nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒08‒17
seventeen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Top Expenditure Distribution in Arab Countries and the Inequality Puzzle By Vladimir Hlasny
  2. Winners and losers from COVID-19: Evidence from Google search data for Egypt By Abay, Kibrom A.; Ibrahim, Hosam
  3. Confidence in public institutions and the run up to the October 2019 uprising in Lebanon By Ali Fakih; Paul Makdissi; Walid Marrouch; Rami V. Tabri; Myra Yazbeck
  4. Investing in the agri-food system for post-COVID-19 recovery: An economywide evaluation of public investments in Egypt By Thurlow, James; Holtemeyer, Brian; Kassim, Yumna; Kurdi, Sikandra; Randriamamonjy, Josée; Raouf, Mariam; Elsabbagh, Dalia; Wiebelt, Manfred; Breisinger, Clemens
  5. Fascism and World Wars with Reference to Iran By Maringanti, Krishnamacharyulu
  6. The asymmetric effects of twenty years of tariff reforms on Egyptian workers By Giorgia Giovannetti; Enrico Marvasi; Arianna Vivoli
  7. A model of dynamic migration networks: Explaining Turkey's inter-provincial migration flows By Aksoy, Ozan; Yıldırım, Sinan
  8. Energy Price Reform in Saudi Arabia: Modeling the Economic and Environmental Impact and Understanding the Demand Response By Mohammad Al Dubyan; Anwar Gasim
  9. Gauging the Laboratory Responses to Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) in Africa By Festus A. Odeyemi; Ibrahim A. Adekunle; Olakitan W. Ogunbanjo; Jamiu B. Folorunso; Thompson Akinbolaji; Idowu B. Olawoye
  10. The Importance of the Existence of a Code of Ethics in a Workplace for Blue-Collar Workers By Radi, Sherihan
  11. Modelling GDP for Sudan using ARIMA By Moahmed Hassan, Hisham; Haleeb, Amin
  12. Harnessing the commons to govern water as a flow By Julie TROTTIER
  13. Discrimination, narratives and family history: An experiment with Jordanian host and Syrian refugee children By Barron, Kai; Harmgart, Heike; Huck, Steffen; Schneider, Sebastian; Sutter, Matthias
  14. Kuwait; 2020 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Staff Supplement By International Monetary Fund
  15. Enjeux des dimensions culturelles dans le management de la diversité au sein des multinationales aux Pays-Bas et au Maroc By Loubna Tahssain-Gay; Laïla Benraiss-Nailles; Sophie Hennekam-Treguier
  16. Quel modèle de MRH innovant pour les entreprises marocaines ? By Driss Ferar
  17. La RSE et le désengagement des employés au travail : le rôle médiateur de la réputation de l'entreprise By Rey Dang; l'Hocine Houanti; Mustapha Meziani; Tiziri Makhlouf

  1. By: Vladimir Hlasny (Ewha Womans University)
    Abstract: This study was motivated by reports of a mismatch between inequality experienced on the streets across the Arab region, and that estimated in household expenditure surveys. The study uses eleven surveys from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan and Tunisia to investigate whether the dispersion of top expenditures and measurement errors in them bias the measurement of inequality. The expenditure distributions are corrected by replacing potentially mismeasured values with those drawn from parametric distributions. Across all surveys, expenditure inequality is found to be at or below that found in emerging countries worldwide. The Gini is consistently 0.30–0.32 in Egypt, 0.35–0.37 in Jordan, and 0.38–0.43 in Palestine, Sudan and Tunisia. Several surveys include outliers raising inequality estimates. The Egyptian, Palestinian, and Tunisian surveys exhibit smoother top tails of expenditures, approximable by parametric distributions. Across years leading up to the Arab Spring, the estimates in these countries show falling inequality, suggesting that data problems are not behind the Arab inequality puzzle.
    Keywords: Top expenditures, economic inequality, Pareto law, Arab region.
