nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2023‒05‒15
six papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The Currency Crisis in Turkey and its Implications By Oyadeyi, Olajide
  2. Water reuse policy and institutional development in MENA: case studies from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia By Tawfik, Mohamed; Nassif, Marie-Helene; Mahjoub, O.; Mahmoud, A. E. D.; Kassab, G.; Alomair, M.; Hoogesteger, J.
  3. The Labor Market Integration of Syrian Refugees in Turkey By Murat Demirci; Murat Güray Kırdar
  4. Zakat, Non-State Welfare Provision and Redistribution in Times of Crisis: Evidence from the Covid-19 Pandemic By Gallien, Max; Javed, Umair; van den Boogaard, Vanessa
  5. Cost of water reuse projects in MENA and cost recovery mechanisms By Gebrezgabher, Solomie; Kodua, T.; Mateo-Sagasta, Javier
  6. Impact of Graduating with Honors on Entry Wages of Economics Majors By Atay, Salim; Asik, Gunes A.; Tumen, Semih

  1. By: Oyadeyi, Olajide
    Abstract: The Turkish Lira is in the midst of a currency crisis, there's no other way to phrase it. USD/TRY rates have surged almost 42 percent and EUR/TRY rates have risen over 37 percent since the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) made a surprise 100-bps rate decrease at the end of September. Under Governor Sahap Kavcioglu's tenure, the CBRT has lost all appearance of independence, owing to heavy-handed pressure from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The currency crisis that has bedeviled the Turkish Lira in recent months has already taken a negative turn, and another negative shift could be on the way, with the CBRT expected to maintain its rate cuts in the near future. Turkey's short-term external debt stock has risen to $124.4 billion, a growth of +8.8% since the end of 2020, according to news released today. The rise in the USD/TRY and EUR/TRY exchange rates will only exacerbate Turkey's financial woes in the coming months. According to CBRT data, approximately 43 percent of the country's debt is denominated in US dollars, with just over 25 percent pegged in Euros. This article explains the implications of such a move by the Turkish authorities on a developing economy like Nigeria.
    Keywords: Turkish Lira, Currency Crisis, Turkey
    JEL: E31 E52 E58 F41 F45
    Date: 2021–12–22
  2. By: Tawfik, Mohamed (International Water Management Institute); Nassif, Marie-Helene (International Water Management Institute); Mahjoub, O.; Mahmoud, A. E. D.; Kassab, G.; Alomair, M.; Hoogesteger, J.
    Keywords: Water reuse; Water policies; Institutional development; Case studies; Wastewater treatment; Infrastructure; Water resources; Government; Regulations; Monitoring
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Murat Demirci (Koç University); Murat Güray Kırdar (Boğaziçi University)
    Abstract: Turkey hosts the largest population of refugees globally; however, we know little about their labor market outcomes at the national level. We use the 2018 round of the Turkey Demographic and Health Survey, which includes a representative sample of Syrian refugees in Turkey for the first time, to examine a rich set of labor market outcomes. We find that the native-refugee gap in men’s employment in Turkey (in favor of natives) is much smaller than that reported for most developed countries. Moreover, men’s employment peaks quite early (one year) after arrival and remains there, whereas women’s employment is lower to begin with and changes little over time. Once we account for demographic and educational differences, the native-refugee gap in men’s (women’s) paid employment reduces to 4.7 (4.0) percentage points (pp). These small gaps conceal the fact that refugees’ formal employment is much lower. Even after accounting for the covariates, refugee men’s formal employment rate is 58 pp lower. In addition, the native-refugee gap is the smallest in manufacturing for men and in agriculture for women, and the gap is also much smaller in wage employment than self-employment and unpaid family work for both genders. Young refugees are more likely to work than natives, whereas the gap favors natives among the prime-age working people. Moreover, the native-refugee gap in employment widens for more educated refugees. Finally, accounting for the differences in covariates, the native-refugee gap in men’s employment vanishes for Turkish-speaking refugees but persists for Arabic- and Kurdish-speaking refugees.
    JEL: F22 J21 J61 O15
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Gallien, Max; Javed, Umair; van den Boogaard, Vanessa
    Abstract: Around the world, pandemic relief efforts saw renewed attention to state social protection and its limitations. Less attention has been paid to alternative forms of welfare provision, including zakat in Muslim countries. We ask how states and citizens engage with zakat during a crisis through a case study of the Covid-19 pandemic in Pakistan, Egypt and Morocco, drawing on novel and nationally representative survey data from 5, 484 respondents. While we might expect citizens to be less motivated to pay zakat at times of personal economic hardship, we find that a large majority of the general population and of zakat contributors perceive zakat as particularly important in the Covid context, and were also more likely to make other charitable contributions. We argue that zakat may play an important role in supplementing state social protection and redistribution in times of crisis. While we find evidence for zakat’s redistributive nature, the diversity of practice and common reliance on social relations need to be considered when looking at its redistributive impact and function in times of crisis
    Keywords: Finance, Health,
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Gebrezgabher, Solomie (International Water Management Institute); Kodua, T.; Mateo-Sagasta, Javier (International Water Management Institute)
    Keywords: Water reuse; Projects; Cost recovery; Economic analysis; Cost benefit analysis; Wastewater treatment plants; Agriculture; Landscaping; Investment; Potable water; Prices; Aquifers; Groundwater recharge
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Atay, Salim (Istanbul Technical University); Asik, Gunes A. (TOBB University of Economy and Technology); Tumen, Semih (TED University)
    Abstract: Employers use various proxies to predict the future labor productivity levels of the job applicants. Success in school, especially in high-level coursework, is among the most widely used proxies to screen the entry-level candidates. We estimate the causal effect of graduating with honors – i.e., with a GPA of 3.00 and above out of 4.00 – on the starting wages of economics majors in Türkiye. Using comprehensive micro data on all economics majors between 2014-2018, matched with administrative records about their first jobs, we implement a regression discontinuity analysis to investigate whether there is any statistically significant jump in the starting wages at the honors-degree cutoff. We find that graduating with honors increases the wages of males, while there is no impact on females. We further document that the impact on males is almost entirely driven by the graduates of non-elite universities. In particular, graduating with an honors degree increases the entry wages of males from non-elite universities by about 4 percent, on average. We provide an explanation for these patterns using the theory of statistical discrimination. We discuss the potential reasons behind the heterogeneous signal value of graduating with honors between males versus females and elite versus non-elite university graduates.
    Keywords: honors degree, economics majors, entry wages, statistical discrimination, regression discontinuity
    JEL: J31 J71 I26
    Date: 2023–04

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