nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2020‒11‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. "Potential Impact of Daycare Closures on Parental Child Caregiving in Turkey" By Emel Memis; Ebru Kongar
  2. Opportunities for Natural Gas Trade and Infrastructure in the GCC By KAPSARC, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center
  3. Multidimensional Poverty in Morocco: An Exploratory Spatial Approach By Haddad, Eduardo; Araújo, Inácio; Sijelmassi-Idrissi, Zineb; Ihezagire, Chanelle; El-Bouazzaoui, Youness
  4. Further evidence on export-led growth in the United Arab Emirates: are non-oil exports or re-exports the key to economic growth? By Kalaitzi, Athanasia; Chamberlain, Trevor W.
  6. Methodology of Developing the Main Arterial Network of Iran By Safavian, Reza M.
  7. Determinants of Child Malnutrition in Mauritania By Yahya Abou Ly
  8. An Adaptive Targeted Field Experiment: Job Search Assistance for Refugees in Jordan By A. Stefano Caria
  10. The Dynamics of Refugee Return: Syrian Refugees and Their Migration Intentions By Alrababa'h, Ala'; Masterson, Daniel; Casalis, Marine; Hangartner, Dominik; Weinstein, Jeremy
  11. Palestinian water laws: Between centralization, decentralization, and rivalries By Jeanne PERRIER

  1. By: Emel Memis; Ebru Kongar
    Abstract: Daycares closed on March 16, 2020 in Turkey to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, the two most common nonparental childcare arrangements in Turkey--care of children by grandparents and nannies--became undesirable due to health concerns and in some cases also unfeasible due to the partial lockdown for individuals under the age of 20 and over the age of 64. We estimate the potential impact of new constraints on nonparental childcare arrangements due to the pandemic on parental caregiving time of married parents of preschool-age children by using data from the 2014-15 Turkish Time Use Survey. Comparing how parental caregiving time varies by gender and use of nonparental childcare arrangements, we find that new constraints on nonparental childcare arrangements during the pandemic have potentially increased the gender difference in parental caregiving time by an hour and forty minutes in Turkey.
    Keywords: Gender Economics; Time Use; Unpaid Labor; Turkey; COVID-19
    JEL: D13 J16 J22
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: KAPSARC, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Despite the common interests, markets, and economic policies among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, their energy cooperation has been modest. GCC countries hold 20% of the world’s gas reserves. The Dolphin gas pipeline, connecting Qatar to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman, is currently the only GCC cross-border pipeline.
    Keywords: Natural Gas, Gulf Cooperation Council, Infrastrucuture development
    Date: 2020–11–16
  3. By: Haddad, Eduardo (Departamento de Economia, Universidade de São Paulo); Araújo, Inácio (Departamento de Economia, Universidade de São Paulo); Sijelmassi-Idrissi, Zineb; Ihezagire, Chanelle; El-Bouazzaoui, Youness
    Abstract: In spite of the overall decrease in poverty in Morocco in the recent past, the pace of change did not affect regions equally. Poorer provinces faced slower reductions, increasing the relative gap in poverty indicators. In this paper, we explore the results of a multidimensional poverty indicator produced by the High Commission for Planning (HCP), the Moroccan official statistical agency, for the period 2004-2014. The Multidimensional Poverty Index (IPM) allows investigating the spatial aspects of different dimensions of poverty in the country. We find a clear spatial process underlying the distribution of the IPM. Moreover, the analysis undertaken at the province level suggests a persistent poverty hot spot in the northeast part of the country associated with poor infrastructure. Other poverty areas are more heavily associated with low quality of public services, particularly education and health. We provide a typology of geographically targeted sectoral policies, showing that there is no single recipe for all regions, since structural features matter.
    Keywords: Spatial analysis; Multidimensional poverty; Policy targeting; Morocco
    JEL: R10
    Date: 2020–11–14
  4. By: Kalaitzi, Athanasia; Chamberlain, Trevor W.
    Abstract: This study investigates the relationships between exports and economic growth in the United Arab Emirates. Understanding these relationships is important for purposes of establishing appropriate growth and develop- ment policies and strategies. The study uses an augmented Cobb–Douglas production function to examine the causality between non-oil exports, re-exports and economic growth over the period 1981–2012. To investigate the existence of a long-run relationship between the variables, the study performs the Johansen cointegration test, while the direction of the short-run causality is examined by applying the Granger causality test in a vector error correction model framework. A modified Wald test in an augmented vector autoregressive model is ap- plied in order to find the direction of the long-run causality. This research provides evidence in support of an indirect short-run uni-directional causality from economic growth to re-exports, through physical capital accu- mulation and imports. As for long-run causality, the results show that a bi-directional causality exists between re-exports and economic growth in the UAE.
