nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒10‒19
eleven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Reexamining the Foreign direct investment, Renewable energy consumption and Economic growth nexus: Evidence from a new Bootstrap ARDL test for Cointegration By Ghazouani, tarek
  2. Evaluation of online training: Qualitative study of the perceptions of MOOC users in Morocco By Aziz Hmioui; Lhoussaine Alla; Badr Bentalha
  3. Welfare Perceptions of the Youth: A Turkish Case Study By Bagis, Bilal; Yumurtaci, Aynur
  4. On the malleability of gender attitudes: Evidence from implicit and explicit measures in Tunisia By Nillesen, Eleonora; Grimm, Michael; Goedhuys, Micheline; Reitmann, Ann-Kristin; Meysonnat, Aline
  5. Non-Standard Employment and Wage Differences across Gender: a quantile regression approach By Duman, Anil
  6. On The Quest For Economic Prosperity: A Higher Education Strategic Perspective For The Mena Region By Amr A. Adly
  7. State(s) of negotiation: Drivers of forced migration governance in most of the world By Müller-Funk, Lea; Fröhlich, Christiane; Bank, André
  8. Islamic vs Conventional banks: what differences ? Tunisian case By NEIFAR, Malika; Gharbi, Leila
  9. How Is the COVID-19 Crisis Exacerbating Socioeconomic Inequality among Palestinians in Israel? By Miaari, Sami H.; Sabbah-Karkabi, Maha; Loewenthal, Amit
  10. Lending Cycles and Real Outcomes: Costs of Political Misalignment By Çağatay Bircan; Saka Orkun
  11. Analysis of Systematic Risk around Firm-specific News in an Emerging Market using High Frequency Data By SHABIR A.A. SALEEM; PETER N. SMITH; ABDULLAH YALAMAN

  1. By: Ghazouani, tarek
    Abstract: This study re-examines the long-run relationship among foreign direct investment (FDI), renewable energy consumption (RE) and economic growth (GDP) for 9 Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries over the period 1990–2015 using a newly developed cointegration test by McNown et al. (2018), the bootstrap autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) which allows us to generate critical values for ARDL tests that are valid and appropriate for the specific data sets used and allow for endogeneity and feedback that may exist among the variables. In the long run analysis, we found evidence of cointegraion: (i) for Algeria, Armenia, Mauritania, and Tunisia when GDP is the dependant variable; (ii) for Egypt, Iran, Israel, Tunisia and Turkey when FDI is the dependent variable; and (iii) only for Iran, Morocco, and Tunisia when RE is the dependent variable. The short run Granger-causality analysis reveals varied nature of direction of causality between all variables and that is different among countries. This confirms that uniform policy recommendation relating to the causality between these variables may not work for these selected MENA countries.
    Keywords: FDI; Renewable energy consumption; Economic growth; Bootstrap ARDL; MENA
    JEL: C15 F21 O11 Q43
    Date: 2018–11–11
  2. By: Aziz Hmioui (ENCGF - Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion De Fès - USMBA - Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah); Lhoussaine Alla (ENSAF - École nationale des sciences appliquées de Fès = National School of Applied Sciences of Fez); Badr Bentalha (ENCGF - Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion De Fès - USMBA - Université Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah)
    Abstract: MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are a new formula used for online training. How do users perceive the effectiveness of MOOCs in Morocco? Our online ethnographic study was conducted on a sample of discussion forums of a Moroccan MOOC. The discussions were qualitatively analyzed to understand the structure of an emerging type of community within MOOC, as well as its effectiveness as perceived by users. In addition to its methodological dimension, our research paper seeks to delineate the theoretical and conceptual framework of MOOC as a new method of online education, in terms of foundations and approaches. Our empirical netnographic study highlights the wide variety of motivations of the users of the MOOC studied, a strong focus on technical and professional aspects and a high level of satisfaction with the quality of the offer.
    Abstract: Les cours massifs ouverts en ligne (MOOCs : Massive Open Online Course) sont une nouvelle formule utilisée pour la formation en ligne. Comment les utilisateurs perçoivent l'efficacité des MOOC au Maroc ? Notre étude ethnographique en ligne a été menée sur un échantillon de forums de discussion d'un MOOC marocain. Les discussions ont été qualitativement analysées afin de comprendre la structure d'un type émergent de communauté au sein du MOOC, ainsi que son efficacité telle qu'elle est perçue par les utilisateurs. Outre sa dimension méthodologique, notre papier de recherche cherche à délimiter le cadre théorique et conceptuel de MOOC comme nouvelle méthode d'enseignement en ligne, en termes de fondements et d'approches. Notre étude empiriques netnographique met en évidence la grande variété des motivations des utilisateurs du MOOC étudié, une forte focalisation sur les aspects techniques et professionnels et un niveau élevé de satisfaction de la qualité de l'offre.
