan. Au-delà du projet initial de l'évaluation des effets locaux du commerce équitable et de sa capacité à transformer durablement les relations socio-économiques en vue de sa communication auprès des consommateurs, cette recherche met en lumière une pluralité de problématiques communicationnelles en amont de la filière, à l'échelle du territoire.
    Keywords: transformation,cooperatives,territory,fair trade,certification,commerce équitable,coopératives,territoire
    Date: 2019
  11. By: Kerzabi, Zouleykha samiya; Kerzabi, Dounya
    Abstract: Theories of property rights, agency and transaction costs have brought to light conflicts of interest that may exist between different partners in the business. The objective of this article is to study the effect of different leadership rooting strategies on the performance of Algerian listed companies. This study is carried out on a sample of 4 companies, concerning 4 CEOs of companies listed on the Algiers stock exchange during the period 2005-2017. The results of the analysis on the relationship between performance and rooting strategies show that the adoption of manager's control mechanisms can have a significant effect on performance.
    Keywords: Roots - Manager - Algerian company - Performance - Financial market
    JEL: G15 G30 M21
    Date: 2020–03
  12. By: Abderraouf Mtiraoui (Université de Sousse)
    Abstract: Based on a review of the innovative literature, we first examine theoretically the nature of the relationship between financial development and economic growth while taking into account the role played by Islamic finance in orienting investment and spending which takes into account the effective human (education) in the presence of conventional finance. Lastly, we try empirically to discover the influences of Islamic finance as an opportunity for economic growth that can describe the sustainability of any financial system used during the adaptation of this Islamic financial system as a project during a period of time. well determined and therefore the relationship between Islamic financial development on economic growth. Our empirical validation is based on an application on panel data for our MENA region over a long period of 30 years (1990-2019).
    Abstract: En se basant sur une revue de la littérature innovante, nous examinons en premier lieu théoriquement la nature de relation entre le développement financier et la croissance économique tout en tenant compte du rôle joué la finance islamique dans le sens d'orientation des investissements et des dépenses publiques qui prend en considération l'efficace humaine(éducation) en présence de la finance conventionnelle. Nous essayons en dernier lieu empiriquement de découvrir les influences de la finance islamique comme étant une opportunité pour la croissance économique qui peut décrivant une durabilité de n'importe quel système financier utilisé durant l'adaptation de ce système financier islamique comme un projet durant une période bien déterminée et par conséquent la relation entre le développement financier islamique sur la croissance économique. Notre validation empirique est basée une application sur les données de panel pour notre région MENA durant une longue période de 30 ans successifs (1990-2019).
    Keywords: Croissance économique,Données de panel,Développement financier islamique,Opportunité,Durabilité
    Date: 2020–09–27

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