nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2023‒04‒03
fifteen papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Cultural Participation and Extra Disability and Health Costs of Syrian Migrants in Turkey By Giovanis, Eleftherios
  2. How Firm Capacity and Forced Outage Rate Assumptions of Renewables Impact Capacity Expansion Model Results By Amro Elshurafa; Marie Petitet; Frank Felder
  4. Personal Income Taxes in the Middle East and North Africa: Prospects and Possibilities By Mario Mansour; Eric M. Zolt
  5. Regional Fuel Consumption and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Saudi Arabia: Impacts of Electricity Price Reforms By Abdulelah Darandary; Jeyhun Mikayilov; Salaheddine Soummane
  6. Cost, Footprint, and Reliability Implications of Deploying Hydrogen in Off-grid Electric Vehicle Charging Stations: A GIS-assisted Study for Riyadh, Saudi Arabia By Amro Elshurafa; Abdelrahman Muhsen; Frank Felder
  7. Marketing of SMEs in the digital age: Challenges and issues By Saida Filali; Nassima Faraj
  8. Air Pollution and Economic Sanctions in Iran By Hamid Balali; Mohammad Reza Farzanegan; Omid Zamani; Mostafa Baniasadi
  9. Development of Islamic Feminism in Iran Under the Influence of Reformist Discourse By Vahedi, Meisam; Akhtar, Iqbal
  10. Coping with Concurrent Crises in Lebanon: For an Inclusive National Social Registry to Protect the Vulnerable By Dagher, Leila; abboud, ali; sidani, ola
  11. Promising Happiness in Advertising in Light of International Standardization: Religiosity and Religious Priming Overshadow Cross-Cultural Factors By Jamel Khenfer
  12. External Financing and Firm Growth: Evidence from Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises in Iran By Iman Cheratian; Saleh Goltabar; Hassan Gholipour Fereidouni; Mohammad Reza Farzanegan
  13. Measuring Poverty in Forced Displacement Contexts By Pape, Utz; Verme, Paolo
  14. The antecedents of SSCI: Evidence from the textile and fashion industry in Jordan By Mohammad J. Aladaileh; Eva Lahuerta Otero
  15. Zeit für eine andere Iranpolitik: Wie Deutschland Weichen für einen feministischen Ansatz stellen kann By Zamirirad, Azadeh

  1. By: Giovanis, Eleftherios
    Abstract: Purpose: The effects of disability are well recognised by the social security systems worldwide. This study aims to examine the disability and health-related costs of Syrian migrants in Turkey using the standard of living (SoL) approach. Design/Methodology: The empirical analysis relies on primary data collected from 1, 067 Syrian migrants in Turkey, and we apply the ordered Probit model. The SoL is operationalized by frequency of attendance to a Turkish theatrical play or movie, inviting Turkish friends for food and attending a theatrical play or movie with Turkish friends. Findings: The findings show that health problems and disability are negatively related to the frequency of participation in socio-cultural activities. Moreover, employed, wealthier and educated Syrian migrants participate more frequently in the social and cultural activities explored. Practical Implications: The results show that the costs range between 9-38 per cent, which translates in monetary values between 3, 700-10, 700 Turkish Liras (TL) per annum or between 530-1, 530 US Dollars (USD) expressed in 2020 values. These findings highlight the significant cost and burden that disability and health problems may put in migrant households. Social Implications: Policies encouraging immigrants to participate in socio-cultural events, particularly those with disabilities and health issues, may promote their integration into the host society’s social and cultural values. Furthermore, policies improving employment opportunities, income, and educational attainment of Syrian migrants may enhance their participation in socio-cultural activities. Originality: This is the first study exploring the disability and health costs of migrants related to integration and participation in cultural activities.
    Keywords: Disability and Health Costs; Mental Health; Standard of Living Approach; Syrian Migrants; Socio-Cultural participation
    JEL: I14 I31 I32 J15 O15
    Date: 2023–02–06
  2. By: Amro Elshurafa; Marie Petitet; Frank Felder (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: The power generation sectors of many countries are undergoing a transformation through the deployment of renewable energy (RE) to address climate change issues. Saudi Arabia, for example, intends to retire liquid fuels in its power mix and develop its renewable capacity to meet its 50% renewable target by 2030 (Vision 2030 2022; Saudi & Middle East Green Initiatives 2023).
