nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒01‒10
ten papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Growth and Inflation in Turkey By Alkan, Berkay
  2. Bank Loan Network in Turkey By Ayca Topaloglu Bozkurt; Suheyla Ozyildirim
  3. Inequality and occupational change in times of Revolution: The Tunisian perspective By Mohamed Ali Marouani; Phuong Le Minh
  4. A Field Study of Donor Behavior in the Iranian Kidney Market By Kelishomi, Ali Moghaddasi; Sgroi, Daniel
  5. Consumer Loan Rate Dispersion and the Role of Competition: Evidence from the Turkish Banking Sector By Selva Bahar Baziki; Yavuz Kilic; Muhammed Hasan Yilmaz
  6. A Double-Edged Sword – Can a Currency Board Help Stabilise the Lebanese Economy? By Uwe Böwer
  7. Morocco’s Monetary Policy Transmission in the Wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic By Mr. Maximilien Queyranne; Daniel Baksa; Azhin Abdulkarim; Vassili Bazinas; Mr. Roberto Cardarelli
  8. Private exploitation of the North-Western Sahara Aquifer System By Amine Chekireb; Julio Goncalves; Hubert Stahn; Agnes Tomini
  9. Les stratégies de développement des énergies renouvelables dans la région MENA : Etude comparative et couloirs de développement By Myriam Ben Saad; Amandine Gnonlonfin; Naceur Khraief; Michel Dimou
  10. Déterminants de l'accès aux soins et des dépenses de santé en Tunisie By Ismaïl, Safa

  1. By: Alkan, Berkay
    Abstract: In this paper I investigate the empirical relationship between economic growth (as measured by growth in real GDP) and inflation in Turkey. We use a relatively large dataset spanning from 1960 to 2020. Our correlation analysis indicates that the nature of the relationship between inflation and unemployment in Turkey is substantially different before and after early 1980s.
    Keywords: growth; inflation; Turkish economy
    JEL: E31 N10 O40
    Date: 2021–12–25
  2. By: Ayca Topaloglu Bozkurt; Suheyla Ozyildirim
    Abstract: In this study we document the topology of banks’ commercial loan network in Turkey using more than 44 million loan observations between 2007 and 2016 on a quarterly basis. To our knowledge, we study the largest financial network which includes all bank-firm loan transactions, i.e., population data that has not been studied up to now. First, we construct a network among banks resulting from their common borrowing firms. Second, we develop a novel weighted degree measure based on the share within the total banking sector of the loan volumes that banks lend to the same firms. Third, we empirically investigate the relationship between the credit riskiness of banks and their weighted degree centrality. Our empirical findings suggest that the credit riskiness of banks decreases with the weighted degree centrality of the banks emerging from lending to common borrowing firms. The impact remains significant after controlling for bank loan size, liquidity and even controlling for multiple lending. Finally, analysis based on micro-level stratifications where the loan size, collateral, multiple borrowings of firms and banks size are taken into account also supports our findings that there is a negative association between loan network centrality and credit risk.
    Keywords: Bank-loan network, Bipartite network, Projected network, Weighted degree centrality, Multiple lending, Credit riskiness
    JEL: G21 G01
    Date: 2021
  3. By: Mohamed Ali Marouani (UMR Développement et Sociétés, IRD/Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and DIAL); Phuong Le Minh (UMR Développement et Sociétés, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and IRD ; The Centre for Analysis and Forecast, Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the evolution of employment and earnings distributions before and after the Tunisian Revolution, focusing on the impact of public wage and employment policy changes. A recentered-influence function (RIF) decomposition is performed to decompose the change in earnings in wage structure and composition effects and to assess the contribution of various determinants of inequality. We find that earnings inequality decreases significantly during the period of investigation in Tunisia, mainly due to the decreases in public–private wage gap and sector wage gap on the demand side and the decreasing education premia on the supply side. The increase in marginal returns to low wage and average routine-task intensity jobs, the falling return to experience, and the decreasing regional wage gap were partly responsible for the decline in overall earnings inequality.
