nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2021‒06‒14
eleven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The crisis of affordable housing in Jordan By Irène SALENSON; Myriam Ababsa (IFPO); Olga Koukoui (AFD)
  2. The Information and Communication Technologies-Economic Growth Nexus in Tunisia: A Cross-Section Dynamic Panel Approach By Mounir Dahmani; Mohamed Mabrouki; Adel Ben Youssef
  3. Income inequality under Colonial Rule: Evidence from French Algeria, Cameroon, Tunisia, and Vietnam and comparisons with the British Empire 1920-1960 By Alvaredo, Facundo; Cogneau, Denis; Piketty, Thomas
  4. International Trade and Labor Markets: Evidence from the Arab Republic of Egypt By Robertson, Raymond; Vergara Bahena, Mexico Alberto; Kokas, Deeksha; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
  5. The intergenerational effects of economic sanctions By Moeeni, Safoura
  6. Affordable housing, a social challenge amidst Lebanese crises By Irène SALENSON; Bruno MAROT, urbaniste et chercheur associé à l’Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO); Olga KOUKOUI (AFD)
  7. The informal economy and gender inequalities in North Africa By Philippe Adair
  8. Echoes of Violent Conflict: The Effect of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict on Hate Crimes in the U.S. By Christensen, Love; Enlund, Jakob
  9. "Anatomy of a Stock Market Bubble" By Frank Veneroso
  10. The Impact of Governance on Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education (SDG4) in Iran By Jariani, Farzaneh
  11. Monitoring War Destruction from Space Using Machine Learning By Hannes Mueller; André Groeger; Jonathan Hersh; Andrea Matranga; Joan Serrat

  1. By: Irène SALENSON; Myriam Ababsa (IFPO); Olga Koukoui (AFD)
    Abstract: > Jordan is in the throes of a property crisis: following a construction boom, sales have now collapsed and housing is ill-adapted to demand,> 18% of the housing stock is kept vacant in anticipation of speculative sales,> Jordan hosts 750,000 refugees registered with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenites), who find it difficult to access housing, as do low-income Jordanian households. Moreover, 2.2 million citizens are Palestinian refugees.
    Keywords: Jordanie
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2021–05–27
  2. By: Mounir Dahmani (Université de Gafsa, Tunisie); Mohamed Mabrouki (Université de Gafsa, Tunisie); Adel Ben Youssef (Université Côte d'Azur, France; GREDEG CNRS)
    Abstract: The rapid diffusion of information and communication technologies (ICT) is becoming an important determinant of national economic growth. This paper examines the relationship between development of ICT and economic growth in Tunisia based on a sector analysis. We employ the common correlated effect mean group (CCEMG) and augmented mean group (AMG) methods and annual panel data for 1997 to 2017, to study the significant positive relationship between ICT and economic growth in Tunisia. Our sector analysis shows that the effect of ICT on value added is heterogenous depending on the sector of activity and provides three main findings. First, in some sectors such as financial services, transport, building and civil engineering, hotel and restaurant services and other market services ICT have a positive and significant impact on value added. These sectors benefit from use of ICT. Second, in some sectors such as trade and various manufacturing industries, ICT has a negative and significant impact on value added. These sectors need to be well organized and well managed to avoid domination by informalities. Third, in some sectors such as public administration there is a productivity paradox and despite huge investment in ICT they have no impact on value added due to the absence of a deep organizational change.
