nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2021‒11‒08
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Buying citizenship: A boon to district-level house prices in Istanbul By Lokman Gunduz; Ismail Genc; Ahmet Faruk Aysan
  2. Renewable energies and energy efficiency adoption’s impact on the environmental quality of MENA countries By AGUIR BARGAOUI, Saoussen
  3. Economic Policies of GCC Countries in the Era of Low Oil Prices and Their Policy Implications for Korea By Lee, Kwon Hyung; Son, Sung Hyun; Jang, Yun Hee; Ryou, Kwang Ho
  4. Non-linear effects of fiscal stimulus on fiscal sustainability Indicators in Turkey By Cem Cebi; K. Azim Ozdemir
  5. A Qualitative Study on How Perceptions of Environmental Changes are Linked to Migration in Morocco, Senegal, and DR Congo. By Lore Van Praag; Samuel Lietaer; Caroline Michellier
  6. The best practices and potential of smallholders’ participation in short value chains in the Western Balkans and Turkey By Suzana Djordjevic Milosevic; Judith Möllers; Federica Di Marcantonio; Pavel Ciaian; NESEVIC Danica; THIMO Etleva; VUKCEVIC ZORIC Andja; ALI KOÇ Ahmet; BUZAROVSKI Darko; TASEV Ivan; DAMNJANOVIC Aleksandar; MARKOVIC Predrag
  7. Estimating the Benefits to Florida Households from Avoiding Another Gulf Oil Spill Using the Contingent Valuation Method: Internal Validity Tests with Probability-based and Opt-in Samples By John C. Whitehead; Andrew Ropicki; John Loomis; Sherry Larkin; Tim Haab; Sergio Alvarez
  8. Bread and Social Justice: Measurement of Social Welfare and Inequality Using Anthropometrics By Mohammad Abu-Zaineh; Ramses H. Abul Naga
  9. Which Occupations Do Jobseekers and Firms Look For? Evidence from Three Public Employment Services By Martins, Pedro S.
  10. Europa sollte die Zusammenarbeit mit dem Nahen Osten und Nordafrika stärker auf die Gesellschaftsverträge fokussieren By Furness, Mark; Loewe, Markus

  1. By: Lokman Gunduz; Ismail Genc (American University of Sharjah); Ahmet Faruk Aysan (HBKU - Hamad Bin Khalifa University)
    Abstract: Citizenship by investment (CBI) programs have recently garnered significant academic and media attention. Turkey introduced such a program in 2017 that offers citizenship in exchange for investment in residential property. Eventually, thousands of foreigners, mainly from the Middle East and Asia have purchased houses, particularly in Istanbul. Foreigners' share in total houses sold in Istanbul almost sextupled and exceeded 10 percent of total sales. This study estimates the short-run impact of relatively wealthy foreigners on the residential property prices in Istanbul to buy a Turkish passport. It finds that the Turkish CBI program positively impacts house prices by two percent in the districts, which are likely to be favored most by immigrant investors.
    Keywords: Citizenship by investment program,house prices,immigration,Istanbul JEL codes: C21,J15,R38,R21
    Date: 2021–10–05
  2. By: AGUIR BARGAOUI, Saoussen
    Abstract: Environmental challenges in MENA countries deserve more attention as they are pursuing economic growth and expanding urbanization, and the geographical position of these countries make them more exposed to the outcomes of climate change. In this context, this paper focuses on the proposed solutions for the climate change problem that are renewable energies and the use of fossil fuel effectively in the context of growing urbanization in the MENA region. Indeed, using the GMM estimator for 18 MENA countries during the period 2000-2018, we try to quantify the magnitude of the impact of population, economic prosperity, urbanization, fossil fuels, energy efficiency, and renewable energies, especially solar, wind, and hydropower energies on CO2 emissions. Results allow the environmental Kuznets curve validation and highlight the contribution of energy efficiency in improving the environment. However, the used proportion of renewables in the energy mix does not significantly affect environmental quality. Moreover, solar energy contributes to emissions reduction. While the adopted level of wind and hydropower energy does not allow these countries to improve their environment.
