nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2023‒06‒26
eight papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. The Dilemma between the Pursuit of Sustainability and the Cultural Heritage of Moroccan Family Businesses: A Contextualization Study By Azzeddine Allioui; Badr Habba; Taib Berrada El Azizi
  2. Brothers in arms: The value of coalitions in sanctions regimes By Sonali Chowdhry; Julian Hinz; Katrin Kamin
  3. Entrepreneurial Orientations and Growth of Moroccan Family Businesses in the Era of Crises By Azzeddine Allioui
  4. Measuring the contribution of stratification and social class at birth to inequality of opportunity By Paul Makdissi; Myra Yazbeck
  5. Social networks, collective organizing, and freedom of association: A qualitative participatory action research study with women migrant domestic workers in Lebanon By Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Adra, May
  6. Qanats By Alireza Naghavi; Mohsen Shaeyan
  7. Environmental Responsibility of the Banking Sector in UAE: Practices to Confront Climate Change Risks By Shaymaa Al-Said Salem; Dina Elkhattat
  8. Iran im Umbruch: Die Islamische Republik auf dem Weg in die Post-Khamenei-Ära By Zamirirad, Azadeh

  1. By: Azzeddine Allioui (ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco); Badr Habba (ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco); Taib Berrada El Azizi (ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco)
    Abstract: The objective of this research is to explore the relationship between the cultural specificities of governance in the Moroccan context and the sustainability of unlisted Moroccan family businesses in times of crisis. To produce our results, we opted for a qualitative approach based on semi-directive interviews with 20 CEOs of unlisted Moroccan family businesses, 6 of which are large companies, 8 are SMEs, and 6 are VSEs. Our results explain that the search for sustainability by family governance in times of crisis is dependent on three cultural specificities, explicitly: family reputation, religiosity norms, and the logic of strategic imitation. These specificities drive the governance of Moroccan family businesses in terms of internal sustainability, external sustainability, family-enterprise interactions, emotional involvement, risk aversion, and innovation in times of crisis.
    Keywords: Family governance, sustainability, culture, innovation, family reputation, business imitation
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Sonali Chowdhry; Julian Hinz; Katrin Kamin
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of coalitions on the economic costs of the 2012 Iran and 2014 Russia sanctions. By estimating and simulating a quantitative general equilibrium trade model under different coalition set-ups, we (i) dissect welfare losses for sanction-senders and target; (ii) compare prospective coalition partners and; (iii) provide bounds for the sanctions potential — the maximum welfare change attainable — when sanctions are scaled vertically, i.e. across sectors up to an embargo, or horizontally, i.e. across countries up to a global regime. To gauge the significance of simulation outcomes, we implement a Bayesian bootstrap procedure that generates confidence bands. We find that the implemented measures against Iran and Russia inflicted considerable economic harm, yielding 32 – 37% of the vertical sanctions potential. Our key finding is that coalitions lower the average welfare loss incurred from sanctions relative to unilateral implementation. They also increase the welfare loss imposed on Iran and Russia. Adding China to the coalition further amplifies the welfare loss by 79% for Iran and 22% for Russia. Finally, we quantify transfers that would equalize losses across coalition members. These hypothetical transfers can be seen as a sanctions-equivalent of NATO spending goals and provide a measure of the relative burden borne by coalition countries.
    Keywords: Sanctions, Embargoes, Alliances, Sectoral linkages
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: Azzeddine Allioui (ESCA Ecole de Management, Morocco)
    Abstract: This paper aims to propose, in an original way, a first step which is the use of the social capital theory as an integrative theory of the strategic entrepreneurship specificities of Moroccan family firms. Our study covered a sample of 14 unlisted Moroccan family businesses, 8 of which are SMEs, and 6 are large firms, through qualitative research based on semi-directive interviews with the managers of family firms. Our findings explain the background of strategic entrepreneurship orientations for each of the two categories surveyed. Large family-owned companies are oriented towards diversification and strong involvement in social entrepreneurship, benefiting from a history of entrepreneurial dynamics, succession, family size, and degree of familiarism. Meanwhile, family-owned SMEs move toward strategic refocusing based on a history of stability, social network closure, and social norms. This result is original in that it is the first to explain the relationship between social capital, entrepreneurship strategies, and the size of family firms in the Moroccan context.
    Keywords: family business, family SMEs, large family businesses, strategic orientation, entrepreneurial orientation, social capital, entrepreneurship
    Date: 2023–04
  4. By: Paul Makdissi (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada); Myra Yazbeck (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa, Canada)
    Abstract: In this paper, we propose a new analytical approach to inequality of opportunity that allows for the decomposition of the impact of initial circumstances into the impact of social class at birth and the impact of social stratification based on an identity marker in a society in which there is a dominant and a marginalized group. We derive the dominance conditions associated with this approach. These dominance conditions allow for robust rankings of distributions. We also explore two potential views on the inequality of opportunity: the pro-poor and the meritocratic perspectives. To make the identification of all robust orderings implementable using survey data, we discuss an estimation approach and statistical inference for these dominance tests. Finally, to illustrate the empirical relevance of the proposed dominance conditions, we use data from the Egyptian Labor Market Panel Surveys for 1998, 2006, 2012, and 2018 to study the changes in inequality of opportunity and the change in the contributions of social class at birth and gender stratification over this period in Egypt.
    Keywords: Inequality of opportunity, stochastic dominance, stratification.
