nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒08‒15
nine papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Investigating similarities between Islamic and conventional banks in GCC countries: a dynamic time warping approach By Gassouma, Mohamed Sadok; Ben Hamed, Adel; El Montasser, Ghassen
  2. Drivers of Turkish Inflation By Hakan Yilmazkuday
  3. The Determinants of Youth Unemployment in the Arab Countries By Wasseem Mina
  4. The Role of the Euro in Southern Neighbourhood Countries By Juan José Almagro Herrador; Mihai Macovei; Moritz Bizer
  5. IFAD Research Series 81: Food and water systems in semi-arid regions – case study: Egypt By Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Catharien; de Miguel Garcia, Angel; Wilbers, Gert-Jan; Wolters, Wouter; Heesmans, Hanneke; Dankers, Rutger; Smit, Robert; Smaling, Eric
  6. Neural network based human reliability analysis method in production systems By Rasoul Jamshidi; Mohammad Ebrahim Sadeghi
  7. The Effectiveness of E-government: A Key Prerequisite for a Good Governance By Salah Jadda; Hafid Barka; Nawfal Acha
  8. Input-Output Analysis: New Results From Markov Chain Theory By Nizar Riane; Claire David
  9. La Tunisie à l’heure des réformes : d’une négociation complexe avec le FMI à un impératif de résultats By Meghann Puloc’h

  1. By: Gassouma, Mohamed Sadok; Ben Hamed, Adel; El Montasser, Ghassen
    Abstract: This paper aims to study the similarities between Islamic and conventional banks in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries by assigning them to different clusters. We perform such clustering by employing the k-means algorithm with dynamic time warping barycenter averaging. More specifically, the series of average efficiency scores are used in this clustering. In this regard, for each Islamic or conventional bank, we calculated its series of efficiency scores using the stochastic frontier production functions of Battese and Coelli (1995). Our empirical study covered 44 Islamic banks and 46 conventional banks in GCC countries during 2006-2015. The results show that Islamic and conventional banks are included in the same cluster for Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. In contrast, Islamic and conventional banks do not share the same cluster for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. This is due to setting the interest or profit rate below the social discount rate (a measure of an optimal profit rate for Islamic Banks). In this case, banks are incentivized to take more risks to compensate for interest/profit losses, which increases efficiency and allocates Islamic and conventional banks to different clusters. Accordingly, there is no absolute discrimination due to the initial status between Islamic and conventional banks. However, the overall banks, either Islamic or conventional, are discriminated through the distance of the banking applied interest/profit rate and the social discount rate.
    Keywords: efficiency scores, dynamic time warping, k-means clustering, Islamic banking, Logit model
    JEL: C21 C23 G21
    Date: 2021–05–14
  2. By: Hakan Yilmazkuday (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the drivers of Turkish inflation by using a structural vector autoregression model, where monthly data on global oil prices, unemployment rates, inflation rates, policy rates and exchange rates are used. The empirical results show that Turkish inflation increases following a negative policy rate shock, a positive exchange rate shock, or a positive global oil price shock. The volatility of Turkish inflation is mostly explained by global oil prices and exchange rate movements in the long run, while the contribution of exchange rate shocks to Turkish inflation has continuously increased over time. As additional empirical results show that exchange rate depreciation can be reduced by positive policy rate shocks, it is implied that a conventional monetary policy increasing policy rates following an increase in inflation or a depreciation of Turkish lira would be optimal to achieve and maintain price stability in Turkey, which is the primary objective of the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.
    Keywords: Monetary Policy, Inflation, Unemployment, Exchange Rate, Turkey
    JEL: E31 E52 F41
    Date: 2022–03
  3. By: Wasseem Mina (College of Business and Economics United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, UAE)
    Abstract: The Arab countries of the MENA region adopted a state-led development path in the sixties and seventies. Since then, the government and the public sector have become the principal owners of factors of production and labor force employer (Cammett et al., 2015). The private sector has played a relatively small role in the economy. Salehi-Isfahani (2012) projected high youth unemployment rate to be a key challenge. The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, we discuss the development of youth unemployment over time in the Arab world. Second, we examine empirically the determinants of youth unemployment rate. The panel regression model includes the lagged unemployment rate to account for the persistent nature of unemployment in the Arab world. It also has macroeconomic variables (the GDP growth rate to account for Okun’s law, the inflation rate, and a measure of state-led development), human capital (quality of education), and institutional (labor market flexibility and efficiency), and governance variables.Our approach is to use panel data on 115 developed and developing countries and accounts for the Arab countries through an Arab dummy and interaction terms. Random effects and system estimation methodologies are adopted. Empirical evidence shows that labor market efficiency, namely linking pay to productivity and reliance on professional management, and growth reduce youth unemployment rate in the non-GCC Arab countries. The evidence further shows that inflation rate, education quality, and state-led development decrease the unemployment rate in the GCC countries.