    JEL: D31 D63 N35
    Date: 2020–07
  2. By: Abay, Kibrom A.; Ibrahim, Hosam
    Abstract: Evolving pieces of evidence show that services are hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, both globally and in Egypt. Employing Google search data, we examine the implications of COVID-19 on demand for various services in Egypt. • We find that demand for those services that require face-to-face interaction, including hotels and restaurants, air travel and tourism services, significantly dipped after Egypt detected the first COVID-19 case and more so after the Egyptian government introduced major restrictions and curfews. For instance, in the first two months of the outbreak of the pandemic, February and March, demand for hotel and restaurant services contracted by about 70 percent. • In contrast, demand for services that substitute or reduce personal interactions, such as information and communications technologies (ICT) and delivery services, have enjoyed a significant boost. Demand for ICT services tripled, while demand for delivery services doubled in the four months since the outbreak of the pandemic. • Intuitively, these results suggest that individuals and enterprises operating in these sectors are expected to experience heterogenous impacts and damages associated with the pandemic. Our results, along with other evolving evidence, reinforce that those services and sectors negatively affected by the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 deserve attention. • Finally, our analysis highlights the potential of near real-time "big data" to substitute and complement conventional data sources to estimate economic impacts and, hence, inform immediate and medium-term policy responses.
    Keywords: EGYPT, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTHWESTERN ASIA, ASIA, coronavirus, coronavirus disease, Coronavirinae, internet, Information and Communication Technologies (icts), demand, recreation, pandemics, technology, Covid-19, Google searching, Google trends, online search, Google search, lockdown
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Ali Fakih (Lebanese American University); Paul Makdissi (University of Ottawa); Walid Marrouch (University of Ottawa); Rami V. Tabri (UUniversity of Sydney); Myra Yazbeck (University of Ottawa and School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
    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: 2020–07
  4. By: Thurlow, James; Holtemeyer, Brian; Kassim, Yumna; Kurdi, Sikandra; Randriamamonjy, Josée; Raouf, Mariam; Elsabbagh, Dalia; Wiebelt, Manfred; Breisinger, Clemens
    Abstract: This note presents the results of an evaluation of public investment options for Egypt’s agri-food system. Nine agriculture-related public investments are considered, including targeting public spending to expand farm production, e.g., irrigation improvements, input subsidies, agricultural research, and extension, and to promote downstream agro-processing and marketing. The outcome indicators considered are economic (GDP) growth, incomes of the poor, job creation, and dietary diversity. IFPRI’s Rural Investment and Policy Analysis (RIAPA) economywide model is used for the evaluation because it captures linkages between sectors, households, and rural-urban economies and measures changes within and beyond the agri-food system. RIAPA is linked to the Agricultural Investment and Data Analysis (AIDA) module that tracks investment impacts and costs over time. The ranked results of the public investment options considered, summarized in the table here, can help prioritize agri-food system investments for post-COVID-19 recovery.
    Keywords: EGYPT, ARAB COUNTRIES, MIDDLE EAST, SOUTHWESTERN ASIA, ASIA, coronavirus, coronavirus disease, Coronavirinae, agrifood systems, public investment, public expenditure, irrigation, poverty, employment, diet, agriculture, greenhouses, policies, research, agricultural extension, horticulture, subsidies, models, gross national product, crops, livestock, food systems, Covid-19, diet diversification, input subsidies, Rural Investment and Policy Analysis (RIAPA), Agricultural Investment and Data Analysis (AIDA)
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Maringanti, Krishnamacharyulu
    Abstract: Murder of Quasim Suleimani of Iran, is historically similar to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. This however may not lead to a war because present day Fascists are more calculated and petty.
    Date: 2020–01–07
  6. By: Giorgia Giovannetti (Università di Firenze); Enrico Marvasi (Università di Firenze); Arianna Vivoli (Università di Firenze)
    Abstract: After more than two decades of trade liberalization, faced with deep structural problems which were exacerbated by the 2008 financial crisis and culminated in the 2011 Spring Revolution and government change, in 2016 Egypt started to protect some sectors from foreign competition. This paper assesses how tariff reforms during the 1998-2018 period affected the Egyptian labour market by focusing on real wages and job stability (i.e. having a permanent position). The empirical analysis is carried out on worker-level data from the available four waves of Egyptian Labour Market Panel Survey (ELMPS), including the recently released 2018 wave. We find that higher tariff protection tends to deteriorate labour market conditions, both lowering real wages and decreasing the probability of finding a stable job. Furthermore, tariff changes show remarkable asymmetries. There is a negative and significant correlation between tariffs increases and real wages, while the positive impact of tariff reductions turns out to be negligible and insignificant. Our findings support the view that in Egypt protectionism hampered working conditions, contributing to inequality, while liberalizations produced minor average effects.