    Keywords: Battery storage, Electricity trade, Business models, Climate change
    Date: 2023–03–05
  3. By: Houria Et-Touile (UCA - Université Cadi Ayyad [Marrakech]); Fatima Arib
    Abstract: With the global health crisis related to the new coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), the thorny issue of food security has arisen with force, especially with shortages of certain products on the markets, soaring prices, and sometimes even stock-outs. The covid-19 pandemic has led to a global economic crisis that has called into question the stability ensuring global food security. So, the present paper aims to analyze and discuss the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on agriculture, food supply, and food security in Morocco. Toward this end, data provided by the Food Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been analyzed, as well as studies conducted and published on the subject. The findings indicate that the Covid 19 pandemic has ensued several negative effects, which have directly and indirectly threatened Moroccan food security. It severely affected the agricultural sector which contributes significantly to GDP, due to suspension of agricultural activities, restriction of trade in agricultural commodities, and agricultural labor. Also, It has primarily affected food imports due to the dependence on food importation and has impacted food supply chains, as the shutdown and closing of some stores severely disrupted the supply chain (transportation, storage, and distribution), resulting in food insufficiency in many far areas. Globally, food security in Morocco has demonstrated its resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic, due to the agricultural strategy put in place, the market was regularly supplied and the availability of products was ensured in all the cities of the Kingdom. Finally, based on the findings, we have suggested some recommendations that would help boost sustainable food security.
    Keywords: COVID 19 agriculture food security food prices food systems Morocco, COVID 19, agriculture, food security, food prices, food systems, Morocco
    Date: 2021–11–02
  4. By: Mario Mansour; Eric M. Zolt
    Abstract: Personal income taxes (PITs) play little or no role in the Middle East and North Africa, often yielding less than 2 percent of GDP in revenue—with the exception of few North African countries. This paper examines how PITs have evolved in recent decades, and what they might look like in the next 20 years. Top marginal tax rates on labor and business income of individuals have declined substantially, a trend that mirrors reductions in advanced and developing economies. Taxation of passive capital income has changed very little, and the revenue intake from this source remains low throughout the region (less than 1 percent of GDP on average and concentrated in oil-importing non-fragile states). Social security contributions (SSC) have increased in importance in nearly all MENA countries, and some countries have introduced additional payroll taxes. The combination of reduced marginal tax rates, light taxation of income from capital and business activities, and increase of SSC, have resulted in income tax systems that create disincentives to work and incentives for informality, and contribute little to government revenue and income redistribution. Given differences in economic and political structures, demographics, and starting points, the path to PIT/SSC reforms will vary across the region. Countries with relatively mature PIT/SSC systems, where revenue performance has improved in the past two decades, will increasingly need to balance the revenue and equity objectives against effciency objectives (in particular labor market incentives and infromality). Countries with no PITs will have to weigh whether a consumption tax/SSC system that mimic a flat tax on labor income is sufficient to diversify revenue away from oil and whether to adopt PITs to address rising income and wealth inequality. Finally, fragile states, who face more political volatility and weaker fiscal institutions, will have to focus on simplicity of tax design and collection to be able to raise revenue from PITs.
    Keywords: Personal income taxes; social security contributions; payroll taxes; fragile and conflict states; Middle East and North Africa; Gulf-Cooperation Council; SSC reform; SSC system; revenue performance; PIT objective; PIT revenue; Personal income tax; Income tax systems; Income; Income and capital gains taxes; Corporate income tax; North Africa; Middle East; East Africa; Global
    Date: 2023–02–17
  5. By: Abdulelah Darandary; Jeyhun Mikayilov; Salaheddine Soummane (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Evaluating the potential outcomes of energy price reforms is essential for policymakers to assess their effectiveness. In 2016 and 2018, the Saudi government enacted two waves of energy price reforms to curb historically fast-growing electricity demand. We quantify the effects of these measures on regional fuel consumption and carbon emissions.
    Keywords: Agent based modeling, Analytics, Appllied research, Autometrics
    Date: 2023–03–05
  6. By: Amro Elshurafa; Abdelrahman Muhsen; Frank Felder (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: We quantify the cost, footprint and reliability implications of using hydrogen in off-grid electric vehicle charging stations (CS) using an optimization model coupled with a geographical information system (GIS) analysis for the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We also account for the challenges associated with wind energy deployment as a generation technology for CS within city centers.
