nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
four papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Are non-primary exports the source for further economic growth in the UAE? By Kalaitzi, Athanasia; Samer, Kherfi; Al-Rousan, Sahel; Katsaiti, Marina-Selini
  2. Readiness of Saudi Youths to achieve the goals of vision 2030. By Mohammed Mazharul Islam
  3. How large is the economy-wide rebound effect in middle income countries? Evidence from Iran By Mahboubeh Jafari; David I. Stern; Stephan B. Bruns
  4. Estimating willingness to pay for public health insurance while accounting for protest responses: A further step towards universal health coverage in Tunisia? By Mohammad Abu‐zaineh; Olivier Chanel; Khaled Makhloufi

  1. By: Kalaitzi, Athanasia; Samer, Kherfi; Al-Rousan, Sahel; Katsaiti, Marina-Selini
    Abstract: This paper investigates whether non-primary exports directly or indirectly cause economic growth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study performs the Johansen test to examine the presence of co-integration between the variables in an augmented production function. The Granger causality test is performed to investigate the short-run causality between non-primary exports and economic growth, while the long-run causality is investigated by employing the Toda and Yamamoto procedure. The empirical analysis indicates that the variables are co-integrated, and that short-run causality runs from non-primary exports to economic growth; results exhibit no evidence of direct causality from non-primary exports to economic growth in the long-run.
    Keywords: economic growth; non-primary exports; Granger causality; UAE; Emirates Foundation - LSE Academic Collaboration with Arab Universities; CUP deal
    JEL: L81 N0 J1
    Date: 2022–05–27
  2. By: Mohammed Mazharul Islam (King Abdulaziz University)
    Abstract: Saudi Arabia is passing a complicated path from a factor-driven economy to an efficiency-driven economy through various programs, policies, and initiatives to pursue sustainable economic growth which is the ambitious aim outlined in its Vision 2030. Utilizing the potential talent and dedication of the young has been considered one of the driving forces in this process. The culture of environmental awareness is one of the essential forces for sustainable growth. Therefore, we conducted a study to examine the existent level of knowledge, awareness, beliefs, and actions that comprise the environmental attitudes of university students in Saudi Arabia. This study is based on surveys conducted to over 200 students at King Abdulaziz University and draws inferences based on using the descriptive analysis. From the preliminary results, it is evident that Saudi Arabian university students have a narrow and limited range of knowledge, attitudes, actions, and skills in the area of sustainability. The findings of this study suggested that the educational institutions should incorporate environmental issues in every level of educational curriculum, the government should deliver some practical programs and arrange short-term training sessions to develop youths? skills to support sustainable economic growth. At the same time, social, electronic, and print media should disseminate the knowledge of sustainability effectively as they have a strong influence over young students. So that young and potential students would be able to explore the many possible ways in which their own actions can contribute to a sustainable future.
    Keywords: Environmental awareness, Sustainable growth, Readiness, Youths, Saudi vision 2030
    JEL: O44 I25 A13
    Date: 2021–07
  3. By: Mahboubeh Jafari (Department of Economics, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran); David I. Stern (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University); Stephan B. Bruns (Centre for Environmental Sciences, University of Hasselt, Belgium and Department of Economics, University of Göttingen, Germany)
    Abstract: The issue of whether energy efficiency improvements will lower energy use or not is contentious. We estimate the economy-wide rebound effect for Iran using a structural vector autoregressive model estimated with quarterly data from 1988:3 to 2018:1. The structural shocks are identified by independent component analysis, a statistical identification technique that does not require us to impose restrictions based on economic theory on the model. The results show that in response to an energy efficiency shock energy use falls initially, but returns to near its original level over time. The economy-wide rebound effect in Iran is 84% after 6 years and its confidence interval includes 100% implying that policies that encourage energy efficiency innovation will have limited longterm impact on energy use.
    Date: 2021–07
  4. By: Mohammad Abu‐zaineh (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, SMPM - Faculty of Medical and Paramedical Sciences, School of Public Administration and Development Economics, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies); Olivier Chanel (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); Khaled Makhloufi (SESSTIM - U1252 INSERM - Aix Marseille Univ - UMR 259 IRD - Sciences Economiques et Sociales de la Santé & Traitement de l'Information Médicale - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale)
    Abstract: Introduction: Developing countries face major challenges in implementing universal health coverage (UHC): a widespread informal sector, general discontent with rising economic insecurity and inequality and the rollback of state and public welfare. Under such conditions, estimating the demand for a health insurance scheme (HIS) on voluntary basis can be of interest to accelerate the progress of UHC-oriented reforms. However, a major challenge that needs to be addressed in such context is related to protest attitudes that may reflect, inter alia, a null valuation of the expected utility or unexpressed demand. Methods: We propose to tackle this by applying a contingent valuation survey to a non-healthcare-covered Tunisian sample vis-à-vis joining and paying for a formal HIS. Our design pays particular attention to identifying the nature of the willingness-to-pay (WTP) values obtained, distinguishing genuine null values from protest values. To correct for potential selection issues arising from protest answers, we estimate an ordered-Probit-selection model and compare it with the standard Tobit and Heckman sample selection models. Results: Our results support the presence of self-selection and, by predicting protesters' WTP, allow the "true" sample mean WTP to be computed. This appears to be about 14% higher than the elicited mean WTP. Conclusion: The WTP of the poorest non-covered respondents represents about one and a half times the current contributions of the poorest formal sector enrolees, suggesting that voluntary participation in the formal HIS is feasible.
    Date: 2022–05–23

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