nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒07‒20
twelve papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Impact of the Qatar Crisis on Turkey’s Economic Relations with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE By Nader Habibi
  2. Terror and Tourism: The Economic Consequences of Media Coverage By Besley, Timothy J.; Fetzer, Thiemo; Mueller, Hannes Felix
  3. Tunisia, natural resources, and capital flight By Dachraoui, Hajer; Sebri, Maamar
  4. What Drives Portfolio Flows to Turkey? The Dynamics and a Historical Accounting of the Flows By Zelal Aktas; Neslihan Kaya Eksi
  5. Less School (Costs), More (Female) Education? Lessons from Egypt Reducing Years of Compulsory Schooling By Ahmed Elsayed; Olivier Marie
  6. Action of public power between the control of corruption and economic growth in the MENA region By Abderraouf Mtiraoui
  7. Is Loan Funding to Businesses in North Africa a Matter of Size? By Philippe Adair; Imène Berguiga
  8. Charismatic Leaders and Nation Building By Lydia Assouad
  9. The Youth Gender gap in North Africa: Income differentials and Informal Employment By Philippe Adair; Hassiba Gherbi
  10. Ihracat Agirlikli Kuresel PMI Gostergesinin Dis Talebi Onculeme Gucu By Okan Eren
  11. Yabanci Para Gelirler ve Doviz Pozisyonu Firma Bilanco Performansini Nasil Etkiliyor? By Mehmet Selman Colak; Ahmet Senol
  12. Die Auswirkungen des Handelns der öffentlichen Macht auf die wirtschaftliche Entwicklung: Anwendung auf den Bildungssektor in der MENA-Region By Abderraouf Mtiraoui; Mongi Lassoued

  1. By: Nader Habibi (Brandeis University)
    Abstract: In June 2017 Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirate launched a transport and economic blockade against Qatar to punish her for supporting hostile Islamic groups and maintaining good relations with Iran. Turkey, which had good economic relations with both Saudi Arabia and the UAE opposed the blockade and expressed full support for Qatar. In this article I look at how the economic relations of Turkey with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have evolved ever since. Looking at trade, investment and tourism data it is clear that there has been a sharp increase in bilateral economic relations between Turkey and Qatar. The Qatar crisis has had a negative impact on economic relations of Turkey with Saudi Arabia and the UAE but the there are some differences in the magnitude of decline in specific activities. The setback in bilateral trade has been more severe in Turkey-UAE relations, while the decline in investment ties has been more significant in Turkey-Saudi linkage. In the travel and tourism sector, which is more driven by consumer preferences than government directives, Turkey has remained a popular destination for UAE and Saudi tourists despite the diplomatic tensions. In 2019 Saudi government has launched a campaign to discourage its citizens from travel and investment in Turkey.
    Keywords: Economic Development, Qatar, Economic Sanctions, GCC, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, The UAE, Blockade, Bilateral Trade, Tourism, The Middle East.
    JEL: F14 F51 N45 N75 O53
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Besley, Timothy J.; Fetzer, Thiemo; Mueller, Hannes Felix
    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.
    JEL: D74 D83 F14 F15 H12 L82
    Date: 2020–01
  3. By: Dachraoui, Hajer; Sebri, Maamar
    Abstract: Over decades, Tunisia has suffered from capital flight phenomenon and incurred ‘odious’ debts at the expense of economic and social development. This paper seeks to identify the determinants of capital flight from Tunisia over the period 1980-2015 while focusing on the role of natural resources. The econometric methodology and analysis include testing the integration properties of variables in the presence of structural break stemming in the series, investigating the presence of a level relationship based on the ARDL bounds testing approach, and providing the estimation results on both the short- and long-run. The empirical findings indicate that natural resource rents tend to curb capital flight when quality within institutions is maintained. The results suggest also that external borrowing is the most significant driver of capital flight from Tunisia. Indeed, inflation, foreign direct investment inflows, and quality of institutions are also identified as significant determinants. While preventing further capital flight is a fundamental concern, tracing and repatriation of the Tunisian assets hidden abroad still among the primary challenges for the successive governments of post-uprising.
