nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2023‒05‒29
twelve papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Geoeconomics, Structural Change and Energy Use in Iran: A SAM-Based CGE Analysis with Some Geoeconomic and Geopolitical Considerations By Khan, Haider
  2. Securitisation imperatives and the exaggeration of Iranian involvement with the Houthi movement by international actors By Walsh, Tom
  3. Ensuring Accountability in Reconstruction and Reform Efforts in Lebanon: Phase Three Field Survey Findings Report By dagher, leila; Tabsh, Ghina; Sidani, Ola; Younes, Oussama
  4. Risk management in the health sector: Case of a medical analysis laboratory in Morocco By Mohamed Omari; Mohamed Benhrimida
  6. The changing financial practises of Brazilian and Turkish firms under financial subordination, a mixed-methods analysis By Annina Kaltenbrunner; Elif Karaçimen; Joel Rabinovich
  7. Implications of Climate Change Impacts on Food Security Threats in Africa and the Middle East By Kang, Munsu
  8. An Exploration of the Importance of Employee Empowerment and Perceptions During Cluster Transformation in a Saudi Arabian Health Care Institution By Aldhaher, Hossam
  9. Social Impact & Project Performance Measurement Methods and Challenges in Practice: A Study on Women Empowerment NGOs By Fatma Koroglu
  10. Impacts of Global Climate Policies on Middle Eastern Oil Exporters: A Review of Economic Implications and Mitigation Strategies. By Salaheddine Soummane; Aisha Al-Sarihi
  11. Making sense of on-going dynamics and innovations in oases and newly irrigated areas of North African arid regions: towards more sustainable development pathways By Zakaria Kadiri; Ahmed Benmihoub; Stefano Farolfi; Faten Khamassi; Nicolas Faysse
  12. La Turquie soutient-elle le développement en Afrique de l'Ouest ? L'exemple du Nigeria, du Ghana et de la Côte d'Ivoire By Kohnert, Dirk

  1. By: Khan, Haider
    Abstract: In this paper we present a structural CGE model for analyzing the energy situation in Iran and to draw some tentative economic policy and geopolitical conclusions. An important feature of the Iranian economy is its constant intensification of energy use per unit of labor. At the same time, Iran shows only slow improvement in energy intensity i.e. the use of energy per unit of output. Our structural computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for Iran is based on 3- aggregate productive activities input-output structure- agriculture, energy and industry ---within a social accounting matrix for Iran. Four simulation exercises are conducted using this model--- industrial investment demand increase, industrial wage increase, exchange rate depreciation, and government spending increase in industry. Our results show that structural change associated with raising industrial labor productivity and employment share are likely to result in simultaneous intensification of per worker energy-use and slight reduction of energy productivity in Iran. Industrial wage increase can create cost-push inflation and output contraction through a decrease in input use and increase in imports. Exchange rate devaluation is expansionary. Furthermore, when industrial output is insulated from foreign-domestic relative price effects, devaluation too becomes contractionary and wage increase results in a slight contraction in real GDP due to the "forced saving" effect. The model illustrates some of policy challenges Iran faces in its attempt to achieve "green growth" objective with high level of employment. To implement socially beneficial, capabilities- enhancing wage-led growth, Iran has to first successfully rebalance from its export-oriented growth path, which might require the government providing better social safety net for its citizens and increase their purchasing power across the board and generate further productive capacity in the Agricultural sector rather than generate inflation by increasing just the industrial sector wage. This would require a careful crafting of guaranteed income esp. for the Agricultural sector and government programs and incentives for increasing supply and productivity by enhancing both physical infrastructure, technical change and human capabilities. Geopolitically, Iran’s current competition with Saudi Arabia and Turkey diverts valuable economic resources from development to political purposes. Satisfying legitimate security concerns rationally while reorienting the geopolitical concerns to a peaceful commercial relation to North and East of Iran including Japan will lead to much more stable and prosperous economic conditions than Iran experiences at present. However, provocations such as the June 2017 Qatar crisis provoked by Saudi Arabia and its “Islamic NATO” alliance makes geopolitical complexities more acute for Iran. Still Iran needs to avoid sanguinary conflicts and try to isolate Saudi Arabia politically. Geopolitical, 2023 moves for reconciliation via China and Russia seem to indicate a northward and eastward direction of energy and other related policies of both Iran and Saudi Arabia.
