nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒08‒10
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Agglomeration Effects in a Developing Economy: Evidence from Turkey By Cem Özgüzel
  2. Never-ending reformism from above and dissatisfaction from below: The paradox of Moroccan post-spring politics By Cavatorta, Francesco; Merone, Fabio
  3. Long run comparison analysis and Short run Stability sensitivity: Empirical Evidence from Tunisian Banks By NEIFAR, MALIKA
  4. Effects of Intimate Partner Violence on General Health Status By Çevik, Tuğçe
  5. The Impact of Fiscal Policy on Non-Oil GDP in Saudi Arabia By Fakhri J. Hasanov; Nader AlKathiri; Saad Alshahrani; Ryan Alyamani
  6. Profitability and stability trade off – IBs vs CBs in Turkey – what differences ? By NEIFAR, MALIKA
  7. The impact of real economic activity on the effectiveness of monetary policy transmission: The case of Tunisia By Ons Mastour
  8. Determinants of Customer Churn: An Empirical Study Of Cellular Subscribers From Saudi Arabia By Soomro, Yasir; Al-Sehli, Ahmed Nafe
  9. The first victims of Covid-19 in developing countries? The most vulnerable workers to the lockdown of the Tunisian economy By Mohamed Ali Marouani; Phuong Le Minh
  10. The Evolution of Female Labour Force Participation in Jordan By Alma Boustati

  1. By: Cem Özgüzel (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: Productivity differences across Turkish provinces is one of the highest among the OECD countries. In this paper, I estimate agglomeration effects for Turkish provinces to shed light on the causes of productivity differences and provide evidence on the importance of such effects in a developing country context which literature needs. I use a novel administrative dataset recently made available at NUTS-3 level, for 81 provinces of Turkey for the period 2008-2013 and carry out a two-step estimation. Using a variety of panel data techniques and historical instruments to deal with estimation concerns, I estimate an elasticity of labor productivity with respect to the density of 0.057-0.06, which is higher than in developed countries and around the levels observed in developing countries. I find that domestic market potential matters even more than density and is the most significant determinant of the productivity differences across Turkish provinces. Finally, in stark contrast with the evidence coming from developed countries, I do not find any effects for positive sorting of workers across provinces. This finding suggests that urbanisation patterns may be operating differently in developing countries, indicating the need for further evidence from such countries.
    Keywords: local labor markets,spatial wage disparities,developing country,Turkey
    Date: 2020–06
  2. By: Cavatorta, Francesco; Merone, Fabio
    Abstract: For scholars, policy-makers and casual observers, there is no doubt that Morocco has undergone an impressive transformation process since Mohammed VI came to power in 1999. The country projects an image of liberal-democratic modernity and socio-economic progress that the international community is happy to go along with. But at the heart of Moroccan modernization lies a glaring paradox: despite two decades of reforms, the dissatisfaction of ordinary citizens with the way the system works has been consistently high, and a number of socio-economic and political indicators do not support the regime's claim that the country has democratised or is democratising. This article examines the country's political system through the reformist process - political, economic and social - that began in the 2000s, continued with the constitutional changes of 2011 and culminated with the two PJD-led governments that followed the parliamentary elections of 2011 and 2016. In particular, this study examines the reformist drive in the context of the inter-paradigm debate between democratisation and authoritarian resilience. We employ four criteria to determine to what extent Morocco has democratised: the accountability of decision-makers, the participation of a plurality of voices in the formulation of policies, the degree of individual freedoms and the protection of human rights. This article concludes that the reformist process is simply a narrative the regime has adopted to fend off international criticism and to reconfigure domestic institutions. The fundamentally authoritarian nature of the regime has not changed, and the dominant institutional role that the monarch - unelected and unaccountable - plays undermines all claims of democratisation.
