nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒11‒07
thirty papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The role of social insurance schemes in addressing the risks faced by agricultural workers in the Middle East and North Africa By Lucas Sato; Nourjelha Mohamed
  2. Methodological note for the project ‘Expanding social insurance for agricultural workers in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries: identifying key constraints and discussing policy options’ By Lucas Sato; Nicole Figueiredo; Nourjelha Mohamed
  3. International Trade and Labor Markets : Evidence from the Arab Republic of Egypt By Robertson,Raymond; Vergara Bahena,Mexico Alberto; Kokas,Deeksha; Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.
  4. Microdata Collection and Openness in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) : Introducing the MENAMicrodata Access Indicator By Ekhator-Mobayode,Uche Eseosa; Hoogeveen,Johannes G.
  5. Return Migrants and the Wage Premium : Does the Legal Status of Migrants Matter ? By Elmallakh,Nelly Youssef Louis William,Wahba,Jackline
  6. How Do Gender Norms Shape Education and Domestic Work Outcomes ? The Case of Syrian RefugeeAdolescents in Jordan By Krafft,Caroline Gould; Ragui,Assaad; Pastoor,Isabel
  7. What Explains Boys’ Educational Underachievement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia ? By Elsayed,Mahmoud Abduh Ali; Clerkin,Aidan; Pitsia,Vasiliki; Aljabri,Nayyaf; Al-Harbi,Khaleel
  8. When do Refugees Return Home? : Evidence from Syrian Displacement in Mashreq By Beaman,Lori A.; Onder,Harun; Onder,Stefanie
  9. The Syrian Refugee Life Study : First Glance By Miguel,Edward A.; Palmer,Bailey; Rozo Villarraga,Sandra Viviana; Stillman,Sarah Virginia; Smith,Emma; Tamim,Abdulrazzak
  10. Executive Summary—Social protection responses to COVID-19 in MENA: Design, implementation and child-sensitivity By Charlotte Bilo; João Pedro Dytz; Lucas Sato
  11. Exports and Labor Demand: Evidence from Egyptian Firm-Level Data By Berg, Claudia N.; Robertson, Raymond; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
  12. The Intergenerational Effects of Economic Sanctions By Moeeni,Safoura
  13. Social protection responses to COVID-19 in MENA: Design, implementation and child-sensitivity By Charlotte Bilo; João Pedro Dytz; Lucas Sato
  14. Is International Trade Always Beneficial to Labor Markets? A Case Study from Egypt By Robertson, Raymond; Vergara Bahena, Mexico Alberto; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys
  15. Displacement and Return in the Internet Era : How Social Media Captures Migration Decisionsin Northern Syria By Walk,Erin Elizabeth; Garimella,Kiran; Christia,Fotini
  16. Getting Real ? The Uneven Burden of Inflation across Households in Turkey By Baez Ramirez,Javier Eduardo; Inan,Osman Kaan; Nebiler,Metin
  17. West Bank and Gaza: Selected Issues By International Monetary Fund
  18. How Do Shared Experiences of Economic Shocks Impact Refugees and Host Communities ? Evidence fromAfghan Refugees in Iran By Hoseini,Mohammad; Dideh,Mahsa Jahan
  19. Macroeconomic Consequences of Natural Disasters : A Modeling Proposal and Application to Floodsand Earthquakes in Turkey By Hallegatte,Stephane; Jooste,Charl; Mcisaac,Florent John
  20. Algeria: Design, implementation and child-sensitivity of social protection responses to COVID-19 By Ali Benramdane; João Pedro Dytz; Lucas Sato
  21. West Bank and Gaza: Report to the AD HOC Liaison Committee By International Monetary Fund
  22. Women’s Labor Force Participation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq : A Study of Social andPsychological Barriers By Iman,Sen; Afif,Zeina; Gauri,Varun; Mohamed,Gohdar
  23. United Arab Emirates: Technical Assistance Report-Hedonic Methods for Price Indices Mission By International Monetary Fund
  24. Road Capacity, Domestic Trade and Regional Outcomes By Cosar,Kerem,Demir,Banu,Ghose,Devaki,Young,Nathaniel Virgil C
  25. New Algorithm to Estimate Inequality Measures in Cross-Survey Imputation : An Attemptto Correct the Underestimation of Extreme Values By Betti,Gianni; Molini,Vasco; Mori,Lorenzo
