nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒04‒25
fourteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Which is the best for Tunisian Economic Growth: Urbanization or Ruralization? By Bakari, Sayef; El Weriemmi, Malek
  2. Improving social protection for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Egypt: An overview of international practices By Marina Andrade; Lucas Sato; Maya Hammad
  3. Morocco: 2021 Article IV Consultation-Press Release and Staff Report By International Monetary Fund
  4. A Survey of the Innovation Ecosystem in the United Arab Emirates By Sharafi, Abdullah
  5. The Changing Roles of young single women in Jordan before the Great Recession An Explanation Using Economic Theory By J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Eduardo L. Giménez
  6. What Drives Stock Market Development in Arab Countries? By Chiad, Faycal; Hadj Sahraoui, Hamoudi
  7. The Economic Implications of the War in Ukraine for Africa and Morocco By Abdelaaziz Ait Ali; Fahd AZAROUAL; Oumayma Bourhriba; Uri Dadush
  8. Profitability and Leverage as Determinants of Dividend Policy: Evidence of Turkish Financial Firms By Abdullah, Hariem
  9. Images of destination among descendants of immigrants: the case of Algeria By Christine Salomone; Hamed Haddouche
  10. Political Connections Reduce Job Creation: Firm-level Evidence from Lebanon By Diwan, Ishac; Haidar, Jamal Ibrahim
  11. Urban transformations and complex values: insights from Beirut By Pietrostefani, Elisabetta
  12. Impact de la diversification des exportations sur la croissance économique: Cas de la Tunisie By Dahmani, Mounir
  13. Le nouveau Registre Social Unifié (RSU) du Maroc : enjeux et mise en œuvre By Larabi Jaïdi; João Pedro Dytz
  14. Lozan Barış Antlaşmasının Esaslı İhlalinin Sonuçları By Tulun, Teoman Ertuğrul

  1. By: Bakari, Sayef; El Weriemmi, Malek
    Abstract: A country's economic growth determines its degree of national economic integration and into global value chains. This study aims at examining the effect of urbanization and ruralization for the Tunisian case using annual data expanded from 1965 to 2019. The results of the estimation of an autoregressive distributed lag model and an error correction model show that urbanization has a negative effect on Tunisian economic growth. However, ruralization boosts it. Thus, Tunisia would not be at the stage of urban saturation. Urbanization without industrialization would therefore have reached its limits. Accordingly, Tunisia was built without development and therefore no longer appears as a privileged place but sometimes even excluded. Sometimes the only response to the urban crisis is “the urban exodus”.
    Keywords: Tunisian economic growth, Urbanization, Ruralization, ARDL, ECM.
    JEL: O44 O47 O55 R0 R1
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Marina Andrade (IPC-IG); Lucas Sato (IPC-IG); Maya Hammad (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: social protection; migration; governance; Egypt
    Date: 2021–04
  3. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: Thanks to a successful vaccination campaign, COVID19 cases have declined sharply in 2021, and the Moroccan economy is rebounding. Economic activity has recovered most of the ground lost with the severe recession of 2020 and is expected to grow at 6.3 percent in 2021. Among the factors propelling the rebound are the exceptional harvest after two years of drought, continued fiscal and monetary stimulus, and the persistent buoyancy of remittances. Going forward, Morocco’s growth is expected to remain at about 3 percent, assuming the acceleration of new cases in early 2022 proves transitory and the effects of the pandemic on activity gradually fade. Recent inflationary pressures remained manageable and are expected to wane in 2022, as cost pressures from global and domestic supply disruptions are reabsorbed. After its sharp contraction in 2020, the current account deficit is projected to widen in 2021 and over the medium term, but Morocco emerges from the pandemic with a much stronger international reserve position.
    Keywords: fiscal policy stance; accommodative monetary policy; money market rate; liability positions vis-à-vis nonresident; dirham exchange rate; accounts payable; Morocco's exchange system; Structural reforms; Inflation; Exchange rate arrangements; Government finance statistics; Global; Maghreb; Middle East; North Africa; East Africa; Africa
    Date: 2022–02–09
  4. By: Sharafi, Abdullah (The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise)
    Abstract: The UAE has long set itself apart from other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by successfully reducing its dependence on oil exports and diversifying its economy to focus on industries such as tourism, media, technology, and real estate. The economy’s innovation capacity expanded when businesses and properties were allowed to be 100pc owned by non-nationals. However, the UAE must learn from its own experiences and those of other nations to further improve its innovation ecosystem, such as by tackling legacy rentier institutions and laws that prevent it from transforming into a fully modern sustainable economy.
