nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2021‒03‒08
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Impact of Tax Reforms in Applied Models: Which Functional Forms Should Be Chosen for the Demand System? Theory and Application for Morocco By Touhami Abdelkhalek; Dorothée Boccanfuso
  2. Fertility Regulation and Family Influence in Tunisia By Olfa Frini; Christophe Muller
  3. Women's Leadership and Pragmatism Incidences on Performance of Listed Family-Owned Firms in the Cultural Context of Arab Countries By Azzeddine Allioui; Badr Habba; Taib Berrada El Azizi
  4. Reclaiming public space in Kuwait’s residential neighbourhoods: an applied policy-oriented approach By Peca Amaral Gomes, Alexandra; Al-Ragam, Asseel; AlShalfan, Sharifa
  5. Residential Energy Model for Evaluating Energy Demand and Energy Efficiency Programs in Saudi Residential Buildings By Mohammad Aldubyan; Moncef Krarti; Eric Williams

  1. By: Touhami Abdelkhalek; Dorothée Boccanfuso
    Abstract: When researchers and policymakers conduct impact analyses of economic reforms, especially fiscal reforms, the specification of the household demand system becomes crucial. There is a trade-off between using demand systems simple to manipulate but less realistic and other systems that are more realistic but often more complex and difficult to estimate or calibrate. In this paper, we compare the results from two different demand systems: a simple one, the Cobb-Douglas (CD), and a more complex one, the Constant Difference Elasticity (CDE). We develop an hybrid method of estimation - calibration based on the estimation of the parameters and elasticities of a QUAIDS system and on the calibration of those of the CDE system using a cross-entropy approach. The estimates obtained are introduced into a micro-simulated partial equilibrium model to approximate the impact of the VAT reform on poverty measures in Morocco. We show that when the simulated shocks are moderate, the gain of using a CDE system instead of a CD system is marginal but, when these shocks are stronger, the differences become significant and increase. Then the use of these models can lead to different results when evaluating public policies and their impacts on poverty measures.
    Keywords: Demand Systems,Estimation-Calibration,Tax Reform,Morocco,
    JEL: C51 D12 I32 H31
    Date: 2021–02–26
  2. By: Olfa Frini (Institut Supérieur de Comptabilité & d’Administration des Entreprises ISCAE, Manouba University, Tunisia.); Christophe Muller (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France)
    Abstract: We revisit fertility analysis in Tunisia by examining family interference in birth control through: woman’s marriage age, post-marriage delay in the first use of contraception, past and current contraceptive use, and choice of the birth control methods. Using data from the 2001 PAP-FAM Tunisian survey, we find that the significant effects of covariates arise and vanish across stage-specific equations as women progress in their lifecycle. In Tunisia, family links and socio-cultural environment appear to greatly shape fertility regulation in the direction of higher fertility. This calls for more intensive involvement of the extended families in family planning policies. This also suggests that the resurgence of traditionalist politico-religious movements, often associated with youth radicalization, may affect future fertility in Tunisia through an increase in family influences on birth control by married women.
    Keywords: fertility regulation, age at marriage, birth control, family interference, contraception, Tunisia
    JEL: J12 J13 C25 C41
    Date: 2021–02
  3. By: Azzeddine Allioui (LAREGO Laboratory, ENCG, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco); Badr Habba (Chair of Moroccan Family businesses, ESCA Ecole de Management, Casablanca, Morocco, LAREGO Laboratory, ENCG, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakesh, Morocco); Taib Berrada El Azizi (Chair of Moroccan Family businesses, ESCA Ecole de Management, Casablanca, Morocco)
    Abstract: This research paper aims to study the level and determinants of the financial performance of family businesses, according to the gender of the board of directors' chairman in the Arab world. Our research approach is based on a sample of 152 listed family-owned businesses and a control sample of 166 listed non-family businesses over the 2011-2018 periods. The research results indicate that the female gender issue has a positive influence on the financial performance of businesses with family ownership. This is explained by the fact that women leaders have a prudent and pragmatic leadership style that limits stereotypical images of women presidents' leadership style in the Arab world. This result is original since it can be considered as the first one to ever clarify the relationship between female leadership in the board of directors, risk-taking, and financial performance in the context of family ownership in the Arab countries.
    Keywords: family business,female leadership,women's leadership,transformational leadership,financial performance,risk-taking
    Date: 2021–01–11
  4. By: Peca Amaral Gomes, Alexandra; Al-Ragam, Asseel; AlShalfan, Sharifa
    Abstract: Kuwait’s population is expanding rapidly and accommodating this growth through sustainable urban development will be a challenge for the small emirate. This calls for a shift in current urbanisation patterns that are contributing to high levels of motorisation, public space neglect, physical inactivity and health and environmental problems.1 These negative externalities are coupled with unsustainable and profit-driven regeneration schemes that neglect the relationship between everyday behaviour and public space. Consequently, re-evaluating the relationship between urban growth and public space standards becomes vital. This applied policy-oriented research expands on the limited qualitative studies on public space in Kuwait and challenges state top-down design standards used in planning its residential neighbourhoods. It explores the impact that planning, design, and behavioural factors have on public space use. Building on the existing literature, it also adds a socio-spatial dimension to public space studies and contributes a qualitative policy-oriented approach that is environmentally sustainable and one that leads to healthier social and individual behaviour. A comparative case study method guided the investigation on two local streets in residential neighbourhoods in Kuwait with divergent urban characteristics: 4th Street, Qortuba and AlDimna Street, Salmiya. A qualitative user-centred analysis based on Gehl’s public survey tools2 was then used ‘to measure public space and public life’.3 The findings highlight that an overlap in responsibilities at state planning authorities and limited user-centred policies have hindered the successful use of public space in Kuwait. However, and as this investigation illustrates, public space improvement cannot be achieved with isolated measures. Design improvements to public space must also take into account the cultural and climatic impact of users’ social negotiations that take place in the public space of residential neighbourhoods in Kuwait. This investigation uses the selected case studies to address these different factors. The aim is to explore the impact of qualitative methods of analysis in understanding public space and to use the collected data to generate evidence-based policies that could then be applied on a much larger scale to the sustainable urban development of Kuwait. Effective urban policies and management will promote the necessary change that will help create more vibrant communities.
    JEL: Q15
    Date: 2021–03–01
  5. By: Mohammad Aldubyan; Moncef Krarti; Eric Williams (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: This paper describes the development of the Residential Energy Model (REEM) for Saudi Arabia using an engineering bottom-up approach. The model can assess energy demand for the current residential building stock and the impact of energy efficiency and demand-side management programs. It accounts for the makeup and features of the Kingdom’s existing housing stock using 54 prototypes of residential buildings defined by three building types, three vintages, and six locations representing different climatic zones.
    Keywords: Energy Efficiency, Energy Modeling, Residental building stock, Demand side management
    Date: 2021–02–21

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