    Keywords: diversification; Re-exports; Economic growth; Causality; UAE
    JEL: L81 R14 J01
    Date: 2019–11–16
  5. By: Majida Jrad; Yamina Tadjeddine
    Abstract: This paper examines the factors that affect the collateralizing of a loan specifically for SMEs in Lebanon that is a country with a small open emerging-market economy. Collateral should guarantee the bank loan but in practice it is adjusted according to other socio-economic criteria of companies. This is particularly true for SME's and even more so for emerging countries. We propose in this article to illustrate the signals mobilized by banks when providing collateralized loans. Data on these variables have been derived from the Lebanese Central Band and the World Bank. It contains observations for two samples – 532 firms for 2020 and 561 firms for 2014. Three sets of factors influence the level of collateral required: those related to firm characteristics (relevant variables: age, size, auditing financial statements, developing the qualification of workforce, export orientation, the sector of manufacturing, located in capital city, female manager, export orientation), to loan characteristics (no relevant variable), and to credit market specifics (interest rate). Regression estimates suggest the age and size of a firm contributed to more collateral required in 2019. Smaller collateral is required by firms with bigger size, auditing financial statements, developing the qualification of workforce, export orientation, belonging to the sector of manufacturing, located in capital city in 2013. Female manager, export orientation, and location in capital city contribute to smaller collateral required in 2019. Loan value does not seem to tighten collateral requirements. In opposite perspective, the increases in the interest rate entail stricter collateralizing the loans.
    Keywords: Financing, SMEs, collateral, credit risk, regression analysis, Lebanon.
    JEL: G32 O16 O53
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Safavian, Reza M.
    Keywords: Public Economics
    Date: 2020–10–22
  7. By: Yahya Abou Ly (Cheikh Anta Diop University)
    Abstract: The empirical context of this research is in an environment where malnutrition is a real public health concern. The objective of this study was to identify the determinants of the nutritional state of children under the age of five years in Mauritania. Using data obtained from multiple indicators cluster surveys (MICS) in Mauritania in 2007 and 2015, we undertook fixed-effects clusters techniques to control for unobserved heterogeneity. The empirical results demonstrate that the age and sex of a child, level of education of the mother, the standards of living of the household, the area of residence, the availability and use of health care services and access to drinking water are all important factors for the good health of children in Mauritania. These findings suggests improvements in nutritional health, for example, by education of girls until completion of secondary school; an improvement in the conditions of households that are headed by women and an expansion in the coverage rate of multi-purpose health centres.
    Date: 2020
  8. By: A. Stefano Caria
    Abstract: We introduce a novel adaptive targeted treatment assignment methodology for field experiments. Our Tempered Thompson Algorithm balances the goals of maximizing the precision of treatment effect estimates and maximizing the welfare of experimental participants. A hierarchical Bayesian model allows us to adaptively target treatments. We implement our methodology in Jordan, testing policies to help Syrian refugees and local jobseekers to find work. The immediate employment impacts of a small cash grant, information and psychological support are close to zero, but targeting raises employment by 1 percentage-point (20%). After four months, cash has a sizable effect on employment and earnings of Syrians.
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Wang, Ivy (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise)
    Abstract: The Banque de Syrie et du Liban was established through the French mandate of Syria and Lebanon. The institution was a combination of a commercial and central bank for the region and provided economic stability. By studying the bank’s balance sheets, this paper provides an analysis of its assets and liabilities. An accompanying spreadsheet workbook provides all the balance sheet data from the bank’s annual reports as most of this data has never been digitized or analyzed in English. Using historical analysis of the financial situations of Syria and Lebanon at the time, several observations are made about the bank’s influence from 1919 to 1963, as well as about how it evolved into Lebanon’s central bank.
    Keywords: Syria; Lebanon; banking; colonialism; French mandate; Bank of Syria and Lebanon
    JEL: E58 N15
    Date: 2020–02
  10. By: Alrababa'h, Ala'; Masterson, Daniel (University of California, Santa Barbara); Casalis, Marine; Hangartner, Dominik; Weinstein, Jeremy
    Abstract: Despite the importance of understanding how refugee crises end, little is known about when and why refugees return home. We study the drivers of refugees’ decision-making using original observational and experimental data from a representative sample of 3,003 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We find that conditions in a refugee’s home country are the primary drivers of return intentions. Refugees’ decisions are influenced primarily by safety and security in their place of origin, their economic prospects, the availability of public services, and their personal networks. Confidence in information is also important, as several drivers of return only impact intentions among people who have high confidence in their information. By contrast, the conditions in refugee–hosting countries––so-called “push” factors––play a much smaller role. Even in the face of hostility and poor living conditions, refugees are unlikely to return unless the situation at home improves significantly.
    Date: 2020–11–04
  11. By: Jeanne PERRIER
    Abstract: This article explores the process of reforming Palestinian water laws, in particular the last water law enacted in 2014. These legislative reforms are part of an international context of modernization of water laws, as well as a national Palestinian context of water management reform, which began in 2008. They reflect the key ideas formulated in the Dublin Statement of 1992. The purpose of this article is to deconstruct the process of Palestinian water management reforms to understand the real power struggles at play. To achieve this, we will analyze the political and discursive context of the production of the Palestinian water law of 2014, which aims to establish a more democratic management of water resources, notably through a process of decentralizing the Palestinian Water Authority in favor of new actors, such as regional suppliers or even water user associations. However, this has failed, and this article shows how it ignored local hydro-political constellations and power struggles between the different actors implicated in this water management. The power that the Palestinian Water Authority has remains limited. It faces the challenges of the reality of legal pluralism, which in practice translates to the management of Palestinian water. The Israeli occupation exacerbates these challenges. However, legislative tools such as the 2014 water law and recent regulations are paving the way for the gradual advancement of the pawns involved in the centralization of water resource management. The analysis of legislative documents, coupled with Palestinian strategies and internal dynamics, reveals these dynamics of centralization that threaten local water management practices.
    Keywords: Palestine
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2020–11–16

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