    Keywords: trade policy, labour market, wage, inequality, Egypt
    JEL: F13 F14 F16
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Aksoy, Ozan; Yıldırım, Sinan
    Abstract: In this study we propose a Dirichlet-multinomial regression model and a Bayesian estimation method to analyse dynamic migration networks whereby the nodes are the origins and destinations, and the edges are the number of people migrating between the two over time. We apply this model to analyse 25,632,876 migration instances that take place between Turkey's 81 provinces from 2009 to 2018. We quantify the associations of economic, physical, social, political, and network factors with migration. We find that economic prosperity and population in and the spatial distance between the origin and destination, as well as network characteristics such as reciprocity, province popularity and centrality are important predictors of migration. We also find that electoral distance between provinces and the strength of the AKP (Justice and Development Party) in a province are associated with migration. The proportion of Kurds in a province has no sizeable association with in- and out-migration.
    Date: 2020–06–21
  8. By: Mohammad Al Dubyan; Anwar Gasim (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: The government of Saudi Arabia, like many around the world, has long set domestic energy prices far below international market levels. This helps keep prices stable and energy affordable, providing important support to lower-income households.
    Keywords: Energy Demand, Energy Policy Reform, Energy Price, Environment, Saudi Arabia
    Date: 2020–06–21
  9. By: Festus A. Odeyemi (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria); Ibrahim A. Adekunle (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria); Olakitan W. Ogunbanjo (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria); Jamiu B. Folorunso (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria); Thompson Akinbolaji (Biomedical Services, American Red Cross, USA); Idowu B. Olawoye (Redeemer\\\'s University, Ede, Osun State, Nigeria)
    Abstract: The rampaging effect of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Africa is huge and have impacted almost every area of life. Across African states, there exist variations in the laboratory measures adopted, and these heterogeneous approaches, in turn, determines the successes or otherwise recorded. In this study, we assessed the various forms of laboratory responses to the containment, risk analyses, structures and features of COVID-19 in high incidence African countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Algeria, Morocco, etc.) to aid better and efficient laboratory responses to the highly infectious diseases.
    Keywords: Laboratory responses, COVID-19, PCR, Sample Pooling, Africa
    Date: 2020–01
  10. By: Radi, Sherihan
    Abstract: The main purpose of this research is to investigate the impact of the existence of a code of ethics in the work place on the blue-collar workers' security and job satisfaction. The data for this research was collected using self-administered questionnaires from blue-collar employees working in the construction and contracting sectors in Egypt. The results of this research showed a significant relationship between the existence of a code of ethics in a workplace and the blue-collar workers' security and job satisfaction. The development of this research line in future can benefit from using the insights from this study.
    Keywords: code of ethics, workplace, blue-collar workers, security, job satisfaction.
    JEL: M0
    Date: 2020
  11. By: Moahmed Hassan, Hisham; Haleeb, Amin
    Abstract: This paper aims to obtain an appropriate ARIMA model for the Sudan GDP using the Box- Jenkins methodology during the period 1960-2018 the various ARIMA models with different order of autoregressive and moving-average terms were compared. The appropriate model for Sudan is an ARIMA (1,1,1), the results of an in-sample forecast showed that the relative and predicted values were within the range of 5%, and the forecasting effectiveness of this model, its relatively adequate and efficient in modeling the annual GDP of the Sudan.
    Keywords: ARIMA Modelling, Box-Jenkins methodology, forecasting, GDP, Sudan.
    JEL: E00 E01 E60
    Date: 2020
  12. By: Julie TROTTIER
    Abstract: This paper examines the usefulness of recognizing the commons governing irrigation water. It harnesses the commons to understand the power interactions at play in transformations over local, national and international scales. It proposes to harness the positive externalities commons generate in order to transform political and economic interactions at the national and international scales. Although it uses a Palestinian case study, this conceptual development can apply anywhere. Palestinians have long managed irrigation as commons at the local level. But the overwhelming attention paid to their national struggle has led most researchers to focus on national institutions instead. It has also favored treating water as a stock rather than a flow. All West Bank aquifers are shared with Israel. The Oslo agreements treated them as a stock and divided them quantitatively between two users: Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Recognising the existence of commons in Palestinian irrigation allows treating water as a flow. Indeed, the same water drops flow successively through several institutions, some Palestinian and others Israeli, deploying different property regimes over varying scalar levels. This paper examines the usefulness of considering water as a flow that is managed successively by such a variety of institutions. At the local level, it allows us to understand the interactions between smallholders and neighboring agribusinesses, for example. It allows us to understand the upheaval in power interactions when a merchant economy attempts to supplant a human economy. At the national level, it allows us to address the governance of the paracommons. This term designates the material gains potentially generated by the improvement of efficiency within various systems all drawing on the same source of water. Such gains are dynamic because the efficiency gain in one system often entails a loss in a neighbouring system or in a distant, yet interlinked, system. These material gains thus constitute a new commons, the appropriation of which needs to be governed. It is a paracommons because it doesn’t exist until the projects designed to improve the efficiency of different systems are implemented. Donors are funding heavily projects purporting to improve irrigation efficiency. Addressing the governance of the paracommons of Palestinian irrigation is now urgent. This paper analyses the manner the social capital developed in existing commons can contribute to this. Finally, at the international level, including the institutions emerging from the commons into an institutional structure that manages water as a flow allows us to break the deadlock of present water negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The paper details the manner this can be achieved.