    Keywords: Energy , Geoeconomics, geopolitics, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, CGE modeling
    JEL: F4 F51 Q4
    Date: 2023–04–15
  2. By: Walsh, Tom
    Abstract: Through examination of elite-level discourse between 2014 and 2015, this paper argues that the exaggeration of Iranian involvement with the Houthis served to justify the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen. Ironically, this had the effect of benefiting Iran, as Riyadh moved their attention away from Iranian priorities in Syria, undermined their own international credibility and spent billions of dollars on this unwinnable conflict. Iran, Saudi Arabia (KSA) and some Western actors pushed the narrative that the Houthis were deeply connected with the Islamic Republic. While Iranian support was negligible during this period, Iran sought to increase Saudi insecurity through rhetorical support for the Houthis. Riyadh, keen to protect their interests in Yemen, over-exaggerated this connection to justify their airstrikes and blockades, which began with Operation Decisive Storm (ODS) on March 25, 2015. Certain Western actors, sharing similar regional geopolitical priorities, adopted this narrative. This validated their support for the Saudi-led intervention. This, in turn, has had devastating consequences for the people of Yemen. With these dynamics in mind, the paper asks three research questions: Was the Saudi-led over-exaggeration of Iranian involvement successful in securitising ODS to international audiences? Was ‘Iranian involvement’ over-exaggerated? Who ultimately benefited from this narrative?.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2023–04–07
  3. By: dagher, leila; Tabsh, Ghina; Sidani, Ola; Younes, Oussama
    Abstract: The project aims to ensure greater accountability and transparency of humanitarian aid and reconstructions efforts, particularly for those most affected by the Beirut port explosion. It will do so by better equipping local civil society and journalist networks in their roles as watchdogs, by supporting state actors to improve government reforms and manage crisis in transparency, and by equipping citizens to monitor and report corruption, particularly in areas of Beirut most affected by the explosion. Several recent reports and documentaries have questioned the transparency and accountability of international assistance related to the Port of Beirut (PoB) explosion. There are claims that millions of dollars have been misused or wasted to corruption. “Ensuring Accountability in Reconstruction and Reform Efforts in Lebanon (EARREL)” intends to fill this information gap. EARREL is led by the American University of Beirut (AUB) and the Lebanese Transparency Association (LTA) and funded by Transparency International. This report builds on an exhaustive literature review conducted by the team as well as a data collection exercise that included (1) field surveys of 900 aid beneficiaries in the PoB area, and (2) Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with 50 experts in the field.
    Keywords: transparency; international aid; port of beirut explosion; Lebanon
    JEL: F35 H12 H84
    Date: 2023
  4. By: Mohamed Omari (FSJES - Faculté des Sciences Juridiques, Economique et Sociales de Mohammedia - UH2MC - Université Hassan II [Casablanca]); Mohamed Benhrimida (ENCG - Ecole Nationale de Commerce et de Gestion - UH2MC - Université Hassan II [Casablanca])
    Abstract: Déclaration de divulgation : Les auteurs n'ont pas connaissance de quelconque financement qui pourrait affecter l'objectivité de cette étude. Conflit d'intérêts : Les auteurs ne signalent aucun conflit d'intérêts. Citer cet article OMARI, M., & BENHRIMIDA, M. (2023). Management des risques dans le secteur de la santé : Cas d'un laboratoire d'analyses médicales au Maroc.
    Keywords: Management des risques, démarche de management des risques, système de management de la qualité, laboratoire d’analyses médicales.
    Date: 2023–04–08
  5. By: Michele Imbruno (Sapienza University of Rome and GEP, Nottingham); Alessia Lo Turco (Department of Economics and Social Sciences, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM)); Daniela Maggioni (Department of Economics, Catholic University of the Sacred)
    Abstract: We inspect whether multinational supply chains bring energy efficiency gains to domestic firms active in a host country. Our theoretical model suggests that the presence of foreign firms in upstream manufacturing and energy industries expands the availability of high-quality inputs for downstream domestic firms, implying a reduction in their energy intensity. We test these theoretical predictions using data from Turkish manufacturing firms over the period 2010-2015. Our empirical analysis shows that domestic-owned firms in sectors that are more likely to buy manufacturing and energy inputs from foreign-owned suppliers tend to reduce their energy intensity, confirming environmental gains from FDI. When exploring the underlying mechanisms, we provide evidence that the presence of foreign firms in upstream sectors leads to an increase in the quality of available inputs which turns into improvements in downstream domestic firms' energy efficiency.