  26. Bahrain: Design, implementation and child-sensitivity of social protection responses to COVID-19 By Soha Farouk; Lucas Sato; João Pedro Dytz
  27. Bahrain: Design, implementation and child-sensitivity of social protection responses to COVID-19 By Soha Farouk; Lucas Sato; João Pedro Dytz
  28. Transnational Terrorism and the Internet By Do,Quy-Toan; Gomez Parra,Nicolas; Rijkers,Bob
  29. Changing Perceptions of Institutions and Standard of Living in Iraq By Ansar,Saniya,Celiku,Bledi,Klapper,Leora,Mansour,Wael
  30. Local Peace Agreements and the Return of IDPs with Perceived ISIL Affiliation in Iraq By Parry,Jacqueline Margarethe; Aymerich,Olga

  1. By: Lucas Sato (IPC-IG); Nourjelha Mohamed (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: social insurance; social protection; agricultural workers; MENA
    Date: 2022–11
  2. By: Lucas Sato (IPC-IG); Nicole Figueiredo (IPC-IG); Nourjelha Mohamed (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: social protection; social insurance; MENA
    Date: 2022–11
  3. By: Robertson,Raymond; Vergara Bahena,Mexico Alberto; Kokas,Deeksha; Lopez-Acevedo,Gladys C.
    Abstract: Since the early 1990s, some developing countries have experienced a coincidence of rising exports—especially those related to global value chains—and improved labor market outcomes. During 2000–10, rising trade was associated with falling poverty and inequality in many developing countries. However, the Arab Republic of Egypt was not one of these countries, although it signed several trade agreements. The lack of trade-related improvements in labor market outcomes—including poverty, inequality, average wage levels, informality, and female labor force participation—could be explained by at least two possibilities. First, it is possible that trade agreements did not produce the same increase in trade for Egypt as for other countries. Second, it is possible that exports do not generate the same kinds of changes in labor market outcomes as experienced in other countries. After presenting the trends in key labor market outcomes over 2000–19, this paper evaluates both hypotheses. Using a gravity model approach, the results suggest that the changes in Egypt’s exports following trade agreements are above internationally estimated averages. Second, the results from a Bartik approach find no significant relationship between rising exports and wages, informality, or female labor force participation. Additional analysis shows that Egypt’s average wage levels are among the highest among countries that export the same goods exported by Egypt, possibly suggesting that Egypt has a relatively weak comparative advantage in currently exported goods, and thus might need to rethink its export basket.
    Date: 2021–05–21
  4. By: Ekhator-Mobayode,Uche Eseosa; Hoogeveen,Johannes G.
    Abstract: This paper uses a “mystery client” approach and visits the websites of national statisticaloffices and international microdata libraries to assess whether foundational microdata sets for countries in theMiddle East and North Africa region are collected, up to date, and made available to researchers. The focus is onpopulation and economic censuses, price data and consumption, labor, health, and establishment surveys.Following the exercise, a new microdata access indicator that measures the degree of opennes of microdata and theease with which microdata users can understand and navigate the websites of national statistical offices is presented.The results show that about half of the expected core data sets are being collected and that only a fraction is madeavailable publicly. As a consequence, many summary statistics, including national accounts and welfareestimates, are outdated and of limited relevance to decision makers. Additional investments in microdata collection andpublication of the data once collected are strongly advised. National statistical offices in the region should makeconsiderable improvements to the outlook of their websites to make them more user friendly. Specifically, microdatalibraries and updated survey calendars should be a standard feature of the websites to ensure easy access to available microdata.
