nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2023‒04‒17
five papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Towards A Green Income Support Policy: Investigating Social and Fiscal Alternatives for Turkey By Dogan, Berna; Tekgüç, Hasan; Yeldan, A. Erinç
  2. An Economic Assessment of the AfCFTA Impact on the Moroccan Economy By Allali, Sara
  3. Lebanon’s agrifood system in times of turbulence: obstacles and opportunities By Khafagy, Amr; Díaz-González, Ana María; Nano, Enrico; Soguero Escuer, Jorge; Morales Opazo, Cristian; Salibi, Amal; El Tawn, Lamia; Dikah, Wafaa
  4. Potential Impacts of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) on Selected Countries: Case of Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Mozambique, Tunisia and Uganda By Bagci, Kenan; Diallo, Abdouramane; Terai, Anise
  5. Does External Debt Drive Inflation in Sudan? Evidence from Symmetric and Asymmetric ARDL approaches By Sharaf, Mesbah Fathy; Shahen, Abdelhalem Mahmoud

  1. By: Dogan, Berna; Tekgüç, Hasan; Yeldan, A. Erinç
    Abstract: The limited success of employment-based social protection measures under the diverging patterns of post-covid recovery rekindled the interest in a social policy framework known as the Basic Income (BI) support. The goal of this study is to assess the macroeconomic feasibility of a BI policy for Turkey with a green design. We test the potential of the BI program using five alternative scenarios distinguished by coverage of the receivers and their respective fiscal costs. We then employ an applied general equilibrium model to analyze the economy-wide effects and welfare implications for Turkey in the long-run through 2030. The dynamic macro results of our modeling effort indicate that BI has the potential for a significant social welfare enhancing impact for Turkey; yet, pursuing the BI mandate without any compensating fiscal consolidation is not manageable in the medium to longer run. To achieve the warranted policy space we evaluate the macroeconomic and welfare effects of an alternative fiscal program comprising of (i) carbon tax levied on the fossil fuel producing industry, (ii) corporate income taxation policy reform that aims at expanding the revenue base and consolidation of the fiscal space of the government, and (iii) re-structuring of public consumption expenditures by introducing rationality and efficiency in the structure of fiscal expenditures. Our model solutions reveal that a green BI scenario not only achieves a higher GDP and welfare in the medium to long run, but also helps Turkey to reduce its carbon emissions in line with the global policy challenges of a green recovery.
    Keywords: Environmental Economics and Policy
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Allali, Sara
    Abstract: This article presents an assessment of the economic implementations of the ongoing African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) on the Moroccan economy. In this study a two-level economic modeling work has been performed, firstly, beginning with the computable general equilibrium model , followed by a micro-simulation analysis.The implementation of the Agreement would result in the liberalization of trade in goods in conformity with the agreed terms of the AfCFTA; a 50% reduction in actionable trade barriers in the five priority service sectors (tourism, transportation, communication, financial services, and business services), as well as in health and education services that have received special attention due to the coronavirus (COVID-19)-induced crisis and a cut of 50% in actionable NTMs. Following the implementation of the AfCFTA, Morocco's GDP and output, are all expected to increase. On the trade front, a trade distortion in favor of Africa is expected. The second part of the study is conducted through a microsimulation model to assess the effects of AfCFTA on the reduction of poverty and social inequalities in Morocco. In terms of modeling, the approach used is non-parametric (Magher, 1993), capturing changes in the distribution of income as a result of shocks related to the implementation of the Agreement. In terms of outcomes, the impact of the implementation of the AfCFTA on poverty and social inequality in Morocco will be relatively modest. In conclusion, it can be observed that the impact of the AfCFTA will be felt mainly at the macroeconomic level, and more particularly in trade. Indeed, the Agreement will contribute to the expansion of trade between Morocco and the African countries.