    Keywords: Palestine
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2018–08–13
  13. By: Barron, Kai; Harmgart, Heike; Huck, Steffen; Schneider, Sebastian; Sutter, Matthias
    Abstract: We measure the prevalence of discrimination between Jordanian host and Syrian refugee children attending school in Jordan. Using a simple sharing experiment, we find only little discrimination. Among the Jordanian children, however, we see that those who descended from Palestinian refugees do not discriminate at all, suggesting that a family history of refugee status can generate solidarity with new refugees. We also find that parents' narratives about the refugee crisis are correlated with the degree of discrimination, suggesting that discriminatory preferences are being transmitted through parental attitudes.
    Keywords: discrimination,refugees,children,experiment,integration
    JEL: C91 D90 J15 C93 J13
    Date: 2020
  14. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: This 2020 Article IV Consultation with Kuwait highlights that non-oil growth strengthened to estimated 3 percent in 2019, propelled by government and consumer spending. The challenge to reduce dependence on oil and boost savings has become more urgent. The subdued forecast for oil revenues is weighing on near-term growth and fiscal and external balances. Embedding fiscal measures in a comprehensive reform package that promotes private sector growth, strengthens governance and accountability, and improves public services would help build broad support for reforms. A rules-based fiscal framework would improve management of oil revenues. A rule-based framework would help anchor fiscal policy on a long-term objective of intergenerational equity. It should include a well-calibrated operational rule that helps reconcile long-term savings and near-term economic stabilization objectives. Financial sector reforms should focus on bolstering resilience and deepening inclusion. Sustaining reforms to foster private sector-led and diversified growth will be critical. With limited scope for public employment going forward, a vibrant private sector must emerge to absorb the large number of Kuwaitis entering the labor market in coming years.
    Keywords: External sector;National accounts;Economic indicators;Financial and Monetary Sector;Credit;ISCR,CR,investment income,CBK,FGF,staff report,GRF
    Date: 2020–03–30
  15. By: Loubna Tahssain-Gay (CERGAM - Centre d'Études et de Recherche en Gestion d'Aix-Marseille - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - UTLN - Université de Toulon); Laïla Benraiss-Nailles (IRGO - Institut de Recherche en Gestion des Organisations - Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux 4 - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Bordeaux, Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Bordeaux); Sophie Hennekam-Treguier (IRGO - Institut de Recherche en Gestion des Organisations - Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux 4 - Institut d'Administration des Entreprises (IAE) - Bordeaux)
    Abstract: This study examines how culture influences attitudes towards diversity among Human Resource managers in multinationals, comparing the Netherlands with Morocco. The GLOBE study was used as analytic framework. Thirty five in-depth semi-structured interviews with HR managers were conducted and analyzed by the use of content analysis. The findings suggest that attitudes towards diversity are changing and that culture plays an important role in this. The findings stress the importance of tradition in the Moroccan context.
    Abstract: Cet article étudie sous un angle culturel les attitudes des directeurs des ressources hu-maines à l'égard de la diversité. Trente-cinq DRH de multinationales aux Pays-Bas et au Maroc ont participé à une enquête qualitative. Nous avons mobilisé l'approche GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness) comme base de comparai-son entre les deux pays. Les résultats confirment que les attitudes envers la diversité évoluent et montrent le rôle important de la culture dans ce domaine. Ils soulignent notamment l'importance de la tradition dans le contexte marocain.
    Keywords: Diversity,Multinationals, GLOBE, Morocco, the netherlands,GLOBE,Diversité culturelle,Multinationales,Maroc,Pays-Bas
    Date: 2020–06–01
  16. By: Driss Ferar (Universités marocaines)
    Abstract: The management of human resources called a strategic management of human resources (Beaumont, 1993) has become a management in a crisis, management out of breath (Thévenet, 2012). If the main reference models of developed countries have always influenced emerging or developing countries, the latter are reflecting on a new innovative management model likely to induce sustainable development for citizens. Morocco among the countries in search of a human resources management model, adopts ambitious structural reforms considered as a pioneering advance in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) (Malka and Alterman, 2006). Do these democratic, economic, and socio-educational reforms generate an innovative HR management model capable of meeting the expectations of current and future generations? This paper proposes to answer this question, by adopting a qualitative methodology, based on an exploratory survey. The main preliminary results show that the mental representation of business leaders are tending towards a new international HR management model, while those of employees favour what they call the Chinese HR management model.