    Keywords: ICT Policy and Strategies,ICT Legal and Regulatory Framework,Health Care Services Industry,Inequality,Employment and Unemployment,Labor & Employment Law
    Date: 2021–12–29
  5. By: Elmallakh,Nelly Youssef Louis William,Wahba,Jackline
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the legal status of overseas migrants on their wages upon return to the home country. Using unique data from the Arab Republic of Egypt, which allows distinguishing between return migrants according to whether their international migration was documented or undocumented, the paper examines the impact of illegal status on wages upon return. Relying on a conditional mixed process model, which takes into account the selection into emigration, return, and the legal status of temporary migration, the analysis finds that, upon return, undocumented migrants experience a wage penalty compared with documented migrants, as well as relative to non-migrants. The results are the first to show the impact of undocumented migration on the migrant upon return to the country of origin.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Rural Labor Markets,Armed Conflict,Trade and Services,Educational Sciences,Migration and Development
    Date: 2021–08–23
  6. By: Krafft,Caroline Gould; Ragui,Assaad; Pastoor,Isabel
    Abstract: Forced displacement has disrupted Syrian refugees’ lives and exposed them to new communitiesand norms. This paper assesses how gender norms shape the lives of Syrian refugee adolescent girls in Jordan, usingnationally representative data. Factor analysis is used to summarize a variety of beliefs and behavioral aspects ofnorms: gender role attitudes, justification of domestic violence, decision making, and mobility. The paper comparesthese outcomes by sex, nationality, and for adolescents versus adults. It complements the data on individual beliefsand behaviors with family and community beliefs and behaviors as proxies for others’ expectations and behaviors.The paper then examines how own, family, and community gender norms relate to two key adolescent outcomes: domesticwork and enrollment in school. The findings show that while gender role attitudes are similar across generations andnationalities, Syrian adolescent girls are particularly restricted in their mobility. Nonetheless, they have similareducational outcomes as boys and, after accounting for differences in socioeconomic status, as Jordanian girls.While gender inequality in domestic work is substantial, higher levels of own and mother’s decision making predictlower domestic workloads, illustrating the linkages between different dimensions of gender norms and social and economic outcomes.
    Keywords: Gender and Development,Social Cohesion,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2021–10–28
  7. By: Elsayed,Mahmoud Abduh Ali; Clerkin,Aidan; Pitsia,Vasiliki; Aljabri,Nayyaf; Al-Harbi,Khaleel
    Abstract: This paper examines the factors that are associated with boys’ underachievement in mathematicsand science in Saudi Arabia, where students attend gender-segregated schools from grade 1 onward, as well asstudent achievement in these two subjects in grades 4 and 8 more generally. The paper employs data from two recentlarge-scale assessments of education: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study 2019 and SaudiArabia’s National Assessment of Learning Outcomes 2018. The results suggest that in grade 4, school climate was morestrongly associated with boys' compared with girls' achievement in both mathematics and science,with boys attending schools of poorer school climate having a considerably lower performance compared with girlsattending such schools. The findings also indicate that although greater literacy and numeracy readiness was linkedwith higher science achievement among boys and girls, grade 4 boys tended to benefit more from this readiness thangirls. In addition, the results show that student absenteeism in grade 4 is particularly strongly associatedwith decreases in mathematics achievement among boys. In grade 8, interactions between student gender and students’confidence in science, the degree of schools’ emphasis on academic success, and teachers’ age are observed. The paperconcludes by discussing some of the implications of these findings for educators and policy makers in Saudi Arabia.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Gender and Development,Educational Institutions & Facilities,Effective Schools and Teachers,Inequality
    Date: 2022–01–10
  8. By: Beaman,Lori A.; Onder,Harun; Onder,Stefanie
    Abstract: This paper provides an empirical analysis of refugee returns to the Syrian Arab Republic. Since 2011, about 5.6 million Syrians—more than a quarter of the country’s pre-conflict population—have been registered as refugees. By mid-2018, only about 1.8 percent of them had returned to Syria voluntarily. This paper compiles a novel data set with administrative data for 2.16 million refugees, existing and new household surveys, a new conflict-events database, and nightlights data for Syria to analyze the correlates of these returns. A reduction in conflict intensity and an increase in luminosity in Syria strongly increase the likelihood of refugees’ return. Differential return rates are observed along key demographic characteristics, such as age, gender, and family status between high and low conflict intensity areas. Interestingly, improvements in the conditions faced by refugees in exile can also increase the likelihood of return.