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Abdulrahim, Sawsan; Adra, May
    Abstract: Worldwide, women migrant domestic workers (WMDWs) occupy a weak position in the global economy due to intersections of gender, race, and global economic inequalities. Lebanon hosts more than 250, 000 WMDWs who are recruited and employed through the infamous Kafala system that binds a worker to one employer. With Lebanon’s economic crisis, a large number of WMDWs are currently working as freelancers whereby giving and receiving support from other workers plays a crucial role in their adaptation and economic survival. This study is a component of an international evaluation of the Work in Freedom Project carried out by the International Labour Organization. It focuses on Lebanon and aims to assess the impact of the project on the ability of WMDWs in Lebanon to maintain viable social networks and organize collectively. Its main objective is to investigate the different ways in which WMDWs have maintained social networks and engaged in collective organizing efforts (at the individual, meso- and macro-levels), to improve their lives and to ensure non-exploitative work conditions.
    Keywords: LEBANON; WESTERN ASIA; ASIA; women; gender; domestic work; economic activities; shock; social networks; collective action; working conditions; migrant workers; Kafala system
    Date: 2023
  6. By: Alireza Naghavi (University of Bologna); Mohsen Shaeyan (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
    Abstract: Qanats – traditional Persian irrigation systems first built around 1000 B.C. – required a complex of cooperative local institutions for their construction and maintenance. We show that these institutions produced a (local) culture of cooperation in Iran that persists to the present day when qanats are no longer of economic value. We use unique geo-coded data on qanat coordinates in Iran together with information collected and digitized on cooperative enterprises and find a positive relationship between qanat locations and cooperative activities today. We build an IV using grid-level geological preconditions necessary for the construction and functioning of qanats: gently sloped terrains and intermediate clay content. The cooperation culture persists particularly close to historical trade routes and in areas with stable climatic conditions. The results hold for alternative proxies of social capital, namely the degree to which people trust their neighbours and the pervasiveness of charity-based Islamic microfinance establishments.
    Keywords: Irrigation, Cooperation, Qanat, Cooperatives, Social capital, Trade routes, Culture, Persistence
    JEL: N55 O13 O53 Q13 Q15 Z10 D70
    Date: 2023–06–14
  7. By: Shaymaa Al-Said Salem (Helwan University, Egypt); Dina Elkhattat (Ain Shams University, Egypt)
    Abstract: With the climate change challenges and risks they impose on the environment, corporate organizations' interest in environmental and sustainable development issues is no longer a strategic choice but rather an imperative. In this context, UAE paid great attention to environmental sustainability issues and reflected it in the "UAE Vision 2030." Moreover, the national banking sector in the UAE was keen to adopt environmental responsibility practices to support the state's efforts by reducing the negative risks of climate change. This qualitative study aimed to shed light on the concept of environmental responsibility, in line with appropriate theoretical approaches, such as Stakeholder Theory and the Environmental Responsibility Model, by applying a case study of Emirates NBD. The results showed that Emirates NBD's interest in applying the concept of sustainable environmental management as a strategic priority and integrating various stakeholders into environmental responsibility initiatives to rationalize energy consumption and reduce carbon emissions resulting from bank operations to face climate change challenges. In this regard, several initiatives have been implemented, in addition to the bank's partnerships with other local and international institutions. This study suggests that governments should encourage the banking sector to finance major environmental projects as part of their environmental responsibility practices.
    Keywords: Corporate Environmental Responsibility, Corporate Sustainability, Green Banks, Climate change
    Date: 2023–03
  8. By: Zamirirad, Azadeh
    Abstract: Die Islamische Republik ist in eine kritische Übergangsphase eingetreten. Während die Führung sich auf einen Wechsel an der Staatsspitze vorbereitet, stellen weite Teile der Bevölkerung das gesamte System in Frage. Ein planmäßiger Übergang, der die bestehende Ordnung nicht gefährdet, hat derzeit oberste Priorität für Revolutionsführer Ali Khamenei. Mit dem sogenannten Zweiten Schritt der Revolution hat Khamenei bereits 2019 seine persönliche Vision für die Zukunft der Islamischen Republik verkündet. Im Zentrum dieses Zukunftsmodells steht die iranische Jugend. Die Konzentration auf die Jugend erklärt sich aus dem demografischen Wandel im Land, der wachsenden Kluft zwischen Gesellschaft und Staat und der Überalterung der politischen und klerikalen Eliten. Im Kern geht es um die ideologische Überführung des Staates von der revolutionären zur postrevolutionären Generation. Der Zweite Schritt soll dabei mit Hilfe einer neuen Generation radikaler Kräfte vorangetrieben werden. Das Zukunftsmodell zielt faktisch auf die Abschaffung der noch verbliebenen republikanischen Elemente des politischen Systems. Dabei wird die innenpolitische Sphäre als Arena eines gesellschaftlichen Existenzkampfes aufgefasst, in dem Liberalisierungsansätze nicht nur abgelehnt, sondern mit allen Mitteln bekämpft werden. Die gesellschaftspolitischen Vorstellungen der Islamischen Republik sind mit den Anliegen weiter Teile der Bevölkerung unvereinbar, besonders denen der jüngeren Generation. Doch der Staat ist entschlossen, das revolutionäre Projekt mit aller Gewalt durchzusetzen. Eine erfolgreiche Umsetzung ist fraglich. Neben einem möglichen Militärputsch bildet der anhaltende gesellschaftliche Widerstand das größte Hindernis für die vom Staat gewünschte Post-Khamenei-Ära.
    Keywords: Iran, Islamische Republik, Khamenei, Übergangsphase, Zweiter Schritt der Revolution, postrevolutionäre Generation
    Date: 2023

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