    Keywords: wage inequality, Revolution, occupational change, education premium, public wage policy
    JEL: J21 J23 J24 J32 J45
    Date: 2021–11
  4. By: Kelishomi, Ali Moghaddasi (Loughborough University); Sgroi, Daniel (University of Warwick, ESRC CAGE Centre, IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Iran has the world’s only government-regulated kidney market, in which around 1000 individuals go through live kidney-removal surgery annually. We report the results of the first field study of donor behavior in this unique and controversial market. Those who enter the market have low income, typically entering to raise funds. They have lower risk tolerance and higher patience levels than the Iranian average. There is no difference in rationality from population averages. There is evidence of altruism among participants. This might shed light on the sort of people likely to participate if other nations were to operate such markets.
    Keywords: kidney donation, Iranian kidney market, risk, patience, rationality, altruism, generalized axiom of revealed preference, field experiment JEL Classification: I11, I12, I18, C93, D03
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Selva Bahar Baziki; Yavuz Kilic; Muhammed Hasan Yilmaz
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine the degree of dispersion in the loan pricing of commercial banks and its association with competitive conditions. To this end, an indexation mechanism processing a novel bank-level dataset is proposed to quantify the lending rate variability in general-purpose, vehicle, and housing loans for the period January 2007-April 2020. In panel convergence tests, we show that there exists heterogeneity in long-term co-movements in banks’ loan pricing, while periods following the tightening in financial conditions display short-term deviations from general tendencies demonstrated by dispersion indices. The methodological setting also entails the construction of competition indicators for total and segment-based credit market developments. The competitive conditions monitored by Herfindahl-Hirschman Indicator (HHI) present that housing and vehicle loan segments have been concentrated in recent years. Quantile regression results further validate that improvements in the competition are associated with a lower level of lending rate dispersion in housing and vehicle segments in a statistically significant manner, whereas this relation is not applicable for general-purpose loans.
    Keywords: Loan rate dispersion, Competition, Log-t convergence test, Quantile regression
    JEL: C31 C33 G21 D40
    Date: 2021
  6. By: Uwe Böwer
    Abstract: Lebanon is not defying gravity anymore. After a long period of surprising economic resilience, the Lebanese economy fell into a severe crisis in 2019, triggered by a sudden stop in life-sustaining capital inflows. The undercurrents of unsustainable public debt and twin deficits amid a weak institutional environment, however, had long been in the making. Drastic devaluation in parallel markets, high inflation and strong real GDP contractions reflect Lebanon’s deep crisis, which has only been aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating Beirut port explosions. The government is facing a momentous task to address the devaluation-inflation nexus, improve public governance, rebuild the electricity sector, restore sound public finances, repair the financial system and reinvigorate the private sector. This paper discusses the potential contributions of a currency board arrangement as a possible external anchor that could help stabilise Lebanon’s economy. Indeed, a currency board could end devaluation and rein in inflation, enhance discipline and governance, and, if accompanied by a broader reform agenda, help incentivise a return of capital inflows and improve private sector conditions. However, a currency board severely restricts certain macroeconomic adjustment mechanisms, requires a careful transition management and involves sizeable fiscal adjustments. While the stabilisation benefits of a currency board could be significant at Lebanon’s current juncture, getting the accompanying reforms in place, cushioning the social impact of the adjustment and ensuring solid implementation all present major challenges to make a currency board sustainable. Lebanon’s international partners stand ready to help. However, meeting these challenges first and foremost requires strong ownership by Lebanon itself.
    Keywords: Lebanon, currency board, exchange rate regime, monetary policy, inflation, Böwer.
    JEL: E52 E58 O53
    Date: 2021–12
  7. By: Mr. Maximilien Queyranne; Daniel Baksa; Azhin Abdulkarim; Vassili Bazinas; Mr. Roberto Cardarelli
    Abstract: This paper finds that the neutral interest rate has been on a downward trajectory in Morocco since the global financial crisis and may have fallen in the wake of the pandemic. In that context, monetary policy transmission to output and prices appears relatively muted given limited exchange rate flexibility until recently. Also, monetary policy transmission to some market rates has somewhat weakened in the wake of the pandemic. A lower natural rate and low policy rates raise the question of whether further rate reductions would impair the banking system. We find that the sensitivity of cash demand to deposit rates is low, implying limited risks that banks would lose funding with further reductions. A reliance on checking and savings accounts for funding may impair monetary pass-through, however. If monetary policy reaches its effective lower bound, limited and credible recourse to an asset purchase program could usefully complement conventional measures and strengthen monetary policy transmission under an inflation-targeting regime with a flexible exchange rate.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, neutral interest rate, unconventional monetary policy.