    Keywords: Social Cohesion,Educational Sciences,Inequality,Nutrition,Food Security
    Date: 2021–06–04
  9. By: Miguel,Edward A.; Palmer,Bailey; Rozo Villarraga,Sandra Viviana; Stillman,Sarah Virginia; Smith,Emma; Tamim,Abdulrazzak
    Abstract: This paper presents descriptive statistics from the first wave of the Syrian Refugee LifeStudy (S-RLS), which was launched in 2020. S-RLS is a longitudinal study that tracks a representative sample of2,500 registered Syrian refugee households in Jordan. It collects comprehensive data on socio-demographic variablesas well as information on health and well-being, preferences, social capital, attitudes, and safety and crimeperceptions. This study uses these novel data to document the socio-demographic characteristics of Syrian refugees inJordan, and compare them to those of the representative Jordanian and non-Jordanian populations interviewed in the2016 Jordan Labor Market Panel Survey. The findings point to lags in basic service access, housing quality, andeducational attainment for the Syrian refugee population, relative to the non-refugee population. The impacts of thepandemic may serve to partially explain these documented disparities. The data also illustrate that most Syrianrefugees have not recovered economically from the shock of COVID-19 and that this population has larger genderdisparities in terms of income, employment, prevalence of child marriage, and gender attitudes than their non-refugeecounterparts. Finally, mental health problems are common for Syrian refugees in 2020, with depression indicated amongover 61 percent of the population.
    Keywords: Health Care Services Industry,Gender and Development,Economics and Gender,Gender and Economics,Gender and Economic Policy,Gender and Poverty,Mental Health
    Date: 2022–02–16
  10. By: Charlotte Bilo (IPC-IG); João Pedro Dytz (IPC-IG); Lucas Sato (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: child-sensitive social protection; programme design; MENA
    Date: 2022–10
  11. By: Berg, Claudia N. (World Bank); Robertson, Raymond (Texas A&M University); Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys (World Bank)
    Abstract: Unlike many countries, Egypt did not experience significant labor market improvements following trade liberalization. In this paper, we build upon the earlier work of Robertson et al. (2021) to investigate why increased Egyptian exports did not directly increase employment. To illustrate the relationship between firm-level exporting and employment, we present a simplified general equilibrium model inspired by Melitz (2003) with two sectors: one able to export and one "reserve" sector. This paper tests the implications of this theory using firm-level data from the World Bank's Enterprise Surveys (ES) in 2013, 2016, and 2020. Our firm-level microanalysis demonstrates that while there is a positive employment response to export expansion, this is not occurring at a large enough scale to be felt at the macro level. To seize the benefits of trade, Egypt requires deeper business environment reforms to incentivize large export, labor-intensive sector growth and integrate its economy into global value chains.