    Date: 2022–03–23
  5. By: J. Ignacio Conde-Ruiz; Eduardo L. Giménez
    Abstract: Before the Great Recession, young single women in Jordan, like those in other Middle Eastern and North African countries with a strong Islamic cultural tradition, experienced important changes in social roles. In this paper, we claim that economic theory may help to understand some of these changing patterns. It is argued that liberalization in the Jordanian economy resulted in important changes in the Jordanian social contract regarding gender roles, school enrollment, labor participation, marriage, and fertility. In particular, three apparently disconnected contemporaneous developments may be interrelated: the increase in women’s marriage age, the growth of young single women’s participation in the labor market, and the increase in the young male unemployment rate. This process stopped in the late 2000s, both due to exogenous (the Great Recession after 2008 and the Syrian civil war in 2011) and endogenous (existing attitudes towards working women) reasons. We argue that economic conditions may play a role as the driving forces for social transformation, and opens a window for women’s opportunities and empowerness.
    Date: 2022–04
  6. By: Chiad, Faycal; Hadj Sahraoui, Hamoudi
    Abstract: Arab stock exchanges have witnessed tremendous growth in recent decades, and the number of listed companies and the size of stock market capitalization have increased. In the light of this remarkable growth, this study aims to find out what are the most important determinants and economic factors affecting this development during the period 2006– 2017. By employing panel data models, we find that trade openness; market liquidity, money supply and economic growth have positive impacts on stock market development, whereas the global financial crisis has negative impact. Based on these results, measures should be taken to improve market liquidity, control of money supply, and maintain a balanced economic growth rate to promote the development of Arab stock exchanges. Policy recommendations are provided based on these findings.
    Keywords: Macroeconomic variables; stock markets development; Arab countries; panel data analysis
    JEL: E0 E00 G10
    Date: 2021
  7. By: Abdelaaziz Ait Ali; Fahd AZAROUAL; Oumayma Bourhriba; Uri Dadush
    Abstract: The Russian-Ukrainian war will have major economic and political repercussions. In this note, we focus on the war’s economic short and long term implications on the African economy. This conflict comes at very arduous context, where Africa is still struggling to set its economy on the recovery path, amid global inflationary pressures and highly uncertain context. While natural resources countries, especially energy exporters, are sensing opportunities from the crisis, other countries such as Morocco, will be hardly hit by a double whammy of soaring energy and food prices. This will add to their external imbalances and concerns about inflation persistence and the path of their public debt.
    Date: 2022–02
  8. By: Abdullah, Hariem
    Abstract: The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of profitability and leverage ratios on the determination of dividend policy for Turkish financial firms listed on Borsa Istanbul. In order to do so, secondary longitudinal data were collected for the listed financial firms from the DataStream database over the period 2008-2020. The financial crisis of 2007-2008 has affected the sector undoubtedly. Thus, it is important to investigate how dividend policy behaves with debt level and level of profitability in the financial sector of developing countries after the well-known financial crisis. The research expects that both profitability and leverage have a significant correlation with the dividend payout ratio. Consistent to the findings of the majority of the prior empirical studies, the results of this study found that both profitability and leverage are negatively associated with dividend payout ratio.
    Keywords: Dividend policy, Profitability, Leverage, financial firms, and Borsa Istanbul.
    JEL: G35 M41
    Date: 2021
  9. By: Christine Salomone (TVES - Territoires, Villes, Environnement & Société - ULR 4477 - Université de Lille - ULCO - Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale); Hamed Haddouche (IRG - Institut de Recherche en Gestion - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12 - Université Gustave Eiffel)
    Abstract: Affinity tourism seems to have aroused the interest of social science researchers in recent years in connection with the rise of international migration in the context of globalization. This type of tourism questions the personal and social relationship to places established in the context of a return journey to the land of "origins." In an attempt to understand the driving forces behind this affinity tourism, the aim of this article is to identify the images and representations of the destination "Algeria" among the children of immigrants. This type of mobility, beyond the search for a simple change of scenery, questions the nature of tourist travel and its motivations. To conduct this study, we favoured an exploratory qualitative method based on focus groups. It is a first milestone in a wider survey envisaged in order to examine in depth the motivations and mental constructions linked to this travel experience in Algeria.