    Keywords: Capital flight,Natural resources,Structural breaks,Tunisia,2011-uprising
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Zelal Aktas; Neslihan Kaya Eksi
    Abstract: [EN] Portfolio flows to emerging economies, as well as to Turkey, have been increasingly large and volatile in recent years. This paper aims to shed light on the drivers of portfolio flows to Turkey, for the preceding decade. The drivers are classified using the traditional "push vs. pull" framework, which we augment by a distinction between "cyclical vs structural" factors. While the relative importance of global and country-specific drivers varies over time, in the aftermath of the global financial crisis country-specific ones dominate in driving portfolio flows. Among the global drivers the risk appetite of investors matters most for portfolio flows. Among the domestic drivers, growth, country risk and real interest rate have the highest impact on flows. As for the cyclical vs structural distinction, although cyclical pull factors dominate the structural ones in driving flows, the contribution from the structurals is on the rise. In that respect, both financial resilience and the political and social attributes of the country seem to be important in attracting flows. [TR] Gelismekte olan ulkelere yonelen portfoy akimlari, son yillarda giderek daha yuksek miktarli ancak daha dalgali bir seyir izlemektedir. Turkiye icin de benzer bir durum soz konusudur. Bu calisma, gectigimiz on yillik donemde Turkiye'ye yonelen portfoy akimlarinin belirleyicilerine isik tutmayi amaclamaktadir. Calismamizda portfoy akimlarinin belirleyicileri, geleneksel "iten-ceken faktorler" cercevesine "dongusel ve yapisal" faktorler ayrimi da eklenerek siniflandirilmaktadir. Kuresel ve ulkeye ozgu dinamiklerin goreli onemi zaman icerisinde degismekle beraber, kuresel finansal krizin ardindan ulkeye ozgu dinamiklerin Turkiye'ye yonelen portfoy akimlarinda daha belirleyici oldugu gozlenmistir. Kuresel etmenler icerisinde, uluslararasi yatirimcilarin risk istahi portfoy akimlari acisindan en onemli belirleyicidir. Ulkeye ozgu belirleyiciler arasinda ise, akimlar uzerinde en yuksek etkiye sahip olan degiskenlerin buyume, ulke risk primi ve reel faiz oldugu gorulmektedir. Dongusel ve yapisal ayrim cercevesinde degerlendirildiginde, ulkeye ozgu dongusel faktorler yapisal olanlara karsi baskin olsa da, yapisal faktorlerin onemi giderek artmaktadir. Bu baglamda, gerek finansal sistemin saglamligi gerekse ulkeye ozgu politik ve sosyal ozellikler portfoy akimlarini cekmede onem arz etmektedir.
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Ahmed Elsayed (IZA); Olivier Marie (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Exploiting a unique policy reform in Egypt that reduced the number of years of compulsory schooling, we show how it unexpectedly increased education attainment as more students chose to complete the next school stage. This impact is almost entirely driven by girls from more disadvantaged households. Treated women later experienced important positive improvements in labor market opportunity and marriage quality, as measured by bride price received and household bargaining power. We attribute the increased investment in daughters’ human capital to changes in the behavior of credit-constrained families facing reduced school costs combined with strongly non-linear returns to female education.
    Keywords: School Costs, Education Investment, Gender Bias, Female Labor Market, Marriage, Bride Price, Egypt
    JEL: I21 I25 J24 O55
    Date: 2020–06–29
  6. By: Abderraouf Mtiraoui (Université de Sousse, Lamided, ISG, Université de Sousse - LAMIDED)
    Abstract: The objective of this article is to study first the effects of the control of corruption on economic growth by putting into consécdération the role of the action of the public power during the period 1984-2018 while using the models with simultaneous equations. Second, we analyze the findings and show the extent to which public action is effective in combating corruption and slowing economic growth for our study region.