    Keywords: Energy Efficiency, FDI, MNEs, Turkey
    JEL: F23 D22 L20
    Date: 2023–04
  6. By: Annina Kaltenbrunner; Elif Karaçimen; Joel Rabinovich
    Abstract: This article investigates the changing financial behavior of non-financial corporations (NFCs) in emerging markets (EMs) with a particular focus on Brazil and Turkey. Studies analysing new financial operations of EM NFCs have been cursory and few in number, focusing either on aggregate balance sheet analysis or single case study countries. Additionally, these studies have paid little attention to what underlying motives are and how structural pressures facing the EM NFCs mediate financial behaviours of NFCs. This lacuna is significant as specific manifestations of NFCs changing interaction with financial markets are highly variegated and shaped by the hierarchic world economy. Undertaking a comparative analysis of financial behaviours of NFCs in Brazil and Turkey based on balance sheet analysis and semi structured interviews, this paper shows how EM firms behaviour differs from that of their developed counterpart due their subordinate integration into the world economy. It departs from explanations focusing on carry-trading in order to account for high levels of debt and liquid resources. On the contrary, this article argues that firm financial behaviour in EMs takes a dualistic and heterogenous nature manifested in the type of firm engaged with financial markets and its sectoral belonging. The paper also shows not only the crucial but also the contradictory role state play in mediating the behaviours of EMs firms.
    Keywords: financialization, subordination, firm strategy, market-based finance
    JEL: F36 G30 L20
    Date: 2023–05
    Abstract: The food security crisis in the Middle East has been exacerbated by several events, including COVID-19 and Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the greater crisis is the decline in agricultural productivity caused by climate change and the rise of protectionist trade policies. This study examined the impact of drought on regional grain prices, specifically drought, which has the greatest impact on the Middle East region of Africa among weather changes. It was predicted by the IPCC (2019) that weather changes would affect agricultural production systems and that these changes would affect international grain markets and government trade policies. This study found that prices in the African Middle East maize and rice market increased as the drought intensified and the period lengthened, as predicted. Sorghum and millet, however, are relatively inelastic to climate change, so it can be assumed that they will receive attention as climate change intensifies. This study proposes areas for cooperation such as agricultural production, supporting the vulnerable, and crop reserve with the Middle East and Africa.
    Keywords: Climate change; Food security; Africa; Middle East
    Date: 2023–03–29
  8. By: Aldhaher, Hossam
    Abstract: Background: In today's highly competitive business environment, organizations are increasingly turning to employee empowerment as a management strategy to meet the increased demand for high-quality work and compliance to gain a competitive edge. Employee empowerment refers to the process of giving employees the authority and responsibility to make decisions and take actions that affect their work and the organization as a whole. Currently; there are limited data concerning healthcare institution cluster transformation in Saudi Arabia, thus current status exploration is vital, as it is critical to guarantee that employees feel empowered to do their duties by assuring concurrent and streamlined department growth. Materials and Methods: Descriptive resulting perceptions will be identified in a two-dimensional study design based on staff empowerment E3 survey tools; one copy of the survey will be given to each employee, and they will be asked to complete it anonymously. Meanwhile, their immediate supervisor should also complete the same survey. Finally, we will have two surveys: one indicating employees' average replies and one indicating how their immediate supervisor’s average perception. Finally, analyze the disparity between how essential employees believe a particular category is and how successfully the firm, in their opinion, addresses that topic. Results: Employees and their immediate supervisors in our cohort had very disparate perspectives on the value and use of empowerment, and many predictors require urgent attention to obtain proper empowerment strategies. Conclusions: Employee empowerment is a crucial management approach that has a wide range of benefits for organizations, such as higher work satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and enhanced productivity. To create a seamless, secure, and successful employee empowerment model, prescreening to the predicating indications that influence employee empowerment is essential.