    Abstract: Le tourisme affinitaire semble susciter depuis quelques années l'intérêt des chercheurs en sciences sociales en lien avec l'essor des migrations internationales dans le contexte de la mondialisation. Ce type de tourisme remet en effet en question la relation personnelle et sociale à des lieux établie dans le cadre d'un voyage de retour vers la terre des « origines ». Pour tenter de comprendre les ressorts de ce tourisme affinitaire, l'objectif de cet article est de cerner les images et les représentations de la destination « Algérie » chez les enfants d'immigrés. Ce type de mobilité, au-delà de la recherche d'un simple dépaysement, amène à s'interroger sur la nature du déplacement touristique et ses motivations. Pour mener à bien cette étude, nous avons privilégié une méthodologie qualitative et exploratoire reposant sur des entretiens collectifs. Elle constitue le premier jalon d'une enquête plus large envisagée afin d'examiner en profondeur les motivations et les constructions mentales liées à cette expérience de voyage en Algérie.
    Keywords: image,representations,tourism,experience,affinity tourism,roots tourism,focus group,représentations,tourisme,expérience,tourisme affinitaire,tourisme des racines,groupe de discussion (focus group)
    Date: 2022–02
  10. By: Diwan, Ishac; Haidar, Jamal Ibrahim
    Abstract: Using firm-level data, we document that politically connected firms (PCFs) create more jobs than unconnected firms in Lebanon. We observe, however, that the presence of PCFs in a sector is correlated with lower job creation. Although causality is difficult to establish due to endogeneity issues, we find that PCFs expand, and non-PCFs retract, more around elections. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that unfair competition by PCFs hurts unconnected competitors so much that aggregate employment growth in the sector is affected negatively.
    Keywords: job creation; political connections; event study; competition
    JEL: D02 D22 D47 J20 J38 J4 L22 L50 O43 P16
    Date: 2020–10–26
  11. By: Pietrostefani, Elisabetta
    Abstract: Through an urban renewal process driven by a well‐resourced Lebanese diaspora and foreign investment, Beirut has undergone conspicuous morphological densification, characterised by parcel aggregation and exploitation of building height. Planning agencies have contributed to these transformations, deliberately involved in the production of illegality, and contributing to unplanned urban development. Although recent literature has substantially furthered our understanding of deregulated planning in Beirut, little is known of the preferences of residents with regards to the urban development process. This article sheds light on how morphological densification affects the complex values attached by residents to their urban environments using a novel data set and mixed‐methods approach. It explores how dramatic urban restructuring affects resident values of architectural amenities and neighbourhood belonging. Findings show that although living in areas with different rates of building change does not affect preferences for architectural amenities, it affects resident socio‐political activism towards the preservation of their built environment. Residents living in areas with high buildingchange rates had almost 50% lower odds of being willing to stop new construction near their location of residence because of their lack of confidence in the planning system. Neighbourhood belonging is not significantly affected by construction rates, but substantially increases both with the number of years lived in a neighbourhood and in locations with better building conditions, confirming a role for the built environment.
    Keywords: Beirut; deregulated planning; Lebanon; neighbourhood belonging; urban form; willingness to pay
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2022–02–23
  12. By: Dahmani, Mounir
    Abstract: The relationship between export diversification and economic growth has been widely discussed in the economic literature, although there is currently no clear consensus on the subject. This study analyzes the dynamic relationship between export diversification and economic growth in Tunisia, through the cointegration analysis based on an autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) bounds testing approach with annual data for the period 1991-2017. The results show that growth based on export diversification is relevant for Tunisia. The econometric study has shown that investment, export diversification, increase in exported products and quality of life have a positive effect on economic growth, while financial development has a negative impact in the long term. However, the short-term impact of export diversification is more limited. The findings have economic policy implications for policymakers seeking to strengthen and improve the export diversification, stability, and economic growth of their economies.