    Keywords: exports, trade, employment, labor market, econometrics, Egypt
    JEL: F1 C1
    Date: 2022–10
  12. By: Moeeni,Safoura
    Abstract: While economic sanctions are successful in achieving political goals, can hurt thecivilian population. These negative effects could be even more detrimental and long-lasting for future generations.This study estimates the effects of economic sanctions on children’s education by exploiting the United Nationssanctions imposed on Iran in 2006. Using the variation in the strength of sanctions across industries anddifference-in-differences with synthetic control analyses, this study finds that the sanctions decreased children’stotal years of schooling by 0.1 years and the probability of attending college by 4.8 percentage points. Moreover,households reduced education spending by 58 percent— particularly on school tuition. These effects are larger forchildren who were exposed longer to the sanctions. The results imply that sanctions have a larger effect on theincome of children than their parents. Therefore, ignoring the effects of sanctions on future generations significantlyunderstates their total economic costs.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Oil & Gas,International Trade and Trade Rules,Energy Demand,Energy and Mining,Energy and Environment
    Date: 2021–11–04
  13. By: Charlotte Bilo (IPC-IG); João Pedro Dytz (IPC-IG); Lucas Sato (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: child-sensitive social protection; programme design; MENA
    Date: 2022–10
  14. By: Robertson, Raymond (Texas A&M University); Vergara Bahena, Mexico Alberto (World Bank); Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys (World Bank)
    Abstract: Egypt's industries heavily rely on imported goods for production. Thus, an increase in imports could have a potentially positive effect on the labor market as it means more inputs for the production of exporting goods. Alternatively, minimal backward linkages in global value chains (GVCs) could also mean that increasing imports substitute for domestic production and thus, lost employment opportunities. This paper evaluates the relationship between regional trade agreements using a gravity model and import flows to test whether rising imports impacted wages, informality, and female labor force participation using the Bartik (1991) approach. Our results suggest that imports are not to blame for disappointing labor market outcomes in Egypt.
    Keywords: imports, trade, labor market, informality, econometrics, bartik, Egypt
    JEL: F1 C1
    Date: 2022–10
  15. By: Walk,Erin Elizabeth; Garimella,Kiran; Christia,Fotini
    Abstract: Starting in 2011, the Syrian civil war has resulted in the displacement of over 80% of theSyrian population. This paper analyzes how the widespread use of social media has recorded migration considerationsfor Syrian refugees using social media text and image data from three popular platforms (Twitter, Telegram, andFacebook). Leveraging survey data as a source of ground truth on the presence of IDPs and returnees, it uses topicmodeling and image analysis to find that areas without return have a higher prevalence of violence-relateddiscourse and images while areas with return feature content related to services and the economy. Building on thesefindings, the paper first uses mixed effects models to show that these results hold pre- and post- return as well aswhen migration is quantified as monthly population flows. Second, it leverages mediation analysis to find thatdiscussion on social media mediates the relationship between violence and return in months where there are fewer violentevents. Monitoring refugee return in war prone areas is a complex task and social media may provide researchers, aidgroups, and policymakers with tools for assessing return in areas where survey or other data is unavailable or difficultto obtain.
    Date: 2022–04–26
  16. By: Baez Ramirez,Javier Eduardo; Inan,Osman Kaan; Nebiler,Metin
    Abstract: Inflation is typically measured using aggregate price indices that are based on bundles of goodsand services sold or consumed by the “median” agent. In the case of households, in particular, budget shares varysubstantially across income and demographic groups. Assessing how inflation behaves at the household levelrequires understanding how heterogenous changes in consumer prices affect household choices and well-being differently.In recent years, price increases have been particularly high in Turkey, with double-digit inflation starting in 2017 andintensifying in 2018 and 2020 due to exchange rate volatility, macroeconomic instability, and the economicdisruption brought about by Covid-19. This paper calculates income-decile price indices to examine the inflationexperience across income groups and discusses their implications for household welfare. Households in the firstdecile allocate nearly 70 percent of their budget to food and housing, twice as much as the corresponding share forthe typical household in the upper decile. Inflation measures that consider these heterogeneities in expendituresshow a higher burden for the poor in recent inflation episodes driven by rapid increases in food prices (2013,2015 and 2019). In 2015, for instance, 342,000 additional people would have been deemed poor (an increase of 4.2percent) had the poverty calculations taken into account the actual inflation experience of poor and vulnerablehouseholds. A methodological extension of the World Bank’s upper-middle-income poverty line ($5.50 2011 purchasingpower parity) that takes into consideration the inflation experience of the bottom deciles yields higher poverty ratesfor Turkey every year between 2011 and 2020.