    Date: 2020
    Abstract: This paper consider Tunisian banks case study over the period 2005–2014. The long run comparison analysis based on t-test between interest-free banks (IFB) and conventional banks (CB) of bank specific factors indicates that there are difference between Islamic and conventional banks behavior. CB are found to be more stable, while IFB have better liquidity and are riskier than CB. In long run, It is found alo that 2011 Yesameen revolution has negative effect on CB stability and 2008 GFC has positive effect on IFB stability. This paper investigates also the short run stability question based on dynamic model for Z-score ratio of tunisian banks during the same period. The paper finds that the level of Z-score can be attributed to both macroeconomic conditions and banks’ specific factors. Z-score is found to respond in short term to macroeconomic conditions. Z-scores tends to increase when Interest rate (INTER) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) rise. While instability increase when Unemployment rises, Exchange rate depreciates, and Inflation is high. It is found alo that in short run, 2011 Yesameen revolution and 2008 GFC have a significant positive effect on tunisian bank stability.
    Keywords: Financial stability, Z-score, 2008 Global financial crisis (GFC), 2011 Yesameen tunisian revolution, Tunisia, Islamic bank (IB), conventional bank (CB), macroeconomic factors, and banks’ specific factors.
    JEL: E32 E44 G01 G21 G32 Z12
    Date: 2020–06–10
  4. By: Çevik, Tuğçe
    Abstract: The main purpose of this study how intimate partner violence affect women’s health. Negative health consequences to the women directly or indirectly associated with women health. The women who had a romantic relationship in some part of lifetime were selected from the data set using raw data from the Turkish Statistical Institute's “Domestic Violence Survey for women in Turkey in 2008’’. Using ordered regression analyses, associations between age, working status, education, witnessed ipv as a child, abused as a child, relationship status, type of IPV, on women general health status were explored. As a result of analysis all type of violence negatively associate with general health status. Unexpectedly, abuse as child and witnessing to ipv are not statistically significant.
    Keywords: Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Health Outcomes, General Health,Women
    JEL: I10 I14 J12
    Date: 2020–05–31
  5. By: Fakhri J. Hasanov; Nader AlKathiri; Saad Alshahrani; Ryan Alyamani (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: A clear objective of Saudi Vision 2030, the strategic roadmap for the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is to put the non-oil sector at the heart of the country’s economic development. The vision realization programs (VRPs), such as the National Transformation Program and Fiscal Balance Program (FBP), have established initiatives and targets to help develop the non-oil sector. It is important, then, to explore the role fiscal policy can play in developing the country’s non-oil sector.
    Keywords: Capital Expenditure, Econoimic growth, Fiscal policy, Government expenditure, Non-oil economy
    Date: 2020–07–19
    Abstract: This paper consider Turkish banks case study over the period 2005–2014. To distinguish between interest-free and conventional banks, we use two-sided t-test, Multi-dimension figures, regression comparison method and Dynamic Fixed Effect (DFE) model. The long run comparison analysis [based on t-test, on regression and on Multi-dimension figures] between interest-free banks (IBs) and conventional banks (CBs) of bank specific factors indicates that there are difference between Islamic and conventional banks behavior. Both first methods show that Interest-free banks are riskier, have higher liquidity and are more capitalized. Univariate analysis (t-test based Comparison) shows in addition that interest-free banks are less stable, but are more solvent. While regression based Comparison analysis show that IBs are more profitable. Multi-dimension figures comparisons analysis show that Post GFC 2008, Islamic Banks are less stable, more solvent, and more liquid than CBs. Large IBs outperform Small IBs in term of profitability. But in term of asset quality measured by NPL, LTD and LLR, Small IBs outperform Large IBs. Comparing CBs and IBs in DFE model, from GMM results, it is clear that there is no bilateral directional relationship between stability (Z-score) and profitability (ROA). Stability is significantly sensitive to the increase of profitability only for CBs, while Profitability is significantly sensitive to the increase of Z-score only for IBs. Post GFC, IBs are more stable while CBs are less profitable. Size has positive effect on profitability outcome for IBs. Depreciation of Turkish money and inflation have negative effect on CBs’ profitability.