    Keywords: Exports diversification; economic growth; cointegration; ARDL; Tunisia
    JEL: F13 F14 F43 O47 O55
    Date: 2021
  13. By: Larabi Jaïdi (IPC-IG); João Pedro Dytz (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: Mots-clés: Maroc; Protection Sociale; Registre Social; ciblage
    Date: 2021–04
  14. By: Tulun, Teoman Ertuğrul
    Abstract: Yunanistan Hükümeti Sözcüsü Stelios Petsas'ın geçtiğimiz günlerde yaptığı açıklamada, Atina'nın Ege adalarından asker çekmeyi asla kabul etmeyeceğini belirttiği ve Türkiye’nin Ege Ordusu'nun varlığını mazeret olarak gösterdiği basında yer alan haberlerde bildirilmiştir. Söz konusu haberlere göre sözcü ayrıca BM Şartı'nın 51. Maddesi uyarınca adaları meşru müdafaa için silahlandırmanın Yunanistan’ın "doğal hakkı" olduğunu iddia etmiştir. Yunanistan Hükümet Sözcüsü, bu açıklama ile Lozan Barış Antlaşması hükümlerine aykırı olarak Ege adalarının silahlandırılmasını açıkça ve resmen kabul etmektedir. Doğu Ege Adaları, Lozan Barış Antlaşması'nın 13. Maddesi uyarınca silahsızlandırılmış statüdedir. Doğu Ege Adaları bakımından “silahsızlandırma” ile ilgili Antlaşma hükümlerinin “esaslı ihlali”, 1969 Viyana Antlaşmalar Hukuku Sözleşmesinin 60. Maddesi çerçevesinde değerlendirilebilir. Bu bağlamda, hiçbir uluslararası belgenin Yunanistan'a söz konusu adaları silahlandırma hakkını dolaylı olarak bile vermediğini belirtmek gerekir. Bunun yanı sıra, Birleşmiş Milletler Şartında belirtilen durumlar dışında, meşru müdafaa ilkesi keyfi olarak gündeme getirilemez. Türkiye’nin Ege Ordusu'na gelince, Doğu Ege Adaları'nın durumunun aksine, Ege bölgesindeki Türk topraklarının askerden arındırılmış bir statü altında olmadığının altı çizilmelidir. Belirtildiği gibi, gayrı askeri statü hükümleri, 1923 Lozan Barış Antlaşması'nın amacına ulaşması için gereklidir. Bu bağlamda, Türk Delegasyonu Başkanı İsmet Paşa'nın 25 Kasım 1922'de Lozan Konferansı Toprak ve Askeriye Komisyonunda adaların egemenliğine ve gayrı askeri hale getirilmesine ilişkin Türk görüşlerini nasıl açıkladığını hatırlamakta yarar bulunmaktadır. İsmet Paşa bu hususla ilgili olarak, “Coğrafi olarak Küçük Asya'ya bağlı olan Ege adaları, Anadolu'nun huzuru ve güvenliği için büyük önem taşıyor” demiştir. Akademik kaynakların değerlendirmelerine göre, Trakya'daki gayrı askeri nitelikli bölgeler, Balkan Antantı Paktı ülkeleri (Yunanistan, Romanya, Türkiye ve Yugoslavya) ile Bulgaristan arasında 31 Temmuz 1938'de imzalanan Selanik Anlaşması ile kaldırılmıştır. On İki Adaların silahlandırılmasının, adaların gayrı askeri statüsü açısından üzerinde durulması gereken bir diğer endişe verici gelişme olduğunu belirtmek gerekir. Bu adalar, Boğazlar Rejimine İlişkin Lozan Sözleşmesi ile gayrı askeri statüye tabi tutulan Semadirek ve Limni adaları ile birlikte, Lozan Barış Antlaşması'nın genel çerçevesinde oluşturulan siyasi ve stratejik dengenin bir parçasıdır. Türk Boğazlarına yakınlığı nedeniyle Türkiye'nin güvenliği açısından hayati önem taşıyan Limni ve Semadirek, katı bir silahsızlandırma rejimine tabidir. Onİki Adaların müttefik devletler ile İtalya arasındaki 1947 Paris Barış Antlaşması'nın 14 (2) Maddesi ile gayrı askeri statüde (demilitarized) kalmaları gerektiği açıkça belirtilerek Yunanistan'a devredildiğini belirtmek gerekir. Yunanistan, 1947 Paris Antlaşması'nın açık gayrı askeri statüde kalmaları hükmüne aykırı olarak, Türkiye'nin güney kıyısından sadece bir Deniz Mili mesafede olan Meis (Kastellorizo) de dâhil olmak üzere bu adaları da askeri hale getirmiştir. Paris Antlaşması halen yürürlüktedir ve bu nedenle Yunanistan için bağlayıcıdır. Aslında yukarıda bahsedilen Selanik anlaşması, çok taraflı bir antlaşmanın askerden arındırma hükümlerinin karşılıklı anlaşma yoluyla nasıl kaldırılabileceğine bir örnek teşkil etmektedir. Herhangi bir barış antlaşmasının temel maddelerinden birinin "esaslı ihlalinin", hükümlerinin esaslı olarak ihlal edildiği antlaşmaların ilgili maddelerinde belirtilen adalar üzerindeki egemenliği tartışmalı hale getirebilecek bir sonuç doğurabileceği unutulmamalıdır. Yukarıdakiler ışığında, askeri amaçla kullanımın yasaklanmasına dair antlaşma maddelerinin Ege statükosu için olmazsa olmaz koşul (sine quo non) niteliğinde olduğu vurgulanmalıdır.
    Date: 2020–10–19

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