    Abstract: L'objet de cet article est d'étudier, en premier lieu, les effets du contrôle de la corruption sur la croissance économique en mettant en considération le rôle de l'action du pouvoir public durant la période 1984-2018 tout en utilisant les modèles à équations simultanées. En second lieu, nous analysons les résultats trouvés tout en montrant dans quelle mesure l'action du pouvoir public est efficace de lutter contre la corruption et de relancer la croissance économique pour notre région d'étude.
    Keywords: Models with simultaneous equations,Economic Growth,Control of corruption,Action of public power,Action du pouvoir public,Contrôle de la corruption,Croissance économique,Modèles à équations simultanées.
    Date: 2019–12–06
  7. By: Philippe Adair; Imène Berguiga
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Lydia Assouad (PSE - Paris School of Economics, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: Can leaders shape the evolution of social norms? I address this question by studying the role of Mustafa Kemal, or "Ataturk", the founder of modern Turkey, in spreading a new national identity. Using a generalized difference-in-differences design, which exploits time and geographic variation in Kemal's visits to cities, I test whether exposure to a charismatic leader affects citizens' take-up of the new national identity. I show that cities visited are more likely to embrace the common identity, as proxied by the adoption of first names in "Pure Turkish", the new language introduced by the state. I investigate the mechanisms and find that Kemal was more efficient in spreading a new identity compared to Ismet Inonu his second man, suggesting that he did not only have a pure informational effect. Using detailed information on the types of activities he held, I find that the effect is mostly driven by cities where he met with local elites, as opposed to visits where he met with the crowd. Results are not driven by places that already had nationalistic preferences and infrastructures. Overall, those results are consistent with the Weberian view that charismatic authority can play a role in legitimizing new social orders.
    Keywords: Leaders,Nation-Building,Culture,Propaganda
    Date: 2020–06
  9. By: Philippe Adair; Hassiba Gherbi
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Okan Eren
    Abstract: [TR] Turkiye'nin ihracat mallarina olan dis talebi yansitan ihracat agirlikli kuresel buyume (IAKB) endeksi gerek politika olusturma surecine gerekse akademik calismalara girdi teskil eden temel bir gostergedir. IAKB endeksi, kapsam acisindan iyi bir dis talep gostergesi olmakla birlikte buyume verilerinin gecikmeli aciklanmasindan dolayi zamanlilik acisindan geride kalmaktadir. Bu cercevede, ozellikle icinde bulunulan ceyrekteki IAKB endeksindeki degisimi tahmin etmek icin ulkelerin iktisadi faaliyetlerine iliskin daha zamanli bilgi sunan satin alma yoneticileri endeksi (PMI) kullanilarak olusturulan ihracat agirlikli kuresel PMI (IAKP) oncu gosterge olarak karsimiza cikmaktadir. Bu calismada, IAKP gostergesinin temel dis talep gostergesi olan IAKB endeksindeki degisimleri aciklama ve onculeme gucu irdelenmektedir. Bulgular, IAKP gostergesinin dis talepteki degisimin yuzde 80'ini acikladigina ve bu cercevede iyi bir oncu gosterge olduguna isaret etmektedir. Ayrica dis talep endeksinin sifir buyume oranina karsilik gelen IAKP esik degerinin, kuramsal esik degeri olan 50'nin altinda oldugu gosterilmektedir. [EN] The export-weighted global growth (EWG) index, which measures the external demand for Turkey's exports of goods, is a key indicator that is widely used by both policy makers and researchers. Despite being a good indicator in the sense that it covers the majority of Turkey's export markets, it lags in terms of timeliness because the national growth data on which the index is based are disclosed with notable delays. In this context, the export-weighted global PMI (EWP) indicator, which is constructed from national purchasing managers indexes (PMI`s), provides more timely information on the economic activities of the countries and emerges as a leading indicator for EWG index, especially when nowcasting the foreign demand growth. In this study, I examine the extent to which EWP indicator explains the variation in the growth of EWG index, the main external demand indicator for Turkey. My findings suggest that EWP indicator explains 80 percent of the variation in the external demand growth and hence qualifies as a good leading indicator. I also show that the threshold value of EWP indicator that corresponds to zero growth rate of EWG index is below the hypothetical threshold value of 50.
