nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2021‒07‒26
eleven papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The drivers of Morocco's public external debt: empirical investigation (1998-2019) By Mohamed El-Qasemy; Lalla Zhor Alaoui Omari
  2. Turkey: 2021 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Turkey By International Monetary Fund
  3. An Application for the Impact of the Agricultural Labor Force and Employment Structure on the Economic Growth in Turkey By Mengüç, Işıl Tellalbaşı
  4. Energy Expenditure in Egypt: Empirical Evidence Based on a Quantile Regression Approach By Fateh BELAID; Christophe RAULT
  5. The impact of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) on the Arab Maghreb Union's regional integration. By Allali Sara
  6. Export diversification in the Gulf: the Kuwait experience By Kalaitzi, Athanasia; Chamberlain, Trevor William
  7. Economic Assessment of the Development of CO2 Direct Reduction Technologies in Long-Term Climate Strategies of the Gulf Countries By Frédéric Babonneau; Ahmed Badran; Maroua Benlahrech; Alain Haurie; Maxime Schenckery; Marc Vielle
  8. Sudan: Second Review Under the Staff-Monitored Program and Request for Extension-Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Sudan By International Monetary Fund
  9. Sudan: Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative-Decision Point Document By International Monetary Fund
  10. Training Teachers for Diversity Awareness: Impact on School Attendance of Refugee Children By Tumen, Semih; Vlassopoulos, Michael; Wahba, Jackline
  11. Sudan: Request for a 39-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for Sudan By International Monetary Fund

  1. By: Mohamed El-Qasemy (UIT - Université Ibn Tofaïl); Lalla Zhor Alaoui Omari (UIT - Université Ibn Tofaïl)
    Abstract: The objective of this study is to empirically analyze the determinants of external public debt in Morocco. The issue of external debt is linked to its place in the economic activity of any society. Thus, from an economic point of view, external debt makes it possible to break the link that should exist between savings and consumption within a country. However, despite this clear advantage, the problem is that debt can become dangerous when it exceeds certain limits. If it does not lead to a dislocation of a country's economic and social structures as a result of conditions imposed by lenders, it can at least thwart economic policy objectives and reduce policy space. Morocco has a long history, which was not always happy, with external indebtedness dating back to the pre-protectorate period. After the rescheduling of its external debt under the Structural Adjustment Plan, Morocco will reconsider its external debt policy. Indeed since its return to international financial markets in 1996, it will try to control the level of its external debt to avoid any drift that would lead it to relive the scenario of the 80s. In this context, this study analyzed, in the case of Morocco, the impact of a certain number of factors which are identified by the literature as being determinants of external indebtedness in emerging economies. Using data covering the period 1998-2019, analyzed with an ARDL model, our results show that external sector factors are preeminent in explaining the outstanding external debt of the central government in Morocco, leaving assume that the major concern of the public authorities is to maintain a certain balance in the external accounts.
    Abstract: L'objectif de cette étude est d'analyser empiriquement les déterminants de l'endettement extérieur public au Maroc. L'enjeu de l'endettement extérieur est lié à sa place dans l'activité économique de toute société. Ainsi, du point de vue économique, l'endettement extérieur permet de casser le lien qui devrait exister entre l'épargne et la consommation au sein des frontières d'un pays. Cependant, en dépit de cet avantage indéniable, le problème c'est que la dette peut devenir dangereuse quand elle dépasse certaines limites. Si elle n'entraine pas une dislocation des structures économiques et sociales d'un pays par suite des conditions imposées par les prêteurs, elle peut au moins contrarier les objectifs de la politique économique et réduire la marge de manoeuvre des pouvoirs publics. Le Maroc a une longue histoire, qui n'était pas toujours heureuse, avec l'endettement extérieur qui remonte à la période d'avant le protectorat. Après le rééchelonnement de sa dette extérieure sous le Plan d'Ajustement Structurel, le Maroc va reconsidérer sa politique d'endettement extérieur. En effet depuis son retour sur les marchés financiers internationaux en 1996, il va essayer de maitriser le niveau de sa dette extérieure pour éviter toute dérive qui le mènerait à revivre le scénario des années 80. Dans ce cadre, cette étude a analysé, dans le cas du Maroc, l'impact d'un certain nombre de facteurs qui sont identifiés par la littérature comme étant des déterminants de l'endettement extérieur dans les pays émergents. En utilisant des données couvrant la période 1998-2019 analysées à l'aide du modèle ARDL, nos résultats révèlent la prééminence des facteurs du secteur extérieur dans l'explication de l'encours de la dette extérieure de l'administration centrale au Maroc, laissant présumer que le souci majeur des pouvoirs publics est de maintenir un certain équilibre dans les comptes extérieurs.
