nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2023‒11‒20
four papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi, Université d’Ottawa

  1. Exports to Improve Women's Economic Opportunities in Morocco By Roche Rodriguez, Jaime Alfonso; Robertson, Raymond; Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys; Zárate, Daniela Ruiz
  2. Long-run stability of money demand and monetary policy: The case of Algeria By Raouf Boucekkine; Mohammed Laksaci; Mohamed Touati-Tliba
  3. Unlocking the power of partnership to address Yemen’s food crisis and strengthen food system resilience By Ecker, Olivier; ElAzzouzi, Adra; Kurdi, Sikandra; Qasem, Adeeb
  4. The Mediating Effect of Blockchain Technology on the Cryptocurrency Purchase Intention By \.Ibrahim Halil Efend\.io\u{g}lu; G\"okhan Akel; Bekir De\u{g}\.irmenc\.i; Dilek Aydo\u{g}du; Kamile Elmaso\u{g}lu; Hande Beg\"um Bum\.in Doyduk; Arzu \c{S}eker; Hatice Bah\c{c}e

  1. By: Roche Rodriguez, Jaime Alfonso (World Bank); Robertson, Raymond (Texas A&M University); Lopez-Acevedo, Gladys (World Bank); Zárate, Daniela Ruiz (Bank of Mexico)
    Abstract: Morocco's trade liberalization policies coincided with macroeconomic growth over the past two decades. The relationship between trade liberalization and individual-level labor-market outcomes, however, are not well understood. By combining three complementary approaches and modeling techniques, this paper estimates: (i) the relationship between trade agreements and trade flows, (ii) the relationship between trade exposure and various local labor market outcomes, and (iii) the relationship between firm employment and exports. Our results show that tariffs have fallen and trade, as a share of GDP has increased. Morocco's trade agreements, however, are not always associated with higher trade flows. Furthermore, trade has led to mixed results for workers. Increased trade has decreased informality but may have adversely affected female labor force participation (FLFP). Trade liberalization seems to have induced a shift from female labor-intensive industries, such as apparel, to capital-intensive sectors that are predominantly male-intensive. Our firm level analysis confirms these results by showing that increasing in employment from exports has occurred mainly in male, capital-intensive sectors. Labor-abundant countries might want to provide incentives to labor-intensive industries rather than only supporting capital-intensive ones - especially in industries where women typically perform the labor-intensive jobs. It is important to note that we focus mainly on the labor demand side. Policies related to the supply side should also be weighed to create incentives for females to join the labor force, such as policies addressing social norms, regulation, and barriers to job mobility.
    Keywords: gender, trade policy, trade flows, labor market outcomes, firm dynamics
    JEL: F13 F14 F15 F16 J23 J31 O15 O19
    Date: 2023–10
  2. By: Raouf Boucekkine (AMSE - Aix-Marseille Sciences Economiques - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - ECM - École Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, ESC Rennes School of Business - ESC [Rennes] - ESC Rennes School of Business); Mohammed Laksaci (Ecole Supérieure de Banque); Mohamed Touati-Tliba (ESC - Ecole Supérieure de Commerce d'Alger)
    Abstract: Since the start of the oil counter-shock in June 2014, Algeria has experienced unprecedented twin deficits. The excessive monetisation of the public deficit coupled with other deep anomalies in the economy of this country acutely calls for reconsideration of its monetary policy. To this end a prior study of the long-run stability of money demand is needed. We estimate the demand for money for monetary aggregates M1 and M2, and cash in Algeria over the period 1979–2019, and study its long-run stability. We show that the transaction motive is significant for all three aggregates, especially for the demand for cash, reflecting the weight of informal economy "practices". The elasticity of the scale variable is very close to unity for M2 and M1, and even equal to unity for cash demand (1.006). The elasticity of inflation is also significant for all three aggregates, although its level is higher in the case of cash demand (−6.474). Despite the persistence of certain financial repression mechanisms, interest rate elasticity is significant for all three aggregates, but higher for M1 and cash. The same observation is made for elasticity of the exchange rate, reflecting the effect of monetary substitution, especially for M1 and cash. Finally, our study concludes that the demand for money in terms of M1 remains stable, the same observation being confirmed for the M2 aggregate. However, the demand for fiat currency proves not to be stable. The consequences for the optimal design of monetary policy in Algeria are clearly stated.
    Keywords: Monetary policy, Money demand, Long-run stability, Resource-rich countries, Algeria, Co-integration
    Date: 2021–11
  3. By: Ecker, Olivier; ElAzzouzi, Adra; Kurdi, Sikandra; Qasem, Adeeb
    Abstract: Key Messages • Yemen is experiencing one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises resulting from prolonged conflict, with about half the population suffering from food insecurity. • Food availability and affordability in Yemen is extremely vulnerable to external shocks because of the fragility of the national food system and its heavy dependence on food imports by the private sector and international humanitarian agencies. • A recent workshop jointly organized by IFPRI and HSA Group reviewed the state of collaboration between key actors in Yemen’s food system and discussed avenues to building strong cross-sector partnerships for ending the current food crisis and strengthening food system resilience. • Limited collaboration among the public, private, and third sectors (for example, in the form of collective action, multistakeholder partnerships) contributes to inefficiencies in food supply chains and food aid delivery. • Currently, collaborations are often ad hoc, limited to peer-to-peer partnerships, and constrained by a siloed mentality. • With a potential peace agreement, new opportunities for cross sector collaboration and strategic partnerships between food system actors are emerging. • Enhanced communication among the public, private, and third sectors is an important first step toward improving mutual understanding, building trust, exchanging critical information and ideas, and realizing opportunities for effective collective action.
    Keywords: YEMEN; ARAB COUNTRIES; MIDDLE EAST; SOUTHWESTERN ASIA; ASIA; food security; shock; conflicts; food systems; imports; resilience; humanitarian organizations; collective action
    Date: 2023
  4. By: \.Ibrahim Halil Efend\.io\u{g}lu; G\"okhan Akel; Bekir De\u{g}\.irmenc\.i; Dilek Aydo\u{g}du; Kamile Elmaso\u{g}lu; Hande Beg\"um Bum\.in Doyduk; Arzu \c{S}eker; Hatice Bah\c{c}e
    Abstract: Cryptocurrencies, enabling secure digital asset transfers without a central authority, are experiencing increasing interest. With the increasing number of global and Turkish investors, it is evident that interest in digital assets will continue to rise sustainably, even in the face of financial fluctuations. However, it remains uncertain whether consumers perceive blockchain technology's ease of use and usefulness when purchasing cryptocurrencies. This study aims to explain blockchain technology's perceived ease of use and usefulness in cryptocurrency purchases by considering factors such as quality customer service, reduced costs, efficiency, and reliability. To achieve this goal, data were obtained from 463 participants interested in cryptocurrencies in different regions of Turkey. The data were analyzed using SPSS Process Macro programs. The analysis results indicate that perceived ease of use and usefulness mediate the effects of customer service and reduced costs, efficiency, and security on purchase intention.
    Date: 2023–09

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