    Date: 2021–10–21
  8. By: Amine Chekireb (CEREGE - Centre européen de recherche et d'enseignement des géosciences de l'environnement - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CdF (institution) - Collège de France - INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Julio Goncalves (CEREGE - Centre européen de recherche et d'enseignement des géosciences de l'environnement - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CdF (institution) - Collège de France - INSU - CNRS - Institut national des sciences de l'Univers - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Hubert Stahn (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université); Agnes Tomini (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université)
    Abstract: We formulate a hydro-economic model of the NorthWestern Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) to assess the effects of intensive pumping on the groundwater stock and examine the subsequent consequences of aquifer depletion. This large system comprises multi-layer reservoirs with vertical exchanges, all exploited under open access properties. We first develop a theoretical model to account for relevant features of the NWSAS by introducing, in the standard Gisser-Sanchez model, a non-stationary demand and quadratic stock-dependent cost functions. In the second step, we calibrate parameters values using data from the NWSAS over 1955-2000. We finally simulate the time evolution of the aquifer system with exploitation under an open-access regime. We specifically examine time trajectories of the piezometric levels in the two reservoirs, the natural outlets, and the modification of water balances. We find that natural outlets of the two reservoirs might be totally dried before 2050.
    Keywords: hydro-economic model,private pumping,multi aquifer system,groundwater-dependant ecosystems,semi-arid region,simulation
    Date: 2021–11–29
  9. By: Myriam Ben Saad (ESPI2R - Laboratoire ESPI Réflexions et Recherches (1997-2021) - ESPI - Ecole Supérieure des Professions Immobilières, PRISM - Pôle de recherche interdisciplinaire en sciences du management - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Amandine Gnonlonfin; Naceur Khraief; Michel Dimou
    Abstract: Depuis la fin des années 90, plusieurs pays MENA se sont engagés en faveur du développement des énergies renouvelables. Dans le but de relever le double défi économique et environnemental, le Plan Solaire Méditerranéen (Paris, 2008) encourage cet engagement avec l'ouverture au marché européen et l'augmentation de la production de l'électricité renouvelable. Dès lors, plusieurs projets d'investissement ont été mise en œuvre pour augmenter la production des énergies renouvelables dans la région. Toutefois, les efforts d'investissement dans ces énergies varient à la l'échelle d'un pays à l'autre et il manque à ce jour des éléments de comparaison de la position des pays par rapport à leur engagement politique. La problématique est non seulement de savoir comment l'engagement politique des pays MENA affecte leur offre en énergies renouvelables, mais aussi de savoir les sources d'énergies renouvelables qui ont été privilégiées. La littérature sur la consommation d'énergie a mis l'accent sur la relation de causalité entre consommation d'énergie et croissance économique avec quatre hypothèses testables : l'hypothèse de la croissance, l'hypothèse de conservation, l'hypothèse de la rétroaction et l'hypothèse de neutralité. Nous contribuons à cette littérature en testant la validité empirique de la fonction de production néo-classique. Notre apport principal est la prise en compte de la cointégration et les asymétries non linéaire et entre les variables avec le modèle Nonlinear ARDL (NARDL) (Banerjee et al., 1998 ; Pesaran et al., 2001 ; Shin et al., 2014). Notre objectif est de produire des éléments de comparaison entre les pays MENA et d'étudier les stratégies de production de l'électricité renouvelable qui permettent de créer une dynamique de développement durable à long terme.
    Date: 2021–11–18
  10. By: Ismaïl, Safa
    Abstract: This study aims to estimate and analyze the impact of the determinants of health care access and consumption in Tunisia. The estimation is made using two models: the “Heckman selection model” and the “Two-part model”, using a representative sample of 25091 households from the National households’ survey of budget, consumption and living standards in 2015. Similar results were obtained for both models. Access to health care and Out-of-pocket health expenditure increase with the household’s standard of living. They increase also for individuals with chronic disease and for those with disabilities, for households with children under five years and in rural areas. Out-of-pocket health expenditure increases for elderly and decreases with health insurance coverage.
    Keywords: Out-of-pocket health expenditure; Health care access; Tunisia
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2021–12–25

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