    Date: 2023–04–26
  9. By: Fatma Koroglu (Management Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, 34367, Istanbul, Turkey Author-2-Name: Assoc. Prof. Nihan Yıldırım Author-2-Workplace-Name: Management Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, 34367, Istanbul, Turkey Author-3-Name: Author-3-Workplace-Name: Author-4-Name: Author-4-Workplace-Name: Author-5-Name: Author-5-Workplace-Name: Author-6-Name: Author-6-Workplace-Name: Author-7-Name: Author-7-Workplace-Name: Author-8-Name: Author-8-Workplace-Name:)
    Abstract: "Objective – This study explores the social impact measurement (SIM) methods and the associated challenges from the perspective of women empowerment NGOs in Turkey. A literature review was conducted regarding the social impact measurement of non-profit organizations, social impact tools and frameworks, challenges of the social impact measurement, and business information systems used in social impact and project performance tools. Methodology – After that, a structured interview was designed and implemented to examine the output, outcome, and social impact measurement processes of 11 women's empowerment NGOs in Turkey. Findings – Coding of the data and thematic analysis was conducted based on that qualitative research, and extremely insightful findings were revealed. The lack of expertise, budget, human resources, and established processes are significant challenges for women empowerment NGOs in Turkey. Also, the results of this empirical study indicated the need for digital tools and platforms for social impact measurement, which may also be a cost-saving tool enabling knowledge transfer and process efficiency for SIM. Novelty –Together with that, the study provided unique findings that may contribute to the literature, which address some of the SIM challenges caused by funder organizations' budgeting policies and lack of demand for detailed SIM reports. Type of Paper: Empirical "
    Keywords: Social Impact Measurement; Women Empowerment NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship; Social Impact Evaluation; Non-profit Organizations
    JEL: Q19 Q22
    Date: 2023–03–31
  10. By: Salaheddine Soummane; Aisha Al-Sarihi (King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center)
    Abstract: Climate policies are tightening in an effort to curb carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, global oil demand may peak and gradually decline, causing oil prices to fall. A structural fall in oil prices may have serious implications for Middle Eastern oil exporters. Many studies attempt to estimate the economic implications of climate change response measures for oil exporting countries. However, they have not reached a consensus regarding the magnitude of these implications.
    Keywords: Air conditioning, Applied general model, Article 6, Blockchain
    Date: 2023–03–21
  11. By: Zakaria Kadiri (University Hassan II [Casablanca]); Ahmed Benmihoub (CREAD - Centre de recherches en économie appliquée au développement); Stefano Farolfi (UMR G-EAU - Gestion de l'Eau, Acteurs, Usages - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - AgroParisTech - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement, Cirad-ES - Département Environnements et Sociétés - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement); Faten Khamassi (Institut National Agronomique de Tunis (TUNISIE)); Nicolas Faysse (UMR G-EAU - Gestion de l'Eau, Acteurs, Usages - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - BRGM - Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) - IRD - Institut de Recherche pour le Développement - AgroParisTech - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Montpellier - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement, Cirad-ES - Département Environnements et Sociétés - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement)
    Date: 2022–12–22
  12. By: Kohnert, Dirk
    Abstract: In the 19th and 20th centuries, Turkey considered only North Africa a substantial part of the Ottoman Empire and neglected sub-Saharan Africa unless vital interests were at stake. However, the apathy of successive Turkish governments changed with the 1998 "Africa Action Plan". Since then, the Turkish state has intensified its diplomatic, political, economic and cultural interactions with sub-Saharan Africa. Turkish-African relations received a further boost when Ankara declared 2005 the "Year of Africa". Although the predominantly Muslim region of North Africa is the focus of Turkish foreign policy due to their shared history, the importance of Sub-Saharan Africa has also increased due to the growing demand for military and medical supplies. Since 2005, Ankara promoted state-building in sub-Saharan Africa, although it does not follow Western democratization policies. Turkey's growing economic, political and security involvement in Africa aims to open new markets for its manufactured goods, particularly its defence and security industries. Presenting itself as a relevant regional power without colonial ballast, Turkey sets itself apart from traditional Western players on the continent. Turkey's engagement in sub-Saharan Africa differed markedly from that of other emerging powers such as Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. While Ankara shared the disregard for Western sanctions due to BRICS members' democratic deficits, it went beyond traditional state-to-state relations and increasingly relied on cooperation with non-state actors. African partners value Turkish products and expertise. In addition, Ankara has taken a coordinated approach to working with African states and leaders, avoiding entanglements with international organizations or other alliances, as in Somalia and Kenya, but more recently in much of East, South and West Africa. This has been demonstrated using the example of the three West African countries Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast.
    Keywords: Turquie; Afrique subsaharienne; Afrique de l'Ouest; Nigeria; Ghana; Côte d'Ivoire; commerce international; migration; développement durable; démocratisation; postcolonialisme; nationalisme; BRICS; Chine; France; Grande-Bretagne; aide au développement; ONG; Études africaines;
    JEL: E26 F22 F24 F35 F52 F54 F63 I31 J46 J61 L31 N14 N17 N37 N47 O17 O35 O55 Z13
    Date: 2023–05–03

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