    Keywords: International Relations/Trade, International Relations/Trade
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Khafagy, Amr; Díaz-González, Ana María; Nano, Enrico; Soguero Escuer, Jorge; Morales Opazo, Cristian; Salibi, Amal; El Tawn, Lamia; Dikah, Wafaa
    Abstract: Lebanon currently faces one of the worst economic crises of this century. The political deadlock, the economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic have further intensified the country’s existing economic fragility. Based on preliminary estimates, it is expected that the total cultivated area (mainly temporary crops and crops under greenhouses) will decrease during the 2021–2022 agricultural season due to the expected further increase in prices of inputs and soaring fuel prices. Overall, farmers will tend to shift to low-cost and less water demanding crops to reduce their overall production costs. Farmgate prices for agricultural products are also on the rise with the increase in production costs due to further depreciation of the Lebanese Pound. Despite the increase in export costs, exports of fresh fruits and vegetables are projected to increase for a variety of products and countries. This study aims to identify Lebanon’s main economic and social challenges related to the agrifood sector and to recommend evidence-based strategies and priority areas for public investment to cope with the impacts of the financial crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and the PoB explosion. It aims to update and complement the June 2021 ASR. It should be noted that this study was prepared during the period from September 2021 to February 2022 and does not cover latest developments, such as the impact of the Ukraine war on the agricultural and food security sectors in Lebanon.
    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy
    Date: 2022–10–14
  4. By: Bagci, Kenan; Diallo, Abdouramane; Terai, Anise
    Abstract: This study investigates the potential impacts of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) on production and trade in six selected African countries, namely Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Guinea, Mozambique, Tunisia and Uganda. In order to estimate the potential long-term effects of the agreement on these countries, the study uses the computable general equilibrium model developed by the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) considering two alternative scenarios, full tariff elimination and partial liberalization. The total GDP of the six countries are expected to be affected at different rates. In terms of welfare impacts, Côte d’Ivoire is estimated to see the largest benefits from trade liberalization, followed by Egypt and Guinea. Mozambique may experience a negative welfare effect. At the sectoral level, the most significant transformation is expected in Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire after full trade liberalization. Overall, countries with a higher initial level of protection (Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) tend to see a higher benefit from being part of a regional trade agreement due to the elimination of high barriers. Countries with more liberal trade regimes and greater openness tend to experience relatively lower welfare benefits resulting from the further liberalization of trade. Gains would be higher if supplemented with additional trade reforms, where trade facilitation and capital mobility would significantly boost the gains. However, structural adjustment costs and associated social tensions may be higher in countries with greater ex-ante protectionism.
    Keywords: International Relations/Trade, Labor and Human Capital
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Sharaf, Mesbah Fathy; Shahen, Abdelhalem Mahmoud
    Abstract: Purpose: This study aims to examine the symmetric and asymmetric impact of external debt on inflation in Sudan from 1970 to 2020 within a multivariate framework by including money supply and the nominal effective exchange rate as additional inflation determinants. Design/methodology/approach: We utilize an Auto Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model to examine the symmetric impact of external debt on inflation, while the asymmetric impact is examined using a nonlinear Auto Regressive Distributed Lag (NARDL) model. The existence of a long-run relationship between inflation and external debt is tested using the bounds-testing approach to cointegration, and a vector error-correction model is estimated to determine the short parameters of equilibrium dynamics. Findings: The linear ARDL model results show that external debt has no statistically significant impact on inflation in the long run. On the contrary, the results of the NARDL model show that positive and negative external debt shocks statistically impact inflation in the long run. The estimated long-run elasticity coefficients of both the linear and nonlinear ARDL models reveal that the domestic money supply has a statistically significant positive impact on inflation. In contrast, the nominal effective exchange rate has a statistically significant negative impact on inflation. Practical implications: The reliance on symmetric analysis may not be sufficient to uncover the existence of a linkage between external debt and inflation. Proper external debt management is crucial to control inflation rates in Sudan. Originality/Value: To date, no empirical study has assessed the external debt-inflation nexus and its potential asymmetry in Sudan, and the current study aims to fill this gap in the literature.
    Keywords: External Debt, Exchange rate, Inflation, Money supply, NARDL, Sudan
    JEL: E31 E52 F34 O24
    Date: 2023

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