    Keywords: MOOC,enseignement,communautés virtuelles,méthode qualitative,netnographie
    Date: 2019–04
  3. By: Bagis, Bilal; Yumurtaci, Aynur
    Abstract: Despite little to no academic attention, widespread perception of the welfare state policies is a critical aspect of its evaluation, existence and the validity processes; especially that amongst youth and the new generations. This paper discusses welfare or the quality of life perceptions in Turkey and in particular the university students’ economic and social welfare concerns. The paper is based upon survey outcomes from two different cities’ university students, across Turkey; and analyzes the Turkish university students’ current welfare, happiness, contentment with life and the future financial wellness perceptions. We employ the standard chi-square test of independence to test our hypotheses. The research aims to contribute to the efforts towards a roadmap regarding the socio-economic policies to be implemented for the future of Turkey. The paper finds growing financial concerns among university students in terms of social and economic welfare. This is despite the recent economic, social and cultural transformation in modern Turkey. Meanwhile, the latest pandemic is likely to have deteriorated these perceptions. This research, meanwhile, is a worthy analysis to understand contentment regarding the current economic outlook, as well as the concerns and confidence in terms of financial future and wellness. Understanding these perceptions may potentially help in carving the middle and long-term national social and economic policies.
    Keywords: Welfare,Welfare perceptions,Financial well-being,Turkish economy,Social policy
    JEL: E6 I3 P46
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Nillesen, Eleonora; Grimm, Michael; Goedhuys, Micheline; Reitmann, Ann-Kristin; Meysonnat, Aline
    Abstract: We use an implicit association test (IAT) next to a set of direct survey questions to measure implicit and explicit gender attitudes in Tunisia. Tunisia is among the most advanced countries in the Arab region in terms of women rights and legal reforms that shall strengthen the position of women. Yet, there still exists a tension between the law and what is practiced. We examine the malleability of these attitudes using (i) a randomized video intervention and (ii) natural variation in interviewer characteristics with respect to gender and perceived religiosity. The video has no average impact, which is consistent with the idea that in a highly polarized society like Tunisia such an intervention only affects attitudes of specific groups in a society. We indeed find that the video mitigates the implicit gender bias only among a specific subpopulation: conservative women. We also confirm the presence of interviewer effects, both for implicit and explicit attitudes. These effects are more pronounced for explicit attitudes, which may suggest social desirability at work. We discuss the implications of our findings for further research and policies targeted at gender attitudes.
    Keywords: women's empowerment,implicit association test,interviewer effects,Middle East and North Africa region
    JEL: C83 D91 O12
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Duman, Anil
    Abstract: The paper aims to identify the effect of non-standard employment on wages in the Turkish labour market across gender and decompose the gap to understand the role of endowments and returns in generating the earning differences. Our findings show that non-standard employment reduces wages for women at every quantile but no such results are attained for men. Besides, females with standard jobs in Turkey earn more than men, however, the opposite holds for females in non-standard positions. Also, a big part of the gender pay gap is attributable to returns, especially at the lower end of the distribution. Women in low-paid and atypical jobs face larger pay gaps, and the role of unexplained component suggests they are discriminated. The distinct impact of non-standard employment on men and women suggest that policies geared towards labour market flexibilisation should take gender perspective into account.
    Keywords: Non-standard employment,Gender pay gap,Quantile regressions,Recentered Influence Function (RIF),Decomposition,Discrimination
    JEL: J31 J24 J41
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Amr A. Adly
    Abstract: In a fast-changing technology-driven era, drafting an implementable strategic roadmap to achieve economic prosperity becomes a real challenge. Although the national and international strategic development plans may vary, they usually target the improvement of the quality of living standards through boosting the national GDP per capita and the creation of decent jobs. There is no doubt that human capacity building, through higher education, is vital to the availability of highly qualified workforce supporting the implementation of the aforementioned strategies. In other words, fulfillment of most strategic development plan goals becomes dependent on the drafting and implementation of successful higher education strategies. For MENA region countries, this is particularly crucial due to many specific challenges, some of which are different from those facing developed nations. More details on the MENA region higher education strategic planning challenges as well as the proposed higher education strategic requirements to support national economic prosperity and fulfill the 2030 UN SDGs are given in the paper.