    Keywords: ICT diffusion index, capital, labor, economic growth, Tunisia, dynamic panel, cross-sectional, CCEMG, AMG
    Date: 2021–05
  3. By: Alvaredo, Facundo; Cogneau, Denis; Piketty, Thomas
    Abstract: In this article we assess income inequality across French and British colonial empires between 1920 and 1960. For the first time, income tax tabulations are exploited to assess the case studies of French Algeria, Tunisia, Cameroon, and Vietnam, which we compare to British colonies and dominions. As measured by top income shares, inequality was high in colonies. It fell after WWII, but stabilized at much higher levels than in mainland France or the United Kingdom in the 1950s. European settlers or expatriates comprised the bulk of top income earners, and only a minority of autochthons could compete in terms of income, particularly in Africa. Top income shares were no higher in settlement colonies, not only because those territories were wealthier but also because the average European settler was less rich than the average European expatriate. Inequality between Europeans in colonies was similar to (or even below) that of the metropoles. In settlement colonies, the post-WWII fall in income inequality can be explained by a fall in inequality between Europeans, mirroring that of the metropoles, and does not imply that the European/autochthon income gap was reduced.
    Keywords: Africa; Asia; Colonialism; inequality; Top incomes
    JEL: N3 N35 N37 O15 O53 O55
    Date: 2020–06
  4. By: Robertson, Raymond (Texas A&M University); Vergara Bahena, Mexico Alberto (World Bank); Kokas, Deeksha (World Bank); Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys (World Bank)
    Abstract: Since the early 1990s, some developing countries have experienced a coincidence of rising exports – especially those related to global value chains – and improved labor market outcomes. During 2000–10, rising trade was associated with falling poverty and inequality in many developing countries. However, the Arab Republic of Egypt was not one of these countries, although it signed several trade agreements. The lack of trade-related improvements in labor market outcomes – including poverty, inequality, average wage levels, informality, and female labor force participation – could be explained by at least two possibilities. First, it is possible that trade agreements did not produce the same increase in trade for Egypt as for other countries. Second, it is possible that exports do not generate the same kinds of changes in labor market outcomes as experienced in other countries. After presenting the trends in key labor market outcomes over 2000–19, this paper evaluates both hypotheses. Using a gravity model approach, the results suggest that the changes in Egypt's exports following trade agreements are above internationally estimated averages. Second, the results from a Bartik approach find no significant relationship between rising exports and wages, informality, or female labor force participation. Additional analysis shows that Egypt's average wage levels are among the highest among countries that export the same goods exported by Egypt, possibly suggesting that Egypt has a relatively weak comparative advantage in currently exported goods, and thus might need to rethink its export basket.
    Keywords: labor market outcomes, trade agreements, Egypt
    JEL: J31 F16
    Date: 2021–06
  5. By: Moeeni, Safoura
    Abstract: While economic sanctions are successful in achieving political goals, can hurt the civilian population. These negative effects could be even more detrimental and long-lasting for future generations. I estimate the effects of economic sanctions on children's education by exploiting the United Nations sanctions imposed on Iran in 2006. Using the variation in the strength of sanctions across industries and difference-in-differences with synthetic control analyses, I find that the sanctions decreased children's total years of schooling by 0.1 years and the probability of attending college by 4.8 percentage points. Moreover, households reduced education spending by 58% - particularly on school tuition. These effects are larger for children who were exposed longer to the sanctions. The results imply that sanctions have a larger effect on the income of children than their parents. Therefore, ignoring the effects of sanctions on future generations significantly understates their total economic costs.
    Keywords: Education,Parental investment,Economic sanctions,Intergenerational effects
    JEL: I20 E24 F51
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Irène SALENSON; Bruno MAROT, urbaniste et chercheur associé à l’Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO); Olga KOUKOUI (AFD)
    Abstract: Since 2019, Lebanon has been experiencing the worst financial and economic disaster in its history. The explosion on 4 August 2020 affected many of the capital’s residential buildings. With over half of the country’s 6 million residents living under the poverty line,these crises reinforce the social need for affordable housing.