    Abstract: Enseignant chercheur et consultant senior en MRH et gestion stratégique des entreprises, cher-cheur associé à plusieurs Universités marocaines et étrangères Le management des ressources humaines appelé « management stratégique des ressources humaines » (Beaumont, 1993), n'est-il pas devenu un management en crise, un management à bout de souffle (Thévenet, 2012) ? Si les principaux modèles de réfé-rence des pays développés ont toujours influencé les pays émergents ou en voie de développement, ces derniers réfléchissent sur un nouveau modèle de gestion innovant susceptible d'induire un développement durable pour les citoyens. Le Maroc, parmi les pays en quête d'un modèle de management des ressources humaines, adopte des réformes structurelles ambitieuses considérées comme une avancée pionnière dans les pays du Moyen-Orient et de l'Afrique du Nord (ou région MENA : Middle East and North Africa) (Malka et Alterman, 2006). Ces réformes démocratiques, économiques, et socio-éducatives permettent-elles de générer un modèle de management RH innovant susceptible de répondre aux attentes des générations actuelles et futures ? Le présent papier se propose de répondre à cette question, en adoptant une méthodologie qualitative, basée sur une enquête exploratoire. Les principaux résultats préliminaires montrent que les représentations mentales des chefs d'entreprises tendent vers un nouveau modèle de management RH à l'international tandis que celles des salariés privilégient ce qu'ils nomment un modèle de management RH chinois.
    Keywords: Modèle de MRH,Management,Réformes structurelles,Innovation,HRM model,Structural reforms
    Date: 2020–06–01
  17. By: Rey Dang (ICN Business School); l'Hocine Houanti (Sup de Co La Rochelle - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de la Rochelle - Groupe Sup de Co La Rochelle); Mustapha Meziani (Université Bejaïa LRMTQ); Tiziri Makhlouf
    Abstract: The aim of our article is to explore the links between CSR and one of firm's socio-organizational risks, namely the risk linked to employees' disengagement at work, by checking two relationships: the mediating effect of perceived reputation of the company and the moderating effect of the visibility of the social information disseminated. Our research choice is based on hypothetico deductive reasoning, which led us to a quantitative study whose investigative tool is the questionnaire. The data collected following the transmission of the questionnaires to 131 leaders and managers of 20 Tunisian companies allows us to carry out the necessary statistical tests to confront our conceptual research model with reality. The results of these tests have shown that our research model is not supported by field data. However, the results from our testing model assumptions allow us to conclude that a policy of societal information's dissemination, perceived as more visible by the employees, makes it possible to improve the positive effect of responsibilities of an Ethico-Philanthropic and Economic-Legal nature on the perceived reputation of the company. Keywords: corporate social responsibility, perceived reputation, disengagement from work, visibility of the social information disseminated.
    Abstract: Notre article a pour objectif d'explorer les liens entre la RSE et l'un des risques socio-organisationnels de l'entreprise, à savoir le risque lié au désengagement des employés au travail, en vérifiant deux relations : l'effet médiateur de la réputation perçue de l'entreprise et l'effet modérateur de la visibilité des informations sociales diffusées. Notre choix de recherche est basé sur un raisonnement hypothético-déductif, ce qui nous a conduits à une étude quantitative dont l'outil d'investigation est le questionnaire. Les données collectées suite à la transmission des questionnaires auprès de 131 chefs et responsables de 20 entreprises tunisiennes nous ont permis de procéder aux tests statistiques nécessaires à la confrontation de notre modèle conceptuel de recherche à la réalité. Les résultats relatifs à ces tests nous ont permis de constater que notre modèle de recherche est non corroboré par les données du terrain. Toutefois, les résultats rela-tifs aux tests des hypothèses de notre recherche nous permettent de conclure qu'une politique de diffusion d'informations sociétales, perçue comme plus visible par les employés, permet d'améliorer l'impact positif des responsabilités à caractère Éthico-Philanthropique et Économico-Légal sur la réputation perçue de l'entreprise. Mots clés : responsabilité sociale de l'entreprise, réputation perçue, désengagement au travail, visibilité des informations sociales diffusées.
    Date: 2020–06–01

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