    Keywords: Inflation,Inequality,Urban Housing,Urban Governance and Management,Municipal Management and Reform,Urban Housing and Land Settlements,Transport Services
    Date: 2021–11–30
  17. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: For more than a decade, commercial banks in West Bank and Gaza (WBG) have struggled to manage buildups of excess physical Israeli shekel cash. Banks elsewhere typically manage the amount and currency composition of physical cash they hold in their vaults through transactions with other commercial banks and central banks. However, citing money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) concerns, the two Israeli banks that currently offer correspondent services to banks operating in WBG no longer offer them cash services. The Bank of Israel (BoI) has imposed limits on the amount of shekel coins and notes it accepts back from Palestinian banks. This has long hindered liquidity management and been a drag on the profitability of Palestinian banks, but periodic large increases in excess cash in recent years have created additional risks and raised the costs to the Palestinian banking system.
    Keywords: cash shipment; shekel cash; excess cash; cash in West Bank; Palestinian banking system; Commercial banks; Correspondent banking; Anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT); Financial inclusion; Middle East; North Africa; Global
    Date: 2022–09–16
  18. By: Hoseini,Mohammad; Dideh,Mahsa Jahan
    Abstract: Using representative survey data including Iranians and Afghan refugees in Iran in 2011–2019,this paper explores the unequal impact of macroeconomic fluctuations due to Iran’s nuclear dispute on Afghanrefugees and host communities. The paper finds that economic shock increases refugee’s exit and disproportionatelyreduces their consumption expenditure and aid received from the host community. In addition, bad and good economiccycles create asymmetric impacts. While negative shocks affect the economic outcomes of two communitieshomogenously, it hurts social cohesion between them. In contrast, economic recovery benefits refugees relativelymore in terms of consumption and income, but the impact on social cohesion measures is insignificant. The findings alsosuggest that in turbulent economic times, both inter-community and intra-community inequalities go up.
    Keywords: Labor Markets,Social Cohesion,Employment and Unemployment
    Date: 2022–01–27
  19. By: Hallegatte,Stephane; Jooste,Charl; Mcisaac,Florent John
    Abstract: Turkey is vulnerable to natural disasters that can generate substantial damages to publicand private sector infrastructure capital. Earthquakes and floods are the most frequent hazards today, and flood risksare expected to increase with climate change. To ensure stability and growth and minimize the welfare impact ofthese disasters, these shocks need to be managed and accounted for in macro-fiscal and monetary policy. Tosupport this process, the World Bank Macrostructural Model is adapted to assess the macroeconomic effects of natural(geophysical or climate-related) disasters. The macroeconomic model is extended on several fronts: (1) adistinction is made between infrastructure and non-infrastructure capital, with complementary orsubstitutability between the two categories; (2) the production function is adjusted to account for short-termcomplementarity across capital assets; (3) the reconstruction process is modeled in a way that accounts forpost-disaster constraints, with distinct processes for the reconstruction of public and private assets. The resultsshow that destroyed infrastructure capital makes the remaining non-infrastructure capital less productive, whichmeans that disasters reduce the total stock of capital, but also its productivity. The welfare impact of adisaster—proxied by the discounted consumption loss—is found to increase non-linearly with direct asset losses.Macroeconomic responses reduce the welfare impact of minor disasters but magnify it when direct asset losses exceed theeconomy’s absorption capacity. The welfare impact also depends on the pre-existing economic situation, the abilityof the economy to reallocate resources toward reconstruction, and the response of the monetary policy.Appropriate macro-fiscal and monetary policies offer cost-effective opportunities to mitigate the welfare impactof major disasters.
    Keywords: Natural Disasters,Macroeconomic Management,Inflation
    Date: 2022–02–22
  20. By: Ali Benramdane (IPC-IG); João Pedro Dytz (IPC-IG); Lucas Sato (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: social protection; MENA; COVID-19; Algeria
    Date: 2022–10
  21. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The Palestinian economy is facing formidable challenges. The fiscal situation, high political, security and social tensions, rising inflation, movement and access restrictions and an unfinished structural agenda all weigh on the medium-term outlook. Under unchanged policies, debt is unsustainable and per capita GDP is projected to decline. The situation is particularly dire in Gaza with persistently high unemployment and poverty.