    Keywords: Liban
    JEL: Q
    Date: 2021–05–27
  7. By: Philippe Adair
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Christensen, Love (Department of Political Science, University of Gothenburg); Enlund, Jakob (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: Do social identity ties facilitate the spread of violent conflict? We assess whether the Israeli-Palestinian conflict causes hate crime towards Jews and Muslims in the U.S using daily data between 2000-2016. We measure the timing, intensity and instigator in the conflict using the number of conflict fatalities and U.S. mass media coverage of the conflict. Analyses using both conflict measures find that conflict events trigger hate crimes in the following days following a retaliatory pattern: Anti-Jewish hate crimes increase after Israeli attacks and anti-Islamic hate crimes increase after Palestinian attacks. There is little evidence that the ethno-religiousgroup not associated with the attacker is subjected to hate crimes. Moreover, the lack of an effect of non-violent conflict reporting suggests that hate crimes are not triggered by the salience of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in itself. Our findings suggest that victimization transcends the locality of the conflict, implying that violent conflict may be more costly than existing research suggests.
    Keywords: Conflict; Hate crime; Violence; Israel; Palestine; Media
    JEL: D74 J15 K42 L82
    Date: 2021–05
  9. By: Frank Veneroso
    Abstract: According to Frank Veneroso, a broad subset of today's US stock market has become what he calls a "pure price-chasing bubble." Examination of the history of comparable pure price-chasing bubbles shows there has been a set of key causal factors that contributed to these rare market events. The most extreme such case was an over-the-counter market in Kuwait called the "Souk al-Manakh." This exemplar of a pure price-chasing phenomenon may shed light--albeit unflattering--on the current US equity market, Veneroso contends.
    Date: 2021–04
  10. By: Jariani, Farzaneh
    Abstract: Education is assumed as one of the intrinsic and fundamental rights of all individuals and as a tool for improving the social skills during the life and also the most powerful tool for the sustainable development because without an appropriate education, there would be no possibility to get riddance of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, diseases and mortality and inequality reduction. Accordingly, we can't achieve to the sustainable development, protecting our earth and arranging a perpetual peace in the world without an appropriate education. In this study, the effect of governance on SDG4 has been studied in Iran since 1990 to 2019 using the GMM method. The potential energy amount formula saved in the electric circuit capacitor (Physics) has been applied for the theoretical foundations. The foregoing results denote that there is a weak contact among government, government expenditure on education and effectiveness with inequality in education because of paying inadequate attention by the governance to remove the educational discrimination and also improving the economic, social and cultural abilities. Also, the poor relation between Gross National Income Per Capita (GNI) and Inequality in Education can be indicative of the low quality of education in the educational canters therefore those families that are of lower affordability will be liable to the educational discrimination. Accordingly, the governance here in Iran can be realized by increasing the welfare, prosperity and improving the education quality (Graders & Students) and increasing the levels of qualification (Teachers & Professors) with the aim of lasting and perpetual educations based on experience, practice and research. These can also materialize the SDG4 in Iran and then propel the sustainable development realization in Iran towards the reality through improving Iran's human development index. Also, the government can accelerate the SDG4 realization by implementing a total structure and an appropriate mechanism and also by decreasing the urbanization growth and applicable budget appropriation and through the justly distribution of educational facilities and the pulling power of teaching method.
    Keywords: SDG4; Equitable Quality Education; Governance; Iran; Capacitor
    JEL: I24 I25 I28 I3 N25
    Date: 2021–06–10
  11. By: Hannes Mueller; André Groeger; Jonathan Hersh; Andrea Matranga; Joan Serrat
    Abstract: Satellite imagery is becoming ubiquitous and is released with ever higher frequency. Research has demonstrated that Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied to satellite imagery holds promise for automated detection of war-related building destruction. While these results are promising, monitoring in real-world applications requires consistently high precision, especially when destruction is sparse and detecting destroyed buildings is equivalent to looking for a needle in a haystack. We demonstrate that exploiting the persistent nature of building destruction can substantially improve the training of automated destruction monitoring. We also propose an additional machine learning stage that leverages images of surrounding areas and multiple successive images of the same area which further improves detection significantly. By combining these steps, we construct an automated classification of building destruction which allows real-world applications and we illustrate this in the context of the Syrian civil war.
    Keywords: conflict, destruction, deep learning, remote sensing, Syria
    JEL: C45 C23 D74
    Date: 2021–05

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