    Keywords: Renewable energy, energy efficiency, Solar energy, Wind energy, Hydropower energy
    JEL: Q2 Q3 Q42 Q5
    Date: 2021–08–15
    Abstract: Over the past several decades, the six member countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have implemented economic policies for industrial diversification to lessen severe dependence on the oil industry. Such policy efforts have been driven by their awareness of macro-economic and structural risks from heavy volatilities in international oil markets in terms of fiscal and trade sectors. For instance, the drop in international oil prices reduces export performance in the oil and natural gas sectors, which in turn results in a decline in the stability of fiscal revenue. The recent trends of low oil prices since 2014, as well as high unemployment rates, have strengthened the policy regime for industrial diversification and job creation supported by mid- to long-term economic plans of the GCC countries. This report reviews what has been emphasized in the areas of industrial, employment, trade and investment policies. We then derive implications for Korean companies and policymakers for sustainable cooperation between Korea and the Middle East.
    Keywords: GCC; Gulf Cooperation Council; oil price; economic policy; Korea;
    Date: 2021–02–09
  4. By: Cem Cebi; K. Azim Ozdemir
    Abstract: This study aims at investigating the non-linear effects of government spending shocks on fiscal sustainability indicators in Turkey for the period of 2001:q1 – 2020:q4. Using the local projection method and separating government spending into two main components, namely public consumption and public investment, we examine the effects of a fiscal stimulus shock on debt-to-GDP ratio, Treasury interest rates, CDS risk premiums, output and inflation under two different debt regimes. The debt regimes (high and low) are determined by a logistic transition function regarding with debt-to-GDP ratio. We find some evidence on state-dependent features of fiscal stimulus on macro variables (output and inflation) and fiscal sustainability indicators. Particularly, we conclude that the implementation of expansionary fiscal policy via an increase in government spending in a low-debt regime would help to improve fiscal sustainability as well as the effectiveness of the fiscal policy. On the other hand, an increase in government spending in a high-debt regime generally produces lower output gains and higher budgetary costs. As a result, this study highlights the fact that the timing of fiscal actions, accurate assessment of debt regimes and composition of government spending matters.Creation-Date: 2021
    Keywords: Fiscal policy, Sustainability, Local projection, Non-Linear effects
    JEL: E62 H50 H63 C32
  5. By: Lore Van Praag; Samuel Lietaer; Caroline Michellier
    Abstract: Abstract Environmental migration is a growing concern of academics and policymakers, who foresee a rise in the number of such migrants. However, most prevailing academic and policy discourses ignore the variety of perceptions of environmental changes among people living in highly affected areas across the world. We examine the perceptions of environmental changes and how these are seen to be relevant to migration in Senegal, DR Congo, and Morocco. In total, we conducted 410 interviews with people living in two regions in each of these countries. Results indicate differences in the perception of environmental changes across regions, gender, education, and livelihoods. The economic activities of individuals determine exposure and sensitivity to environmental changes, while educational levels increase familiarity with prevailing environmental discourses and policies. Despite country-specific and regional differences across research sites, few people perceived environmental factors as directly related to their own or family members’ migration projects.