    Date: 2020–09
  7. By: Müller-Funk, Lea; Fröhlich, Christiane; Bank, André
    Abstract: Between normative aspirations and national interests, forced migrants often become pawns in host states' negotiations with internal and external actors. Focusing on North Africa, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa, this paper offers an analytical framework to better understand forced migration governance across space and time from a more global, pluralist perspective in a logic of iterative theory-building. We hypothesise that some drivers of forced migration governance are distinct from drivers of migration governance - for example, global policy and conceptions of humanitarian norms and principles play a larger role in the former. We hypothesise that while forced migration governance is negotiated around humanitarian principles, in which international actors, externalisation, and civil society play a crucial role, it also functions as a regime strategy and is driven by certain characteristics of forced migrant groups, including size and perceived identity proximity. Finally, forced migration governance is characterised by strong path dependency.
    Keywords: migration governance,forced migration,stability,Middle East,North Africa,Horn of Africa,regime strategy,crisis
    Date: 2020
  8. By: NEIFAR, Malika; Gharbi, Leila
    Abstract: The aim of the paper is to determine whether Tunisian Islamic and conventional banks are distinguishable from one another [on the basis of financial characteristics, in particular, profitability, liquidity, credit, insolvency risks] during 2005-2014 for a sample contains 16 banks (14 conventional and 2 Islamic).The comparison analysis between interest-free banks (IBs) and conventional banks (CBs) of bank specific factors reveals that there are differences between Islamic and conventional banks behaviour. Regression based Comparison analysis show that Interest-free banks are more profitable, more capitalized, more liquid and more stable but more riskier and less solvent than CBs. Large IBs are more profitable, more capitalized and riskier than small IBs. Small IBs have also lower Z-score than Large IBs. We conclude that the stability of IBs is attributed to size effect (Large IBs). Moreover, the stability of large IBs is driven by higher capitalization and liquidity. Across Tunisian banks, Zitouna bank is more stable while AL Baraka bank is riskier and more solvent. We find also that post Tunisian Revolution, there is no significant difference in terms of stability between IBs and CBs. However over the study period, IBs have lower insolvency risk and tend to be more capitalized and stable than CBs.
    Keywords: Financial stability, Profitability, Liquidity, Credit and Insolvency risk, GFC 2008, TUN 2011, Size, Market share, Tunisia, interest-free banking.
    JEL: G0 G21 G28 G32 Z12
    Date: 2020–09–09
  9. By: Miaari, Sami H. (Tel Aviv University); Sabbah-Karkabi, Maha (University of Haifa); Loewenthal, Amit (Tel Aviv University)
    Abstract: The paper gives us a first look on the unique effects of the crisis on the Arab minority in Israel. It contributes to our understanding on how economic and epidemic crises affect marginalized ethnic minorities and informs decision makers while formulating policies to deal with the crisis's consequences. The results of the paper show significant differences between how this minority group was affected by the crisis compared to the majority-Jewish population. Two months into the crisis, there was no significant difference between the employment rate of low and middle-paid Arab workers, who both suffered employment decreases, but in similar rates. This result is contrary to Jewish workers, where the more workers were paid before the crisis, the more likely they were to remain employed. The research is based on a unique survey conducted during the months of April and May, intended the first wave of a panel survey conducted every 3 months during the coming two years.
    Keywords: COVID-19, inequality, minorities
    JEL: I14 J15 J21 J64
    Date: 2020–09
  10. By: Çağatay Bircan; Saka Orkun
    Abstract: We document a strong political cycle in bank credit and industry outcomes in Turkey. In line with theories of tactical redistribution, state-owned banks systematically adjust their lending around local elections compared with private banks in the same province based on electoral competition and political alignment of incumbent mayors. This effect only exists in corporate lending as opposed to consumer loans. It creates credit constraints for firms in opposition areas, which suffer drops in employment and sales but not firm entry. There is substantial misallocation of financial resources as provinces and industries with high initial efficiency suffer the greatest constraints.
    Keywords: Bank credit; Electoral cycle; State-owned banks; Credit misallocation
    Date: 2018–12
    Abstract: We investigate whether the daily betas of individual stocks vary with the release of firm-specific news in an emerging market. Using intraday prices of all stocks traded on the Borsa Istanbul, Turkey over the period 2005-2013, we find evidence that average market betas increase significantly from two weeks before the earning announcement day, and then revert to their average levels two weeks after the announcement. The increase in betas is greater for larger, positive surprise earnings announcements than for smaller, negative news. The results are consistent with features of the learning model of Patton and Verardo (2012) but not with a number of their empirical results.
    Keywords: Realized Beta, Firm-specific News, Earnings Announcements, Emerging Market
    JEL: C22 G10 G11 G33
    Date: 2020–08

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