    Keywords: Morocco,External sector,International financial market,ARDL,Public external debt,Dette extérieure publique,Marché financier international,Maroc,Secteur extérieur
    Date: 2021
  2. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: In Turkey, as in other countries, the human and economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe. Thousands of lives have been tragically lost and many livelihoods compromised. The initial policy response to the pandemic—and subsequent sharp growth rebound—set Turkey apart from its peers. Rapid monetary and credit expansion and large liquidity support meant that Turkey was among the few countries to experience positive economic growth in 2020. But these policies also aggravated pre-existing economic and financial vulnerabilities. Higher inflation, increased dollarization, and a large shift in the current account position increased pressure on the lira and gave rise to heavy foreign exchange sales, which led in turn to steep reserve declines from already-low levels. A policy shift in late 2020—mainly towards tighter and more transparent monetary policy and slower credit growth—was both welcome and necessary. But the durability and depth of the shift were called into question in March 2021, following the change in central bank leadership, as the lira weakened markedly and interest rate spreads widened.
    Keywords: credit policy; fiscal policy coordination; IFC portfolio implementation; FX rediscount credit repayment; IMF staff calculation; policy uncertainty; COVID-19; State-owned banks; Inflation; Global; Europe
    Date: 2021–06–11
  3. By: Mengüç, Işıl Tellalbaşı
    Abstract: In this research, agricultural employment and labor structure in Turkey between the years 1991-2019 aimed to investigate the impact on economic growth. In this framework, the relationship between agricultural employment (TI), agricultural male employment (TEI) and agricultural value added (TKD) and growth was analyzed using the World Bank Country Report. According to the results obtained in the study, the relationship of all three parameters with GDP is statistically highly significant (p <0.05). However, when the analysis is repeated as year-controlled, the effect of agricultural added value on GDP becomes statistically insignificant (p> 0.05). The regression analysis results showed that only the TI variable, that is, the agricultural employment variable, had a significant effect on growth (p <0.05). Apart from this, there is no statistically significant effect of male employment and agricultural value added parameters on growth in agriculture (p> 0.05). Increased employment in agricultural production in Turkey, has a negative effect on growth. It can be stated that the main reasons for this are that there are not enough agricultural innovations, modernization and technological developments.
    Date: 2021–06–26
  4. By: Fateh BELAID; Christophe RAULT
    Keywords: , Residential energy expenditure, Energy efficiency, Quantile regression, Adaptive Lasso, Egypt
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Allali Sara (Université Mohammed V, Rabat)
    Abstract: This article presents an assessment of the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) in the context of the Arab Maghreb Union's ongoing regional integration efforts and its main contributions. It indicates that trade-related costs hamper not only Africa's integration with the rest of the world but, more specifically, its regional integration. The article analyzes some relevant indicators from the World Bank Doing Business database. Given the asymmetric magnitude of transaction costs by international standards, the analysis affirms how critical trade facilitation is for the UMA's growth. Moreover, in order to estimate the UMA's trade potential, the article uses a gravity model applied to panel data over a period of 10 years for 16 countries. It results that in North Africa, trade potential is far from being attained and the flows studied here represent only 46% of the estimations. Within this set, the UMA is at 56% of the estimated level. To conclude, regardless of the significant economic progress registered in the last ten years, the Maghreb is still impaired from a lack of solidity and involvement in its trade relations. Hence, the analysis of this potential shows the relative presence of potential according to each country, and in this way, calls to mind the need for policies that aim to build true integration in the Maghreb.