    Keywords: Environmental change · Migration · Perceptions · Democratic Republic of Congo · Senegal · Morocco
    Date: 2021–10–01
  6. By: Suzana Djordjevic Milosevic (Singidunum University); Judith Möllers (Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies); Federica Di Marcantonio (European Commission - JRC); Pavel Ciaian (European Commission - JRC); NESEVIC Danica; THIMO Etleva; VUKCEVIC ZORIC Andja; ALI KOÇ Ahmet; BUZAROVSKI Darko; TASEV Ivan; DAMNJANOVIC Aleksandar; MARKOVIC Predrag
    Abstract: The overall objective of this report is to identify and conduct analysis of short food supply chains (SFSCs) among small farmers in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The report’s analyses are based on the primary data collected from 397 smallholder farmers through semi-structured interviews in all Western Balkan countries/territories (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia) and Turkey. The report analyses shed light on several issues related to smallholders and SFSCs, such as types of sales channels used by small farmers for selling their products; the level of information about and knowledge of the SFSC; contractual arrangements applied; the use of food safety and quality standards; best practices of and barriers to small farmers’ participation in SFSCs; the role of SFSCs in promoting environmentally friendly farming practices; the role of SFSCs in promoting the economic viability of small farms; and the role of agricultural policy in supporting small farmers’ access to SFSCs. Based on these analyses, the report also derives policy recommendations. Overall, the report concludes that SFSCs are an attractive way of adding value to primary food production and improving small farmers’ livelihoods in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Key policy measures that could boost small farmers’ participation in short value chains are improvement of advisory services; provision of investment support targeted to small farmers and SFSCs; better access to finance; and enhanced support for cooperation and bottom-up initiatives for partnerships.
    Keywords: Western Balkans, Turkey, smallholders, short food supply chains, agrifood sector
    JEL: Q13 Q18
    Date: 2021–10
  7. By: John C. Whitehead; Andrew Ropicki; John Loomis; Sherry Larkin; Tim Haab; Sergio Alvarez
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the importance of contingent valuation method data quality by examining differences in results between probability-based and opt-in internet samples. Our data is from a survey estimating passive use losses associated with the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill to Florida residents. Several internal tests of validity are conducted. We find that the willingness to pay estimates from the opt-in sample may be biased upwards and only the probability-based sample data pass the scope test. In general, we conclude that the probability-based sample data is of higher quality. Key Words: contingent valuation, scope test, probability-based sample data; opt-in sample data
    JEL: Q51
    Date: 2021
  8. By: Mohammad Abu-Zaineh (CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, AMSE, and IDEP, Aix-Marseille Univ, Marseille, France.); Ramses H. Abul Naga (Departamento de Teoría e Historia Económica, Universidad de Málaga; Business School, University of Aberdeen; and Pan African Scientific Research Council.)
    Abstract: We address the question of the measurement of health achievement and inequality in the context of variables exhibiting an inverted-U relation with health and well-being. The chosen approach is to measure separately achievement and inequality in the health increasing range of the variable, from a lower survival bound ?? to an optimum value ??, and in the health decreasing range from ?? to an upper survival bound ??. Because in the health decreasing range, the equally distributed equivalent value associated with a distribution is decreasing in progressive transfers, the paper introduces appropriate relative and absolute achievement and inequality indices to be used for variables exhibiting a negative association with well-being. We then discuss questions pertaining to consistent measurement across health attainments and shortfalls, as well as the ordering of distributions exhibiting an inverted-U relation with well-being. An illustration of the methodology is provided using a group of five Arab countries.
    Keywords: anthropometrics, health achievement and inequality, survival thresholds, Arab countries
    JEL: I14 I15 O5
    Date: 2021–10
  9. By: Martins, Pedro S.
    Abstract: This study proposes and applies a new methodology to analyse firms' and workers' occupational preferences. We use microdata covering all 2014-2018 vacancy and jobseeker registrations from the Public Employment Services of Belgium, Morocco, and South Korea. We find that a small number of occupations are responsible for a large share of registrations and may thus deserve particular attention. We also find considerable stability in occupation preferences (especially by jobseekers) but that the correlation between firms' and workers' preferences weakens over time. Finally, we find different responsiveness levels of jobseeker preferences to vacancy gaps. However, young jobseekers do not appear to respond more quickly to such gaps.