    Keywords: Battery Storage, Benefits of electricity trade, Business models, Consumer behavior
    Date: 2023–01–29
  7. By: Saida Filali (Université Mohamed 1 Oujda MAROC); Nassima Faraj (Université Mohamed 1 Oujda MAROC)
    Abstract: Digital marketing is revolutionizing organizational structures including businesses, especially Moroccan SMEs, offering a set of opportunities to improve the traditional way of operating while building a more authentic relationship with customers. Indeed, digital marketing brings forward important characteristics for SMEs in search of efficiency and performance, and it is considered as an interesting alternative to traditional approaches. To this end, the interest of our study is to show the main issues and challenges that the digitalization of the marketing function can have on Moroccan SMEs. In this context, the problematic we will try to answer is an original one aiming to explore the impact of the introduction of digital within the marketing function by taking the case of SMEs. To this end, we opted for a sample of 4 consultants to respond to the exploratory phase and 41 respondents for the confirmatory phase. The results have shown that digital marketing is a double-edged sword in that it can have different impacts on SME structures. With respect to the contributions of the study, we first point out the results will be beneficial for SMEs which constitute a large part of the Moroccan economic fabric, and a concise methodology based on the triangulation between the qualitative and quantitative approach. As for the limitations, we mention that the number of respondents is somewhat limited.
    Keywords: Digital marketing SME challenges issues Morocco. JEL Classification : M31 Paper type : Empirical research, Digital marketing, SME, challenges, issues, Morocco. JEL Classification : M31 Paper type : Empirical research
    Date: 2022–11–30
  8. By: Hamid Balali (Ali Sina University); Mohammad Reza Farzanegan (University of Marburg); Omid Zamani (Thuenen Institute of Market Analysis); Mostafa Baniasadi (Ali Sina University)
    Abstract: This study aims to simulate the future trends of carbon emissions under different international sanction scenarios in Iran. A System Dynamics (SD) model is developed and several variables that capture multiple levels of economic, social, and environmental concepts are taken into account. Our findings indicate that, despite Iran's sluggish economic growth, fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions will rise in the scenarios with international sanctions. Imposed sanctions on Iran exacerbate the environmental negative externalities through increasing energy intensity of economic sectors and consequently cause more CO2 emissions. Thus, based on our findings, prolonging international sanctions could be a major barrier to improving energy intensity and lowering CO2 emissions. Given the potential unintended environmental consequences of international sanctions, this study suggests that international communities, particularly sanctioning countries, should consider the environmental impacts of sanctions in their policy-making decisions in order to reduce emissions and related environmental damages.
    Keywords: Sanctions; System Dynamics; Environmental Impacts; Simulation; CO2 Emissions; Iran; JCPOA
    JEL: P18 F51 Q2
    Date: 2023
  9. By: Vahedi, Meisam; Akhtar, Iqbal
    Abstract: Islamic feminism in Iran is defined as the radical rethinking of religious and sacred texts from a feminist perspective. This research aims to show how Islamic feminism developed in Iran and discuss the philosophical and epistemological foundations of different discourses influencing that movement. This study utilizes documentary research methods. It shows that central to the development of Islamic feminism is the development of the reformist movement in Iran. Reformists believe that employing justice in Islamic laws requires a novel hermeneutic interpretation of sacred texts that account for absolute equality in men’s and women’s rights. However, traditional and neo-traditional jurists present different interpretations of the notion of justice regarding gender relations. They believe that since men and women have existential and inborn differences, they hold separate rights and duties, especially regarding their social and family roles. Accordingly, two kinds of law are needed to regulate their lives. Using reformist theories, Muslim feminists in Iran have challenged the traditional interpretation of sacred texts and called for women’s rights as equal to men’s in the Islamic constitution.
    Date: 2023–02–11
  10. By: Dagher, Leila; abboud, ali; sidani, ola
    Abstract: This brief assesses the response of the Lebanese government to the pandemic and other concurrent crises on vulnerable populations. It provides a discussion of the major challenges in mounting a wide-scale response to alleviate the social and economic repercussions of the various crises. The work highlights two main shortcomings: 1) the lack of information (data) to guide any relief or social safety net program, and 2) the limited scope of already existing programs, mainly due to budgetary constraints. We argue that putting in place a unified digital social registry that covers all residents in Lebanon is a necessity. Based on observed vulnerabilities in the past three years, we urge the government to prioritize adopting and implementing a universal national social protection strategy to better protect the disadvantaged population. Equally important is the need to ensure that the financial sustainability of these programs in the medium to long term (once Lebanon enhances its fiscal capacity) by decreasing reliance on foreign aid and shifting towards viable domestic social spending.
