nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2022‒11‒21
sixteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Jobs Undone: Reshaping the Role of Governments toward Markets and Workers in the Middle East and North Africa By Islam, Asif Mohammed; Moosa, Dalal Hasan Sharif Sayed; Saliola, Federica
  2. Revisiting Labor Market Regulations in The Middle East and North Africa By Hatayama, Maho
  3. Political economy of growth regimes in Poland and Turkey By Akcay, Ümit; Jungmann, Benjamin
  4. Building Capacity to Evaluate Value Chain Development for Job Creation : A Case Study from Tunisia By Weber,Michael; Salhab,Jade
  5. Gender Inequality, Social Capital, and Economic Growth in Turkey By Barış Alpaslan; Brendan Burchell
  6. Measuring the effect of Foreign Exchange Reserves on Foreign Direct Investment in Algeria during the period 1990-2020 using the ARDL model By BOURENANE, Bouzid; REZIG, Kamel; DJORFI, Zakaria
  7. Bank profitability measurements and its determinants: an empirical study of commercial banks in Iraq By Ghafar, Safeen; Abdullah, Hariem; Haji Rasul, Van
  8. The strategy of developing the domestic tourism sector in Algeria in light of the Corona pandemic By BENCHAIB, Mohamed
  9. Duality between online and offline shopping in the age of Covid-19 What future for e-commerce in Algeria? By TEBACHE, Djamal; CHETBANI, Saida
  10. An overview on the Algerian National Innovation System in the Digital Era By Dehimat, Amina; Baroudi, Mohammed
  11. The contribution of business centers of private banks in the financing of SMEs in Algeria: Case of the wilaya of Bejaia By MOUFFOK, Nacer-Eddine; SAIDANI, Salim
  12. Crise sanitaire et crise économique : combinaison lourde pour une économie assez fragile : le cas algérien (2010/2020) By Hadjene, Omar; Bakhtache, Radia
  13. Perspectives of Armenian: Iranian economic relations within Belt and Road Initiative By Grigoryan, Karen; Arpanahi, Ali
  14. CHARLOTT' : quel choix stratégique pour cette PME dynamique ? By Marie-Laure Mourre
  15. أثر الضرائب على الاستثمار والنمو الاقتصادي في الدول العربية: دراسة تحليلية قياسية By Chiad, Faycal

  1. By: Islam, Asif Mohammed; Moosa, Dalal Hasan Sharif Sayed; Saliola, Federica
    Abstract: A decade after the first spark of the Arab Spring, large shares of healthy and capable working-age populations remain excluded from the labor force and employment altogether in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This is most evident for youth and women. The share of employment that is informal varies within the region but remains notably high. This report analyzes the task content of jobs and finds that workers in those countries in the region where data are available, including Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia, perform significantly fewer tasks that require nonroutine interpersonal and analytical skills, the jobs of the future in both the public and private sectors. The report showcases seven entrepreneurial young men and women from the Mediterranean to the Gulf who have built businesses and created jobs, especially in the digital space, despite difficult circumstances. In addition to this in-depth analysis of the region’s labor market and macroeconomic performance, the report makes three key contributions. First, the report’s conceptual framework provides an approach to explain how the region’s product market influences labor market outcomes. Second, this report offers a new glimpse into the evolution of the private sector over the years, using two rounds of the World Bank Enterprise Surveys (WBES) available for the first time for several economies in the region. Third, the report highlights the importance of understanding the policies and regulations that can hinder market contestability.
    Keywords: minimum wage; employee will re; gulf cooperation council; access to social security benefits; labor market regulation; female labor force participation; marginal product of labor; high level of employment; social security contribution rate; labor force participation rate; flexibility of labor markets; migration for employment; employer having; targeted job search assistance; cost of living; annual leave; labor regulation\
    Date: 2022–07–07
  2. By: Hatayama, Maho
    Abstract: Labor regulations are important determinants of resource allocation, productivity, and labor market outcomes. They can protect workers’ rights, enhance job security, and improve working conditions. However, overly restrictive regulations can also increase business costs, becoming barriers to creating formal employment, particularly for vulnerable workers. This paper analyzes the key characteristics of labor market regulations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and benchmarks them against international practices. The main objective is to identify strengths and weaknesses in the regulations and to inform governments about policy options to enhance employment outcomes in the region. The paper focuses on labor laws and regulations concerning hiring, working hours, minimum wage, redundancy rules and cost, unemployment insurance, labor tax and social security contributions, and legal frameworks affecting women’s work. This paper finds that the region has generally flexibly hiring rules, but that redundancy regulations are relatively rigid and costly compared to international practices. Statutory minimum wages and labor taxes are not very high, with the exception of a few countries. Although many countries have made efforts to remove legal barriers for women workers, discriminatory laws still restrict their participation in the labor market. While labor market regulations vary by country, the findings suggest areas where there is clear scope to improve the design and implementation of labor market regulations to facilitate stronger formal labor demand and to enhance efficient resource allocation; and at the same time, to strengthen compliance to provide necessary protections to workers.