    Keywords: correspondent banking relations; IMF report; research assistance; reform scenario; shekel cash; Arrears; Pension spending; Total expenditures; Middle East and Central Asia
    Date: 2022–09–16
  22. By: Iman,Sen; Afif,Zeina; Gauri,Varun; Mohamed,Gohdar
    Abstract: Women’s labor force participation in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is very low, at 14 percent.This paper investigates a number of social and psychological barriers to participation, using recent methods in themeasurement of social norms and cultural beliefs and primary data collected from all three governorates. Furthermore,since greater growth in employment generation is expected in the private sector, the paper explores women and men’sperceptions toward working in the private sector in detail. The findings show that while 70 percent of women and mensupport women’s participation in the private sector. Several challenges remain in both information about the sector, aswell as perceived risks and discrimination. More broadly, the findings show that traditional gender role expectationsmay still impede women’s labor force participation. Perceptions of common societal practices and beliefs ofother members from the same household are all correlated with women’s work. The paper explores additional mentalbarriers using a smaller sample of younger and more educated female job seekers, who are registered with a jobs agency,and finds that both perseverance in the job search process and trust and engagement with formal institutions areadditional behavioral barriers.
    Date: 2022–04–28
  23. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: A technical assistance (TA) mission was conducted remotely during January 16-20, 2022 to assist the Dubai Statistics Center (DSC) in introducing hedonic methods for quality adjustments in the consumer price index (CPI) and the real estate price index (REPI). Currently the REPI is compiled by DSC using stratification with simple averages. Moving from simple averages to hedonic regressions will improve the accuracy of the indicator since it will take into account the quality mix of properties within each stratum. The mission recommended the hedonics time dummy method with a rolling window of 12 months for compiling the REPI. This method provides more stable results, i.e., less volatile indices, since it pools one year of data instead of one quarter, and it is particularly recommended when few observations are available. It is widely used for Residential Property Price Index compilation and for CPI compilation with web scraped data. The TA mission provided extensive training on using this method accompanied by R codes adapted to the Dubai sample data.
    Date: 2022–09–16
  24. By: Cosar,Kerem,Demir,Banu,Ghose,Devaki,Young,Nathaniel Virgil C
    Abstract: What is the impact on intranational trade and regional economic outcomes when the quality and lane capacity of an existing paved road network is expanded significantly? This paper investigates this question for the case of Turkey, which undertook a large-scale public investment in roads during the 2000s. Using spatially disaggregated data on road upgrades and domestic transactions, the paper estimates a large positive impact of reduced travel times on trade as well as local manufacturing employment and wages. A quantitative exercise using a workhorse model of spatial equilibrium implies heterogeneous effects across locations, with aggregate real income gains reaching 2–3 percent in the long run. Reductions in travel times increased the local employment-to-population ratio but had no effect on local population. The model is extended by endogenizing the labor supply decision to capture this finding. The model-implied elasticity of employment rates to travel time reductions captures about one-third of the empirical elasticity.
    Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules,Transport Services,Labor Markets,Roads&Highways,Inter-Urban Roads and Passenger Transport,Roads and Highways Performance
    Date: 2021–09–13
  25. By: Betti,Gianni; Molini,Vasco; Mori,Lorenzo
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the debate on ways to improve the calculation of inequality measures indeveloping countries experiencing severe budget constraints. Linear regression-based survey-to-survey imputationtechniques are most frequently discussed in the literature. These are effective at estimating predictions of povertyindicators but are much less accurate with inequality indicators. To demonstrate this limited accuracy, the firstpart of the paper discusses several simulations using Moroccan Household Budget Surveys and Labor Force Surveys.The paper proposes a method for overcoming these limitations based on an algorithm that minimizes the sum of the squareddifference between a certain number of direct estimates of an index and its empirical version obtained from thepredicted values. Indeed, when comparing the estimated results with those directly estimated from the originalsample, the bias is negligible. Furthermore, the inequality indices for the years for which there are only modelestimates, rather than direct information on expenditures, seem to be consistent with Moroccan economic trends.