    Keywords: social protection; unified social registry; lebanon; poverty
    JEL: H12 H53 H55 I3
    Date: 2023
  11. By: Jamel Khenfer (Excelia Group | La Rochelle Business School)
    Abstract: Advertising campaigns that explicitly claim that the advertised product can bring about happiness in the consumer's life are often standardized across national markets. While the notion that most people—if not everyone on the planet—want to be happy and might respond favorably to calls for happiness seems intuitive, the literature offers little to no evidence to support this common managerial practice. Through two studies conducted in cultural settings as different as the United Arab Emirates and the United States, this research shows that cross-cultural factors matter less than personal and situational factors such as religiosity and religious priming, respectively. Specifically, the author found that lower (higher) religiosity levels led to worse (better) ratings for happiness-based ( vs. control) claims. Moreover, exposure to religious cues flipped the relationship between higher religiosity levels and liking for ads featuring happiness-based claims because of altered perceptions of the brand's control over the claim. This research sheds light on the interactive role of religiosity and religious priming on consumer response to standardized secular advertising.
    Keywords: Advertising, Cross-cultural, Happiness, Religiosity, Religious priming
    Date: 2023–01–18
  12. By: Iman Cheratian (Tarbiat Modares University); Saleh Goltabar (Tarbiat Modares University); Hassan Gholipour Fereidouni (Western Sydney University); Mohammad Reza Farzanegan (Marburg University)
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between access to finance and growth in sales for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Iran. Using data from 486 firms in five provinces, our findings indicate that external financing positively impacts sales growth for MSMEs. The results suggest that financing for research and development expenditures, production diversification, new employment and advertising can significantly contribute to increased sales growth. We also find that spending on intellectual property, labor training and land and building acquisition have a negative moderating effect on the relationship between finance and sales growth.
    Keywords: Finance-sale growth nexus; Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs); Iranian economy; External financing
    JEL: G21 G32 G38 O16 O53
    Date: 2023
  13. By: Pape, Utz; Verme, Paolo
    Abstract: Poverty measurement among forcibly displaced populations, including refugees and internally displaced persons, has been, for long, neglected by the economics profession and by poverty specialists working across the social sciences. This has changed since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011 and the peak of the European migration crisis in 2015. This paper reviews the evolution, current status, and future prospects of the poverty measurement literature on forcibly displaced populations; discusses the main data and measurement challenges associated with this type of population; illustrates selected empirical findings that have emerged from the recent literature; and provides an overview of the substantial effort that humanitarian and development organizations are currently undertaking to close this historical gap in poverty measurement.
    Keywords: poverty, refugees, IDPs
    JEL: I30 I32
    Date: 2023
  14. By: Mohammad J. Aladaileh; Eva Lahuerta Otero
    Keywords: Sustainable supply chain innovation, sustainable development, supply chain management, organizational capability, market influence
    JEL: M14 Q01 Q55 L67
    Date: 2023–03
  15. By: Zamirirad, Azadeh
    Abstract: Seit in Iran im September 2022 landesweite Proteste ausgebrochen sind, steht die deutsche Iranpolitik auf dem Prüfstand. Doch noch immer ist keine konkrete Weichenstellung für einen veränderten politischen Ansatz zu erkennen. Während Rückendeckung für die Protestierenden sich bislang vornehmlich auf Symbolpolitik beschränkt, fehlt eine substanzielle Debatte darüber, wie deutsche Politik die iranische Bevölkerung unterstützen und zugleich die sicherheitspolitischen Herausforderungen bewältigen kann, die von der Islamischen Republik ausgehen. Diese reichen vom Atomprogramm über die Regionalpolitik bis zur militärischen Kooperation mit Russland. Die veränderten Bedingungen im Land und die wachsende Gefährdung europäischer Sicherheit durch das iranische Atom-, Raketen- und Drohnenprogramm erfordern eine Umgestaltung der bisherigen Iranpolitik. Dies gilt umso mehr, wenn die Bundesregierung ihrem Anspruch gerecht werden will, feministische Grundsätze in ihrer Außenpolitik zu verankern.
    Keywords: Iran, Proteste, Menschenrechtsverletzungen, Sanktionen, Atomprogramm, Atomabkommen, Drohnen, Russland, Krieg gegen die Ukraine, Irans Regionalpolitik, Deutschland, feministische Außenpolitik
    Date: 2023

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