    Keywords: minimum wage; employee will re; gulf cooperation council; access to social security benefits; labor market regulation; female labor force participation; marginal product of labor; high level of employment; social security contribution rate; labor force participation rate; flexibility of labor markets; migration for employment; employer having; targeted job search assistance; cost of living; annual leave; labor regulation\
    Date: 2022–01–24
  3. By: Akcay, Ümit; Jungmann, Benjamin
    Abstract: In this paper, we aim to contribute to the recently growing body of political economy literature on growth regimes. Theoretically, we apply the demand and growth regime approach developed within post-Keynesian macroeconomics. This is complemented by a critical comparative political economy perspective to analyse the socio-political underpinnings of a demand and growth regime by using the concept of dominant social blocs and their growth strategies. We posit that the concept of growth strategy is useful to uncover the intention of a dominant social bloc to consolidate or change the current demand and growth regime. Using this framework, we examine the demand and growth regimes of Poland and Turkey from 1999 to 2020. We identify a domestic demand-led regime in Poland between 1999 and 2008, which transitioned to a weakly export-led regime between 2009 and 2020. In Turkey, we identify a domestic demand-led regime before the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) that became a private debt-led regime until the taper tantrum in 2013. Since then, a development towards a more export-led regime is observable, albeit at lower and unstable growth levels. We argue that in both countries the trend toward a more export-led regime after the GFC is associated to changes in the dominant social blocs. Both of the new dominant social blocs that established themselves during the 2010s - represented by the PiS-party in Poland and the AKP in Turkey - pursue a growth strategy toward "national capitalism". Politically, these strategies have come with a democratic backlash. Economically, they aim to gain more control over key sectors such as banking and finance while developing a more competitive export sector through domestic re-industrialisation initiatives.
    Keywords: Post-Keynesian macroeconomics,comparative political economy,growth regimes,growth strategies,Poland,Turkey
    JEL: B52 E65 E66 F43 O43 P16 P52
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Weber,Michael; Salhab,Jade
    Abstract: Value Chain Development (VCD) approaches, and building country capacity to adopt them, represent important operational tools to help World Bank client countries harness private sector potential and remove job creation constraints to create more and better jobs, especially for youth, women, and other vulnerable groups. The WBG-coordinated pilot ‘Value Chain Development for Jobs in Lagging Regions, ‘Let’s Work’ Program in Tunisia’ targets pilot value chains that could provide job opportunities for poor or vulnerable groups in lagging regions. The project tests new tools to help inform VCD policies: (a) Cluster and value chain reinforcement initiatives (CRIs), and (b) Value chain and job focused surveys. A ‘VCD Training’, the central capacity building element of the of the Let’s Work program in Tunisia, aimed to build public administration capacity to analyze value chains and support private sector development, job creation, and competitiveness, with a focus on lagging regions. The World Bank designed and delivered the VCD Training in Tunis from April 5, 2016 to November 14, 2016. The eight VCs used for training purposes in the program all link to key WBG financed operations in Tunisia. Two of these value chains, olive oil and medicinal and aromatic plants, were also subjects of subsequent jobs surveys. The VCD Training built strong capacity for VCD analysis in Tunisia. The training helped establish an inter-ministerial ‘Taskforce’ and VCD ‘Platform.’ Overall, 27 civil servants received training, among whom 11 were evaluated as ‘ready to conduct value chain analysis and development work’ by the end of the training program; six of these worked as core members of the Government VCD Taskforce. The VCD capacity development has informed ongoing WBG-financed operations in Tunisia and has been used to train subsequent generations of recruits since the end of the project. All VCs analyzed show high potential for growth, which could lead to more and better jobs in the olive oil, the medicinal and aromatic plants, and tomato sectors.
