nep-isf New Economics Papers
on Islamic Finance
Issue of 2020‒12‒21
five papers chosen by
Mohamed Mohamed Tolba Said

  1. Islamic Republic of Mauritania; Fifth Review Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement, and Request for Augmentation of Access-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Islamic Republic of Mauritania By International Monetary Fund
  2. Theory of Consumer Behavior: An Islamic Perspective By KHAN, MUHAMMAD AKRAM
  3. Islamic Republic of Afghanistan; Request for a 42-Month Arrangement Under the Extended Credit Facility-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan By International Monetary Fund
  4. How long will it take for LDCs and SIDS to recover from the impacts of COVID-19? By Namsuk Kim
  5. North Africa's export economies and structural fragility: the limits of development through European value chains By Azmeh, Shamel; Elshennawy, Abeer

  1. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impose severe social and economic hardships in Mauritania, with a sharp contraction of output expected in 2020. The authorities have responded swiftly to the shock with measures to contain the pandemic and alleviate its fallout. They are prioritizing health spending and targeted support to the most vulnerable households and sectors in the economy. Nevertheless, conditions have weakened since the emergency disbursement under the Rapid Credit Facility in April 2020 (SDR 95.68 million, about US$130 million or 74.3 percent of quota) and wider external and fiscal financing gaps are projected.
    Keywords: Public debt;External debt;Banking;Fiscal stance;Credit;ISCR,CR,SDR,IMF's executive board,response plan,debt,authority
    Date: 2020–09–16
    Abstract: The paper supplements the theory of consumer behavior with insights from the primary sources of Islam. A consumer who maximizes utility operates within four dimensions: moderation, extravagance, waste, and niggardliness. These dimensions take different meanings in each social stratum. A complicating factor is the context of consumption which could be individual, social, or public. For each social stratum and for each context, these dimensions have different meanings. The paper suggests using the methodology of behavioral economics for defining the dimensions of consumption. It elaborates the concept of marginal propensity to consume into four propensities: marginal propensity to moderation, extravagance, waste, and niggardliness. That necessitates re-defining the law of demand, leading to four curves instead of the one usually found in the economics textbooks. The last part of the paper relates consumer behavior with material well-being and happiness and concludes that moderation leads to the highest levels of happiness as compared to other dimensions of the consumer behavior.
    Keywords: Consumer behavior; extravagance; waste; moderation; law of demand; material well-being and happiness
    JEL: E21
    Date: 2020–11–11
  3. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted a heavy economic and social toll, amplifying the challenges of the armed conflict and fragility. Activity contracted sharply, and new external and fiscal financing needs emerged since the approval of the Rapid Credit Facility disbursement. President Ghani and Mr. Abdullah resolved the contested 2019 presidential election in mid-May, and peace negotiations between the government and Taliban started in September. The authorities are seeking renewed support from the international community for Afghanistan’s development and reforms. Donors remain committed but encourage reform implementation and combatting corruption. Aid is likely to decline in the medium term underscoring the need to advance to self-reliance.
    Date: 2020–11–13
  4. By: Namsuk Kim
    Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic is entailing huge costs worldwide. To help developing countries formulate policy responses to minimize negative impacts of the COVID-19, possible size and duration of the shocks on most vulnerable countries, i.e., least developed countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and their resilience to overcome the shocks need to be assessed. This paper quantitatively examines possible paths of LDCs and SIDS recovering from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, using an autoregressive model of income growth and a panel regression model of external demand for LDCs and SIDS. Evidence from the experience of the 2007-08 global financial crisis suggests that the income growth of LDCs and SIDS had not recovered to the level of pre-crisis rates even 5 years after the crisis. This suggests a slower recovery for many LDCs and SIDS, while developed economies were able to achieve a quick recovery. The magnitude of current COVID-19 crisis relative to previous shocks is unknown, and so the regression analysis suggested that, if income in advanced economies fell by 6 per cent in 2020 and bounced back in 2021, growth of per capita income in LDCs and SIDS may need about 4 to 5 years to be able to return to the projected path under the baseline scenario without the COVID-19 crisis. The actual speed and duration of recovery in LDCs and SIDS are likely to be slower and longer, considering other factors, such as additional impacts from shocks related to commodity prices and climate change.
    Keywords: COVID-19; forecast; business cycle; least developed country; Small Island Developing States
    JEL: E17 F47 O10 O47 O57
    Date: 2020–10
  5. By: Azmeh, Shamel; Elshennawy, Abeer
    Abstract: Over recent decades, three North African economies – Tunisia, Morocco and Egypt – have been regional pioneers in adopting integration in global value chains as a path to economic development and transformation. Reflecting their geographical proximity to Europe, preferential access to the EU market, and large wage gap between them and European economies, each have emerged as important locations for labour-intensive activities in European value chains in the garments, electronics and automotive sectors. Reflecting the range of incentives offered, the coastal areas in the three economies witnessed a relatively large influx of foreign and domestic investment. As a result, the three economies experienced important economic transformation processes with an increase in their manufacturing sectors, manufacturing jobs and manufactured exports. Notwithstanding this relative success, the reliance on low-cost labour as a source of competitive advantage, in addition to these economies and their firms’ weak position in European value chains, has limited the wider economic and social benefits of this growth and also left these countries in a structurally fragile position vis-à-vis shifts in the European market. This fragility was illustrated in recent years following the global economic crisis and the European debt crisis on one hand, and the protest movements of the Arab Spring on the other. In recent years, the exhaustion of this low-cost platform model has driven a divergence in the three economies with Morocco succeeding in upgrading its position in a number of European value chains while Egypt and Tunisia have been forced to maintain competitiveness though successive currency devaluations.
    JEL: R14 J01 L81 N0
    Date: 2020–12–01

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