    Date: 2022–04–20
  26. By: Soha Farouk (IPC-IG); Lucas Sato (IPC-IG); João Pedro Dytz (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: social protection; MENA; COVID-19; Bahrain
    Date: 2022–10
  27. By: Soha Farouk (IPC-IG); Lucas Sato (IPC-IG); João Pedro Dytz (IPC-IG)
    Keywords: social protection; MENA; COVID-19; Bahrain
    Date: 2022–10
  28. By: Do,Quy-Toan; Gomez Parra,Nicolas; Rijkers,Bob
    Abstract: Does the internet enable the recruitment of transnational terrorists Using geo-referencedpopulation census data and personnel records from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant—a highly tech-savvyterrorist organization—this paper shows that internet access has facilitated the organization’s recruitment of foreignfighters from Tunisia. The positive association between internet access and Daesh recruitment is robust tocontrolling for a large set of observable and unobservable confounders as well as instrumenting internet access rateswith the incidence of lightning strikes.
    Keywords: International Terrorism & Counterterrorism,Armed Conflict,Educational Sciences,Urban Housing and Land Settlements,Urban Housing,Urban Governance and Management,Municipal Management and Reform,ICT Applications,Coastal and Marine Resources,Energy and Natural Resources
    Date: 2021–12–15
  29. By: Ansar,Saniya,Celiku,Bledi,Klapper,Leora,Mansour,Wael
    Abstract: The history of Iraq over the past decade is a stark example of increasing vertical and horizontal inequalities, preceding and following a period of violent conflict. This paper uses a cross-section of individual-level nationally representative survey data to study relationships around how adults in Iraq report confidence in national institutions, quality of life, and quality of service delivery. The findings show that positive perceptions across these categories declined during ISIS-control and have slowly picked up in recent years. Men are more likely than women in the post-ISIS period to report lower country leadership approval ratings, a weaker standard of living, and depressed job prospects. The analysis finds that self-identified Shias, Kurds, and adults living in Baghdad are significantly more likely to have a poorer quality of life, compared with Sunnis, in the post-ISIS period. Nearly all ethno-religious groups, in all periods, perceive the government to be corrupt.
    Keywords: Educational Sciences,Hydrology,Gender and Development,Oil&Gas,Health Care Services Industry
    Date: 2021–09–13
  30. By: Parry,Jacqueline Margarethe; Aymerich,Olga
    Abstract: Between 2015 and 2020, communities across Iraq signed local peace agreements (LPAs) aimed atsetting the foundations for peaceful relations between internally displaced persons (IDPs) accused of siding withISIL and their ‘home’ communities. This paper maps the characteristics of eight such LPAs and compares each withthe scholarly expectations regarding what makes a ‘good’ peace agreement. It also considers how the characteristicsof each LPA affected conditions for safe and sustainable IDP return. Overall, the study found that a failure to includeIDPs directly in LPA negotiations did not appear to compromise safe return but did potentially underminesustainability—but at the same time, indirect representation of IDPs (through tribal leadership) enabled negotiations tooccur that would otherwise be impossible; that the inclusion of women, youth and civil society contributed to thesustainability of IDP return but did not appear to influence safe return; that LPAs were an effective tool for addressingcommunity concerns around the return of IDPs but typically prioritized community concerns over IDP rights, potentiallycreating new grievances; and finally, that mechanisms to implement and monitor each LPA were important for buildingcommunity acceptance but empowered new actors and were vulnerable to co-optation.
    Keywords: Judicial System Reform,Armed Conflict,Social Cohesion,Labor Markets
    Date: 2022–01–27

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