    Keywords: value chain; value-added markets; lagging region; value chain analysis
    Date: 2021–06–01
  5. By: Barış Alpaslan; Brendan Burchell
    Abstract: Although sociologists have already recognised the gender aspect of social capital, to date it has not yet been systematically investigated in an endogenous growth model. In pursuing this objective theoretically, we draw on Agénor and Canuto (2015) that has offered a three-period (childhood, adulthood, and old age) gender-based Overlapping Generations (OLG) framework, but we explore a different mechanism through which social capital may explain gender equality and prospects for economic growth in Turkey. This paper contributes in several ways to understanding the pivotal role of social capital in the process of economic development. First, social capital gives individuals a great sense of community and feelings of pleasure, and therefore we consider social capital as a possible driving factor of labour productivity. Second, in our model setting, survival rate for adults is determined by the average social capital level of men and women because individuals who are less socially integrated are more likely to have high mortality rates than people with strong ties to their community. Third, we elucidate an important, but understudied, trade-off between time allocated by women to market work and social capital-enhancing activities, and show that these two components of time allocation have opposite effects on intra-household bargaining power.
    Keywords: social capital, three-period gender-based OLG model, Turkey
    JEL: J16 O41
    Date: 2022–09
  6. By: BOURENANE, Bouzid; REZIG, Kamel; DJORFI, Zakaria
    Abstract: This paper aims to examine the impact of foreign exchange reserves on foreign direct investment in Algeria during the period 1990-2020 by applying the Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag model (ARDL). The model showed that the current variables are co-integrated. Also, the results indicate that foreign exchange reserves have a positive impact on foreign direct investment in the long term only, at a rate of 44%.
    Keywords: Foreign exchange reserves, foreign direct investment, ARDL Model, Algeria
    JEL: C51 F21 F31 O55
    Date: 2022–06–04
  7. By: Ghafar, Safeen; Abdullah, Hariem; Haji Rasul, Van
    Abstract: The current study is an empirical attempt to measure the profitability of commercial banks in developing countries. It deals with aspects of understanding the impact of a number of firm-specific factors such as liquidity, debt leverage, retained earnings, bank size, growth rate and age of the bank on the profitability of commercial banks in Iraq for the period between 2009 and 2018. The sample study includes a number of commercial banks listed on the Iraq Stock Exchange. Data were collected from banks for the above period and analysed by using the multiple linear regression model and Brinson correlation coefficient using EVIEWS program. The results of the empirical analysis show that liquidity ratio, leverage ratio, retained earnings ratio, bank size and growth rate have a positive impact on the profitability of Iraqi commercial banks, with a negative impact from the age of the bank. The study recommends the necessity of conducting more in-depth studies in the field of profitability determinants, to include other non-financial sectors that have a distinctive position in the economic sectors in the Iraq Stock Exchange, to find out the extent of the variation in the determinants of profitability in the different sectors.
    Keywords: profitability measurement, profitability determinants, commercial banks, internal factors, Iraq.
    JEL: G21 G32 L25
    Date: 2021
  8. By: BENCHAIB, Mohamed
    Abstract: Domestic (internal) tourism is currently considered as an important strategic option, as it is one of the most important sectors contributing to achieving economic and social development goals, as Algeria has natural, cultural, and heritage tourism potentials that make it a tourist destination and a tourist attraction by excellence, and we have relied in our research on the descriptive approach in an attempt to know the strategy followed by the government in order to advance this sector in light of the significant decline left by the Corona Covid-19 pandemic, the results showed that appropriate strategies must be followed that target the internal tourism markets in order to attract more tourists by providing various services and entertainment at the same time, at competitive prices with diversification of promotional activities and marketing through social networking sites, in addition to attention to monitoring, evaluation and follow-up of tourist destinations and attention to their cleanliness.
    Keywords: tourism, domestictourism, Algeria, development, element of tourist attractions.