    Keywords: Trade facilitation,Gravity Model,Exports
    Date: 2021–05–30
  6. By: Kalaitzi, Athanasia; Chamberlain, Trevor William
    Keywords: Kuwait Program supported by KFAS; Springer deal
    JEL: R14 J01 L81 J1
    Date: 2021–07–06
  7. By: Frédéric Babonneau (ORDECSYS / EPFL - ORDECSYS / EPFL, Santiago - University Adolfo Ibanez, University of Geneva [Switzerland]); Ahmed Badran (Qatar University); Maroua Benlahrech (Qatar University); Alain Haurie (ORDECSYS / EPFL - ORDECSYS / EPFL, GERAD - Groupe d’études et de recherche en analyse des décisions - EPM - École Polytechnique de Montréal - McGill University = Université McGill [Montréal, Canada] - HEC Montréal - HEC Montréal - UQAM - Université du Québec à Montréal = University of Québec in Montréal); Maxime Schenckery (IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles - IFPEN - IFP Energies nouvelles, IFP School); Marc Vielle (EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne)
    Abstract: This paper proposes an assessment of long-term climate strategies for oil- and gas-producing countries—in particular, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states—as regards the Paris Agreement goal of limiting the increase of surface air temperature to 2°C by the end of the twenty-first century. The study evaluates the possible role of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) technologies under an international emissions trading market as a way to mitigate welfare losses. To model the strategic context, one assumes that a global cumulative emissions budget will have been allocated among different coalitions of countries—the GCC being one of them—and the existence of an international emissions trading market. A meta-game model is proposed in which deployment of CDR technologies as well as supply of emission rights are strategic variables and the payoffs are obtained from simulations of a general equilibrium model. The results of the simulations indicate that oil and gas producing countries and especially the GCC countries face a significant welfare loss risk, due to "unburnable oil" if a worldwide climate regime as recommended by the Paris Agreement is put in place. The development of CDR technologies, in particular direct air capture (DAC) alleviates somewhat this risk and offers these countries a new opportunity for exploiting their gas reserves and the carbon storage capacity offered by depleted oil and gas reservoirs.
    Keywords: GCC countries,Climate negotiations,Carbon dioxide removal,Financial compensation,Negative emissions,CDR technologies
    Date: 2021–04–25
  8. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The transitional government embarked on a Staff-Monitored Program (SMP) in 2020 to help address major macroeconomic imbalances caused by decades of mismanagement, lay the groundwork for inclusive growth, and establish a track record of sound policies required for eventual HIPC debt relief. The economic challenges facing the authorities remain significant and have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, but there have been improvements in both the domestic and external environment. Sudan has cleared its arrears to the World Bank and African Development Bank thereby regaining access to multilateral grant funding. A financing package for the clearance of arrears to the IMF has been identified, and on May 17, 2021 a development partner conference was held in Paris with a side event to promote investment in Sudan.
    Date: 2021–06–30
  9. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Sudan, with the support of the international community, is implementing an ambitious reform program to address major macroeconomic imbalances and support sustainable, inclusive growth. A new transitional government was established in the wake of the 2019 revolution with the mandate to carry out sweeping reforms to reverse decades of economic and social decline. The government is pursuing a transformational reform agenda focused on: (i) achieving internal peace based on inclusion, regional equity, and justice; (ii) stabilizing the economy and correcting large macroeconomic imbalances; (iii) providing a foundation for future rapid growth, development, and poverty reduction; and (iv) improving governance and transparency.
    Date: 2021–07–01
  10. By: Tumen, Semih (Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey); Vlassopoulos, Michael (University of Southampton); Wahba, Jackline (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Despite efforts to integrate refugee children into host country education systems, their low school attachment remains a major policy challenge. Teachers play a key role in keeping students attached to school, yet classroom diversity poses difficulties for teachers who are not always adequately prepared to address the needs of minority students. Using administrative data and a regression discontinuity approach, we evaluate whether a teacher training program—designed to raise awareness of primary and secondary school teachers in Turkey—is effective in reducing absenteeism of refugee students. We find that the program almost halves the absenteeism gap between native and refugee students and its effect persists into the next academic year, albeit fading out in size. We argue that the most likely channel through which the effects of the program operate is a school-wide mentorship role acquired by trained teachers, which has broad impact on raising diversity awareness within schools.
    Keywords: teacher training, refugees, absenteeism, diversity
    JEL: I21 I28 J15
    Date: 2021–07
  11. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Since the 2019 popular revolution, Sudan’s transitional government has taken difficult steps to right decades of economic mismanagement. The challenges facing the authorities remain significant, but they have fulfilled the necessary conditions to reach the HIPC Decision Point (DP). This is an historic achievement and Sudan is set to clear its arrears and normalize relations with the IMF and other international financial institutions. This will unlock Sudan’s access to new financial resources to fund much needed development and social spending.
    Date: 2021–06–30

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