    Keywords: Labour adjustment,Occupations,Job search,Vacancy gaps
    JEL: J24 J62 J68
    Date: 2021
  10. By: Furness, Mark; Loewe, Markus
    Abstract: 2021 ist ein wichtiges Jahr für die Zusammenarbeit Europas mit seinen Nachbarn im Nahen Osten und in Nordafrika (MENA). Die Corona-Pandemie zwang die Europäische Union (EU) bei der Erstellung ihres neuen Mehrjahreshaushalts, die politischen, wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Prioritäten ihrer Kooperation mit den MENA-Ländern sowie die ihrer Mitgliedstaaten zu überdenken. Ihr Potenzial, die Beziehungen zwischen Staat und Gesellschaft in den MENA-Ländern positiv zu beeinflussen, hat sie aber noch längst nicht ausgeschöpft. Die jüngste Mitteilung zur Europäischen Nachbarschaftspolitik (ENP) Süd vom Februar 2021 kündigt eine "neue Agenda" für die Zusammenarbeit mit den MENA-Ländern an. Offensichtliche Zielkonflikte bleiben aber unausgesprochen, v.a. die Unvereinbarkeit des Strebens nach liberal-demokratischen und Wirtschaftsreformen, mehr Rechenschaftspflicht und der Achtung von Menschenrechten durch die MENA-Regierungen auf der einen Seite und einer restriktiven Handelspolitik der EU, Migrationssteuerung und sicherheitspolitischer Kooperation auf der anderen. Zudem mangelt es an bilateraler Koordination zwischen den EU-Mitgliedstaaten. Das Konzept des Gesellschaftsvertrags könnte helfen, diese Konflikte zu überwinden. Sie sind unvermeidlich, wenn inter-nationale Kooperation v.a. kurz- bis mittelfristige Ziele wie Migrationssteuerung, Resilienzförderung und Privatinvestitionen verfolgt. In autoritären Kontexten wird dadurch aber oft der Staat zu Lasten der Gesellschaft gestärkt, was zu Spannungen führt und nicht zur angestrebten Stabilität. Gesellschaftsverträge stärker zu beachten führt zu einer längerfristigen Perspektive. Sie beruhen auf der Erbringung von 3 'P's durch den Staat: Protection (Schutz der Bürger), Provision (wirtschaftliche und soziale Dienstleistungen) und Participation (Teilhabe der Gesellschaft an Entscheidungen). Das Konzept des Gesellschaftsvertrags kann Orientierung bei der gemeinsamen Ausrichtung und Organisation der Politik der EU und ihrer Mitgliedstaaten geben. Es verdeutlicht, wie die drei "P"s bei der Verbesserung des sozialen Zusammenhalts, der innerstaatlichen Beziehungen und der politischen Stabilität zusammenwirken. Dadurch hilft es, die Wirksamkeit, Kohärenz und Koordination der MENA-Politik der EU und ihrer Mitgliedstaaten zu verbessern. Einige Mitglieder fokussieren hierin auf Handel und Investitionen, andere auf politische Reformen und Menschenrechte und wieder andere auf Migrationssteuerung. Eine längerfristige Perspektive würde verdeutlichen, dass nachhaltigere Gesellschaftsverträge in den MENA-Ländern alle diesen Zielen dienlich sind. Alle Maßnahmen der Europäer sollten daher auf Reformen abzielen, die die Gesellschaftsverträge der MENA-Länder für alle Vertragsparteien, also Regierungen und gesellschaftliche Gruppen, akzeptabler machen. Im Idealfall werden solche Reformen von den Parteien auf Augenhöhe ausgehandelt. In der Praxis ist die Verhandlungsmacht der Gesellschaft aber oft begrenzt - weshalb europäische Politik die Gesellschaften stets mindestens so sehr stärken sollte wie die Regierungen. In diesem Papier werden vier Bereiche der Zusammenarbeit erörtert, die wirkungsvolle Treiber für Veränderungen in den Gesellschaftsverträgen darstellen: (i) Konfliktlösung, Friedenskonsolidierung und Wiederaufbau; (ii) Wiederaufbau nach der Corona-Pandemie: Gesundheit und soziale Absicherung; (iii) Partizipation auf lokaler, regionaler und nationaler Ebene; sowie (iv) Migration und Mobilität zum gegenseitigen Nutzen.
    Date: 2021

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