nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒10‒17
three papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Improving skills and employment opportunities in Tunisia By Robert Grundke; Steven Cassimon
  2. Does Religious Diversity Improve Trust and Performance? Evidence from Lebanon By Serena Canaan; Antoine Deeb; Pierre Mouganie
  3. Maturité numérique du Maroc : Une analyse comparative dans le contexte des valeurs de l'indice de préparation aux réseaux By Karim Ghanouane; Taoufik Benkaraache

  1. By: Robert Grundke; Steven Cassimon
    Abstract: Unemployment rates have been persistently high, particularly for young labour market entrants. Rising access to education has increased the supply of high-skilled labour, but the private sector has mainly created jobs in low-skill intensive and low-productivity activities, leading to high unemployment rates among tertiary graduates and particularly for women. Moreover, education and professional training systems operate in isolation from labour market needs and do not equip workers with the skills demanded by firms. Labour market policies and regulations discourage formal job creation and complicate the matching process in the labour market. To foster business dynamism and innovation and create more and better jobs, it is crucial to lower regulatory barriers to market entry and entrepreneurship, raise the international integration of domestic firms and adjust labour taxes. The quality of education and professional training needs to improve, and more cooperation with the private sector is necessary to better prepare youth and young adults for the labour market. Better targeting of active labour market policies and reducing barriers to labour mobility are key to improve labour market matching.
    Keywords: business environment, education, labour demand, Labour market, skill mismatch, training, Tunisia
    JEL: I25 J08 J23 J24 J48 I28
    Date: 2022–10–10
  2. By: Serena Canaan; Antoine Deeb; Pierre Mouganie
    Abstract: Religious divisions have long played a primary role in major conflicts throughout much of the world. Intergroup contact may increase trust between members of different religions. However, evidence on how inter-religious contact affects individuals’ behavior towards one another is scarce. We examine this question in the setting of a four-year university in Lebanon, a country with a long history of deep divisions and armed conflicts between religious groups. To identify causal effects, we exploit the university’s random assignment of first-year students to peer groups. We proxy students’ religious backgrounds by whether they attended secular, Christian or Islamic high schools—the last of which have the most religiously homogeneous student body. Results indicate that for students from Islamic high schools, exposure to peers from different religious backgrounds decreases their enrollment in courses taught by instructors with distinctively Muslim names, suggesting that contact improves trust towards members of other religions. Moreover, we show that students from Islamic schools experience improvements in GPA when interacting with those from other groups, while exposure to Islamic students reduces secular students’ academic performance.
    Keywords: diversity, religious schools, intergroup contact
    JEL: I23 J15 Z12 P00
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Karim Ghanouane (UH2MC - Université Hassan II [Casablanca]); Taoufik Benkaraache (UH2MC - Université Hassan II [Casablanca])
    Abstract: Digital transformation is characterised by the combination of advanced technologies, the integration of physical and digital systems, innovative business models, new production processes and the creation of products and services based on advanced knowledge of needs (Almeida et al., 2020). Fitzgerald et al. (2014) distinguished between digital transformation and digital project, for the authors many projects are digital, but not transformational. In contrast to digital projects, which are about applying digital technologies to speed up business processes, eliminate inefficiencies and/or reduce costs, or even sell more; digital transformation explicitly involves using digital technologies to drive significant changes in the company's business model (Soto-Acosta, 2020). Driven by the Covid 19 crisis, the world has experienced a digital acceleration of a scale and magnitude that few would have imagined possible a few years ago (Dutta and Lanvin, 2021). Some emerging economies have taken advantage of this new normativity to accelerate their own digital transformation, but other economies have had to battle against being vulnerable to new kinds of digital fractures (Dutta and Lanvin, 2021). In such an international climate, Morocco is no stranger to the rule. In fact, the country has engaged in a digital transformation dynamic in order to provide continuity of public service (distance learning, assistance to vulnerable people, legal assistance...). The objective of this research paper is to perform a comparative analysis of the digital intensity and maturity of the Moroccan economy based on the evolution of the network readiness index, proposed by the World Economic Forum, over a period from 2013 to 2021. The findings of this study have implications for policy makers in order to take the necessary measures to correct the digital fracture resulting from the Covid 19 crisis. In addition, the results based on the network readiness index provide visibility to policymakers on the impact of technological progress on the economic and human dimensions.
    Abstract: La transformation digitale se caractérise par la combinaison des technologies avancées, l'intégration de systèmes physiques et numérique, des modèles d'affaires innovants, de nouveaux processus de production et la création de produits et services basés sur la connaissance avancée des besoins (Almeida et al., 2020). Fitzgerald et autres (2014) ont distingué entre la transformation digitale et le projet numérique, pour les auteurs de nombreux projet sont numérique, mais pas transformationnels. Contrairement aux projets numériques qui consistent à appliquer des technologies numériques pour accélérer les processus métier, éliminer les inefficacités et/ou réduire les coûts, voire vendre davantage ; la transformation digitale implique explicitement l'utilisation des technologies numérique pour conduire des changements significatifs dans le modèle d'affaires de l'entreprise (Soto-Acosta, 2020). Porté par la crise du Covid 19, le monde a assisté à une accélération numérique d'une ampleur et d'une magnitude que peu auraient imaginées possibles il y a quelques années (Dutta et Lanvin, 2021). Certains pays émergents ont profité de cette nouvelle normalité pour accélérer leur propre transformation numérique, mais d'autres économies ont dû lutter contre l'exposition à de nouveaux types de fractures numériques (Dutta et Lanvin, 2021). Dans un tel climat international, le Maroc ne déroge pas à la règle. En effet, le pays s'est engagé dans une dynamique de transformation digitale afin d'assurer la continuité du service public (enseignement à distance, assistance aux personnes vulnérables, assistance juridique…). L'objectif de ce papier de recherche est de réaliser une analyse comparative en ce qui concerne l'intensité et la maturité numérique de l'économie marocaine sur la base de l'évolution de l'indice de préparation aux réseaux, proposé par le forum économie mondiale, sur une période de 2013 à 2021. Les conclusions de cette étude ont des implications pour les décideurs, afin de prendre les mesures nécessaires pour corriger la fracture numérique, résultante de la crise sanitaire du Covid 19. Par ailleurs, les résultats basés sur l'indice de préparation aux réseaux, offrent une visibilité au gouvernant sur l'impact du progrès technologique sur les dimensions économique et humaine
    Keywords: Digital maturity,Covid 19,Morocco,network readiness index,Maturité numérique,Maroc,indice de préparation aux réseaux
    Date: 2022

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