FEMISE Network: Euro-Mediterranean Forum of Economic Institutes
2007 - Assessing the Macro Economic Effects of the Barcelona Initiative's Liberalization Process
In this project, we attempted to determine the macroeconomic effects of the liberalization of several Middle-Eastern economies as part of the Barcelona Process (beginning in 1995). The states included in the analysis were Algeria, Tunisia, Jordan, Syria and Egypt, Israel and Turkey.
The effects were estimated by analyzing a range of macroeconomic indicators before and after the Barcelona Process. The regression results were compared to the ex-ante results of CGE modeling simulations conducted by many researchers in an attempt to forecast the implications of the process. This allowed us to estimate the effectiveness of CGE modeling as a policy instrument.
2009 - Income Inequality and Poverty after Trade Liberalization in MENA Countries
Following the Barcelona Initiative to spur up stagnant growth in Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries, our current research project would provide in depth analysis of cross-country data in order to determine the relationships between trade liberalization and income inequality in the MENA countries.
In the presence of well functioning distributive policies (taxes, subsidies and transfers), it is easier to explain how the actual overall welfare gains are redistributed. When such mechanisms are underdeveloped or absent, like in most of the states the research is addressing, it is challenging to assess how trade liberalization’s gains will affect poor households in the countries under consideration.
There are four methods to study the interaction between growth, trade and poverty:
- Cross-country regression;
- Partial-Equilibrium/Cost-of-living Analysis;
- General Equilibrium Simulation;
- Micro-Macro Synthesis.
Deriving on the paper by Dollar and Kraay (2001) of about 100 countries, we apply a cross-country analysis on MENA countries, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia and Israel as a special case.
Additionally, in order to address the question whether variations in trade explain variations in inequality, the incomes of the poorest population (in a log per- capita form) are to be regressed on the log of GDP, and other characteristics, which determine the mean income of the bottom 20%; the rest are the unobserved country effects.
The sources of our data are mostly the World Bank, the IMF, and IFS.