    Keywords: youth unemployment; Arab countries; growth; labor markets; state-led development
    Date: 2022–06–01
  4. By: Juan José Almagro Herrador; Mihai Macovei; Moritz Bizer
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of the euro in the Southern neighbourhood of the EU, notably in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Our analysis is based on a survey conducted by the European Commission in 2021 on the use of the euro and other currencies in these countries, as well as other relevant sources and is performed across five main dimensions: cross-border trade transactions, remittances, foreign exchange reserves, external public debt and the commercial banking sector. It finds that the use of the euro in Southern Neighbourhood countries is higher, on average, than in the world and in the EU’s Eastern Neighbours (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), although the US dollar remains the foreign currency of reference in the region. The US dollar’s continued strong role reflects historical developments and monetary arrangements, as well as the greater liquidity and dominant role of the US dollar in global financial markets. The region remains a heterogeneous group, with the euro playing a more prominent role than the US dollar in Maghreb countries (i.e. Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). The extensive use of the euro for trade invoicing across countries seems highly correlated with the depth of economic and trade relations with euro area countries and the EU at large. Around one third of inward remittances are denominated in euro and over one third of the external public debt stock is denominated in euro on average, higher than the global average. The banking sector and foreign reserves remain heavily dollarised across countries. Based on these findings, the paper highlights new areas, such as green finance and NextGenerationEU bond issuance, which together with other policy initiatives could foster a higher use of the euro in the region.
    JEL: E41 E42 E52 E58
    Date: 2022–06
  5. By: Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Catharien; de Miguel Garcia, Angel; Wilbers, Gert-Jan; Wolters, Wouter; Heesmans, Hanneke; Dankers, Rutger; Smit, Robert; Smaling, Eric
    Abstract: Water is a major driver of food systems in arid and semi-arid countries. This paper explores the role of water in Egypt’s food system and the dilemma the country faces: raise food self-sufficiency by allocating freshwater resources from the Nile to food production, or rely on food imports from water-abundant regions worldwide. Using a food system analysis approach, the main drivers and outcomes in Egypt’s food system are described, followed by two examples of food system trade-offs where water plays an important role: wheat and chicken. The paper concludes with a reflection on the role of water in the food system and gives suggestions on how the role of water in the food system can be addressed systematically.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy, Land Economics/Use
    Date: 2022–06–01
  6. By: Rasoul Jamshidi; Mohammad Ebrahim Sadeghi
    Abstract: Purpose: In addition to playing an important role in creating economic security and investment development, insurance companies also invest. The country's insurance industry as one of the country's financial institutions has a special place in the investment process and special attention to appropriate investment policies in the field of insurance industry is essential. So that the efficiency of this industry in allocating the existing budget stimulates other economic sectors. This study seeks to model investment in the performance of dynamic networks of insurance companies. Methodology: In this paper, a new investment model is designed to examine the dynamic network performance of insurance companies in Iran. The designed model is implemented using GAMS software and the outputs of the model are analyzed based on regression method. The required information has been collected based on the statistics of insurance companies in Iran between 1393 and 1398. Findings: After evaluating these units, out of 15 companies evaluated, 6 companies had unit performance and were introduced as efficient companies. The average efficiency of insurance companies is 0.78 and the standard deviation is 0.2. The results show that the increase in the value of investments is due to the large reduction in costs and in terms of capital and net profit of companies is a large number that has a clear and strong potential for insurance companies. Originality/Value: In this paper, investment modeling is performed to examine the performance of dynamic networks of insurance companies in Iran.