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Mehmet Selman Colak; Ahmet Senol
    Abstract: [TR] Reel sektor firmalarinin bilanco saglamliginin ihracat gelirleri ve doviz pozisyonu ile iliskisi ilgili yazinda uzun suredir tartisilmaktadir. Bu calismada, soz konusu iliski 2007-2018 yillari arasinda Borsa Istanbul'da islem goren reel sektor firmalari icin sinanmaktadir. Firmalarin bilanco saglamligina iliskin olcut olarak cok degiskenli yontemlerle elde edilen cok degiskenli firma degerlendirmesi (multivariate firm assessment-MFA) skoru, Altman Z skoru ve Altman gelismekte olan ulkeler (emerging market-EM) Z skoru modellerinden yararlanilmistir. Yapilan analiz, firmalarin bilanco performansinin ihracat gelirleri ve doviz acik pozisyonlarina gore farklilastigini gostermektedir. Alt gruplar bazinda bakildiginda, doviz acik pozisyonu olmayan ihracatci firmalarin daha dusuk kredi riski ve ortalamadan daha saglam bilanco yapisina sahip olduklari gozlenirken, acik pozisyonu olan ve ihracatci olmayan firmalarin bilanco yapisinin ortalamadan cok daha zayif oldugu dikkat cekmektedir. Ayrica, doviz acik pozisyonuna sahip ve doviz riskine karsi korumasi olmayan firmalarin bilanco performansinin daha oynak ve finansal soklara karsi daha duyarli oldugu ve bu durumun buyuk oranda firmalarin kur ve faiz kaynakli finansman giderleri ile net karliliklarindaki istikrarsiz egilimden kaynaklandigi gorulmektedir. [EN] There has been an ongoing debate in the literature about how the soundness of firms' balance sheets may be linked to their export revenues and foreign exchange (FX) positions. This study tests this relationship for non-financial firms listed in Borsa Istanbul during the 2007-2018 period. The soundness of the firms' balance sheets is captured by multivariate composite indicators such as multivariate firm assessment (MFA) score, Altman Z-score and Altman emerging market (EM) Z-score. The analysis shows that firms' balance sheet performance depends on their export revenue and FX position. The analysis by subcategories depicts that exporting firms with no FX open position have lower credit risk and stronger balance sheet, while non-exporting firms with short FX position have weaker balance sheet than the rest of the firms. Moreover, firms with FX short position and no hedging against FX risk have more volatile balance sheet and higher sensitivity to financial shocks. This is largely due to the instability experienced by these firms in their financing costs owing to the exchange rate and the interest rate, and also the unstable structure of their profits.
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Abderraouf Mtiraoui (Université de Sousse); Mongi Lassoued
    Abstract: The interest of this paper is to show the effect of the action of the public power over the management of public expenditure on education. Our empirical attempt tries to clarify the direct and indirect effects of the efficiency of the government on the development of public spending for the education sector during the 1984-2018 periods in in the MENA region while using the model of simultaneous equations.
    Abstract: L'intérêt de cet article est de montrer l'effet de l'action du pouvoir public sur la gestion des dépenses publiques d'éducation. Notre tentative empirique tente de clarifier les effets directs et indirects de l'efficacité du gouvernement sur le développement des dépenses publiques pour le secteur de l'éducation au cours des périodes 1984-2018 dans la région MENA tout en utilisant le modèle d'équations simultanées.
    Keywords: Public expenditure on education,Public Spending,Economic Growth,Government Effectiveness,model of simultaneous equations,Dépenses publiques d'éducation,Modèle d'équations simultanées,Croissance économique,Efficacité gouvernementale,Dépenses publiques
    Date: 2020–06–05

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