    JEL: M31 N1 O1 Q1
    Date: 2022–06–04
  9. By: TEBACHE, Djamal; CHETBANI, Saida
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to explain this major turning point in world trade, particularly in a context of the Covid-19 health crisis and confinement. In this study, we rely on the theory of uncertainty to justify consumer choices, and we look at the situation of e-commerce in Algeria. The obtained results predict a more intensive digital revolution, which requires an adaptation to this possible trend, especially for developing countries that are lagging far behind in popularizing the use of ICTs.
    Keywords: Digitalization, ICTs, Covid-19, e-commerce, Algeria.
    JEL: C5 D1 M1 O3
    Date: 2022–06–04
  10. By: Dehimat, Amina; Baroudi, Mohammed
    Abstract: The Algerian National Innovation System (NIS) is being discussed, its structure, key actors, role and the main challenges it is experiencing before and in the context of digital transformation. We intend to reveal the major characteristics of Algeria’s NIS, as well as the impact of digital technologies on its performance, in order to highlight the challenges confronting it and the efforts required to overcome them. The Algerian NIS remains in its early stages and will need additional efforts from all its actors.
    Keywords: I25, M15,O14,O31,O32,O33.
    JEL: M15
    Date: 2022–06–04
  11. By: MOUFFOK, Nacer-Eddine; SAIDANI, Salim
    Abstract: The objective of this article is to examine the contribution of the Business Centers of Private Banks in the financing of SMEs in the wilaya of Bejaia, through a qualitative and quantitative exploratory study based on a field survey. The results show that banking regulations towards SMEs can be described as rigid and that the financing constraint lies in bureaucratic practices, the slowness of administrative procedures, as well as the high level of guarantees required.
    Keywords: Banks, bejaia, business center, credit, SMEs.
    JEL: G31 G32
    Date: 2022–06–04
  12. By: Hadjene, Omar; Bakhtache, Radia
    Abstract: Like the countries of the world hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, Algeria has seen its economic and social situation deteriorate, by being already weakened by the collapse of the oil rent, the engine of internal growth, in particular since 2014. This article wonders about the effects of this combination of crisis (economic and health), which is considered severe, on Algeria. With this in mind, an examination of the economic situation before and during the health crisis was adopted in order to support the avenues of reflection for adéquate public policies. These will have, from our point of view, two main axes as a priority. The economic and social smoothing of its simultaneous analyzed effects, with the aim of preserving the social character of the State which is at the heart of Algerian society, and secondly the internal recovery which will guarantee the resilience and sustainability of our economy, this revival remains conditioned, even if the pandemic situation ends, by the structural economic reform which will ensure the transition towards a more diversified economy, this one is urgently needed.
    Keywords: covid-19, crise économique, croissance, carré magique, hydrocarbures
    JEL: E31 E61
    Date: 2022–06–04
  13. By: Grigoryan, Karen; Arpanahi, Ali
    Abstract: Armenia-Iran North South Transport corridor is vital for Iran and Armenia and also for all parties involved. Recently, India increased its interest in Armenia and would like to see the INSTC passing through the Armenian territories, keeping in mind that Armenia is also the only country in the EAEU that has a land border with Iran. Taking into account Iran's desire to become a full member of the EAEU in the future, as well as India's interest in the EAEU structure and possible future membership, Armenia's chances of joining regional trade projects would be high. North South Transport Corridor route via India, Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Russia. This route is 30% cheaper and 40% shorter than the current traditional route. A country with a small domestic market like Armenia, of course, needs to expand its economic and trade ties with other countries in the world. The "One Belt, One Road" initiative can provide such an opportunity. An opportunity will also be created for the development of the Armenian transport infrastructure. Armenia aimed to construct the "North-South" transport road, 550-km long, to facilitate communication with Iran and Georgia and beyond.
    Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative,Armenia,Iran,China,India,trade,transport infrastructure,Silk RoadRoute
    Date: 2022
  14. By: Marie-Laure Mourre (IRG - Institut de Recherche en Gestion - UPEM - Université Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée - UPEC UP12 - Université Paris-Est Créteil Val-de-Marne - Paris 12)
    Abstract: Le parcours de Christelle Christelle commençait à avoir mal aux pieds dans ses sandales dorées à talon mais le plaisir de tournoyer sur la piste dans une ambiance survoltée compensait largement ce petit désagrément. Quelques instants plus tard, elle retrouvait Frank, son compagnon, pour boire un rafraichissement. Celui-ci était en grande conversation avec Sébastien, lui aussi un « mari », qui profitait de ce séjour tout payé au Maroc grâce au travail de sa femme. Les deux hommes n'en revenaient pas du chemin parcouru par leurs compagnes : il y a 2 ans, Christelle n'avait pas d'emploi et aucune perspective d'en avoir, le moral était au plus bas et la vie de famille s'en ressentait. Sébastien, lui aussi, se souvenait d'« avant » quand les fins de mois finissaient dans le rouge avec ce sentiment d'échec et d'impuissance qui le rongeait, lui et Cindy, en permanence. Aujourd'hui, ils étaient fiers et heureux de voir leurs femmes en robe du soir célébrer leur succès avec leurs collègues dans un cadre si prestigieux.
    Date: 2022–05
  15. By: Chiad, Faycal
    Abstract: The current study examines the impact of taxes on economic growth in Arab countries from 2010 to 2018. The study conducted several preliminary tests including descriptive statistics, first- and second-generation stationarity tests and co-integration. The pooled mean group and mean group model test were used based on Panel ARDL model. The results indicated that taxes are negatively related to economic growth in the study sample. Therefore, weak tax levels are more favorable for economic growth as supported by the economic impact of Ibn Khaldun's theory of taxation, which recognizes the positive impact of a low tax rate on labor, output and economic performance. Using the estimation of the generalized moments method, it was found that there is an adverse effect of indirect taxes on the total capital formation.
    Keywords: taxes, economic growth, investment, Arab countries.
    JEL: F00 F4 O1
    Date: 2022–08
  16. By: Summar Iqbal Babar (QAU - Quaid-i-Azam University); Muhammad Nadeem Mirza (School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i Azam University); Irfan Hasnain Qaisrani (Bahria University)
    Abstract: Purpose of the study: The Iranian Nuclear ambition is an issue that tends to disturb the strategic balance and therefore the peace in the world's most important geopolitical and geostrategic region; the Middle East.This study intends to explore the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the agreement signed to reign the Iranian nuclear ambitions. Methodology: This is exploratory qualitative research. It utilises the embedded case study method in which the said phenomenon is explored at different levels of analysis. Main Findings: Though there existed different types of perceptions vis-à-vis JCPOA, commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal, yet the withdrawal of the US from it under the Trump administration gave Iran a rationale to further pursue its nuclear ambitions. So, the US withdrawal from the deal has enhanced the threat perceptions for global and regional security. Applications of this study: The study targets the students, scholars, and policy practitioners of Middle Eastern studies. Novelty/Originality of this study: The novelty is the use of an embedded case study method to explore the impact of the JCPOA and US withdrawal from it, at different levels of analysis.
    Abstract: Objet de l'étude : L'ambition nucléaire iranienne est une question qui tend à perturber l'équilibre stratégique et donc la paix dans la région géopolitique et géostratégique la plus importante du monde ; au Moyen-Orient. Cette étude entend explorer le Plan d'action global conjoint (JCPOA), l'accord signé pour réprimer les ambitions nucléaires iraniennes. Méthodologie : Il s'agit d'une recherche qualitative exploratoire. Il utilise la méthode d'étude de cas intégrée dans laquelle ledit phénomène est exploré à différents niveaux d'analyse. Principales conclusions : Bien qu'il existait différents types de perceptions vis-à-vis du JCPOA, communément appelé l'accord sur le nucléaire iranien, le retrait des États-Unis sous l'administration Trump a donné à l'Iran une justification pour poursuivre ses ambitions nucléaires. Ainsi, le retrait des États-Unis de l'accord a renforcé la perception des menaces pour la sécurité mondiale et régionale. Applications de cette étude : L'étude cible les étudiants, les universitaires et les praticiens des politiques d'études moyen-orientales. Nouveauté/originalité de cette étude : la nouveauté est l'utilisation d'une méthode d'étude de cas intégrée pour explorer l'impact du JCPOA et du retrait des États-Unis, à différents niveaux d'analyse.
    Keywords: Global Security,9/11,Arab Spring,Iranian Nuclear Ambitions,JCPOA,P5+1,Case study,Nuclear security,Arms control,Disarmement,Iranian Studies,Europe -- Relations,Trump Donald
    Date: 2021–03–05

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