    Keywords: Financial stability, Profitability, interest-free banking, GFC, GMM, Multi-dimension figures comparisons, PVAR, SURE, Dynamic Fixed Effect (DFE) model
    JEL: G01 G21 G28 G32 Z12
    Date: 2020–06–26
  7. By: Ons Mastour (Central Bank of Tunisia)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between the strength of the bank credit channel (BCC) of monetary policy transmission and real GDP growth in Tunisia using quarterly commercial bank-level data between 2008 and 2019. We find evidence of the existence of the bank credit channel in Tunisia in both its broad and strict senses. Classification of banks by total assets allows us to conclude that funding-constrained banks are very reactive to changes in the policy rate regardless of the economic cycle. However, identification of the strength of the BCC during different economic cycles is not possible in our case due to the lack of significance of the coefficients of interest. Furthermore, we find that the BCC operated exclusively through specific loan categories and banks during the sample period.
    Keywords: Bank lending channel; monetary policy transmission; bank balance sheet channel; GDP growth.
    JEL: E3 E5 G2
    Date: 2020–08–04
  8. By: Soomro, Yasir; Al-Sehli, Ahmed Nafe
    Abstract: This research main objective finds the determinants of churn that affect the telecom industry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). To analyze the churn predictions to retain the customers in the telecom industry, the paper takes factors of churns that create obstacles in the retention of the customers. The variables of the study included switching cost, price, value-added services, and service quality relevant to the telecom industry. The questionnaire was created using adopted items from various studies and was used to collect the data from 315 respondents through non-restricted random sampling. Data reliability and analysis were performed on IBM SPSS®20 software and multiple regressions were applied. The key findings that lower switching costs of cellular network providers significantly lead to customer churn (MNP). This study found that switching costs are not considered a factor if a customer is dissatisfied or innovator in nature to try other companies’ services. Whereas, low service quality, high price structure, and less value-added encourage customers to switch service. The telecom industry should improve its service quality since it is considered one of the most important factors in churning in any industry. This paper would be highly beneficial for the managers of the telecom industry in KSA and other Middle Eastern telecommunication companies.
    Keywords: Switching behavior; Service quality, Switching cost; Value-Added services; Client churn rate; Customer churn; Mobile Number Portability (MNP); Pricing structure; Mobile service provider.
    JEL: M31
    Date: 2020–05–15
  9. By: Mohamed Ali Marouani (UMR « Développement et Société », IEDES / Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne, PSL, IRD, LEDa, DIAL); Phuong Le Minh (UMR « Développement et Société », IRD and Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne)
    Abstract: While the Covid-19 pandemic had both health and economic e ects in rich countries, the first wave impacted many developing countries’ mainly through its economic and social consequences. The objective of this paper is to perform a first-round assessment of the potential consequences on workers using the Tunisian labor force survey. Three main factors of vulnerability are investigated, the inability to work from home, being part of a non essential industry and working for the private sector. We find that the most a ected are craftsmen, machine operators and elementary occupations in non-agricultural activities. The typically vulnerable worker is a young individual with low education, a man if self-employed and a woman with a temporary contract and lower earnings if wage-earner. When we take into account self-employed workers, the managers’ category becomes the most a ected among high and medium skill occupations. When we look at regional e ects, we unexpectedly find that the coastal regions (except the capital) are the most fragile. This is due to the fact that most of the manufacturing, tourism and international transport activities are located in coastal regions.
    Keywords: teleworking, employment, COVID-19, lockdown, vulnerability
    JEL: J22 J61 O30 R12 R32
    Date: 2020–06
  10. By: Alma Boustati (Department of Economics, SOAS University of London)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyse the evolution of female labour force participation in Jordan vis-Ã -vis institutional and economic development. When it comes to institutions, the primary focus willbe on family law and labour law. Within the economic developmentframework, the focus will be on how the social contract motivated the structuring of the economy, labour market, and approach to welfare during three stages of Jordan’s economic development, namely the industrialisation period (1967-1982), the economic bust period (1983-1992), and the economic adjustment period (post-1993). Within each period, the implications of these factors on the composition and size of the female labour force participation is discussed.The findings indicate that a patriarchal approach to welfare, and consequently the low female labour force participation,was sustainable through economic policy which relied on high male wages and high non-wage income achieved through a combination of aid, remittances, and cheap foreign labour.
    Keywords: Labour; Women; Jordan
    JEL: J16 J21 N35
    Date: 2020–07

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