    Date: 2022–06
  7. By: Salah Jadda (INPT - Institut National des Postes et Télécommunications [Rabat]); Hafid Barka (INPT - Institut National des Postes et Télécommunications [Rabat]); Nawfal Acha (INPT - Institut National des Postes et Télécommunications [Rabat])
    Abstract: Digital technologies have spread rapidly in all countries and in many cases have helped to stimulate growth, expand opportunities and offer new services. Nowadays, the use of digital equipments is necessary both professionally and personally. E-government (e-Gov) has enormous potential to improve the life of citizens and the functioning of businesses. One of the objectives of the Moroccan strategy for the information society launched in 2009 called "Maroc Numeric 2013" is to bring public organizations closer to the needs of citizens and businesses. In this paper, we ask why the digital transformation is so slow and e-Gov sites are not as numerous? We also ask whether e-Gov is necessary to achieve the goals of good governance. A literature review consolidated by a qualitative study, shows that digital projects and specifically e-Government projects have a decisive role in the quality of governance and are necessary to promote human development thanks to their socio-economic impacts. Thus, decision-makers are led to continue the digital transformation initiated in 2009 while adopting a good IT governance approach which is the guarantee of the success of digital projects.
    Abstract: Les technologies numériques se sont répandues rapidement dans tous les pays et, dans de nombreux cas, elles ont permis de stimuler la croissance, d'élargir les opportunités et de proposer de nouvelles prestations de services. De nos jours, l'usage d'équipements digitaux s'avère nécessaire aussi bien au niveau professionnel que personnel. L'e-gouvernement (e-Gov) engendre un potentiel énorme pour améliorer la vie des citoyens et le fonctionnement des entreprises. L'un des objectifs de la stratégie marocaine pour la société de l'information lancée en 2009 baptisée "Maroc Numeric 2013" est de rapprocher les organisations publiques des besoins du citoyen et des entreprises. Dans cet article, nous nous demandons pourquoi la transformation de l'État grâce au Digital est-elle si lente et les sites e-Gov ne sont pas aussi nombreux ? Nous nous demandons également si l'e-Gov est nécessaire pour réaliser les objectifs d'une bonne gouvernance. Un recueil documentaire consolidé par une étude qualitative, montrent que les programmes digitaux et plus particulièrement les programmes e-Gov jouent un rôle déterminant dans la qualité de la gouvernance et sont nécessaires pour favoriser le développement humain grâce à leurs impacts socio-économiques. Ainsi, les décideurs sont amenés à poursuivre la transformation numérique initiée en 2009 tout en adoptant une démarche de bonne gouvernance informatique qui est le garant de la réussite des projets digitaux.
    Keywords: Good Governance,Public Organization,Digital Technologies,Corruption,E-gouvernement,Bonne Gouvernance,Organisation publique,Technologies Numériques
    Date: 2022
  8. By: Nizar Riane (Université Mohammed V de Rabat [Agdal]); Claire David (LJLL (UMR_7598) - Laboratoire Jacques-Louis Lions - SU - Sorbonne Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UPC - Université Paris Cité)
    Abstract: In this work, we propose a new lecture of input-output model reconciliation Markov chain and the dominance theory, in the field of interindustrial poles interactions. A deeper lecture of Leontief table in term of Markov chain is given, exploiting spectral properties and time to absorption to characterize production processes, then the dualities local-global/dominance-Sensitivity analysis are established, allowing a better understanding of economic poles arrangement. An application to the Moroccan economy is given.
    Keywords: Graph - Markov chain - Leontief matrix - Dominance theory,05C20 -15A15 -60J10 JEL Classification,C65 -C67 -L00
    Date: 2022–02–26
  9. By: Meghann Puloc’h
    Abstract: Alors que le champ des possibles se réduisait depuis des mois pour les autorités tunisiennes, un chemin - certes sinueux et semé d’embuches - laisse entrevoir une possible sortie du tunnel. Depuis la révolution de 2011, la Tunisie connaît des déséquilibres macroéconomiques majeurs matérialisés par le décrochage de son rythme de croissance et la dégradation de ses comptes publics et externes. Les conséquences économiques et sociales de la crise sanitaire, la situation inextricable des finances publiques et l’imprévisibilité du cadre politique suite au coup de force du Président Kaïs Saïed en juillet 2021 placent désormais le pays au pied du mur.Le Programme de stabilité économique et financière présenté par les autorités tunisiennes en juin 2022 propose des mesures de nature à relever les défis auxquels le pays est confronté. Dans le sillage de cet élan réformateur, le Fonds monétaire international (FMI) a annoncé le 22 juin 2022 être « prêt à entamer, au cours des prochaines semaines, des négociations portant sur la mise en place d’un programme ».
    Keywords: Tunisie
    JEL: E
    Date: 2022–07–12

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