Analysis of Factors Affecting the Performance of Moroccan Exports

Author: Tahar Harkat, Samir Aguenaou, Jawad Abrache, and Anas Saoudi

Article history:
Received: 04 August, 2022
Accepted: 12 December, 2022

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This study uses the autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) technique and the error correction model (ECM) to investigate the long-run and short-run associations between export performance and macroeconomic variables in Morocco. These macroeconomic variables are GDP growth, real effective exchange rate (REER), consumer price index (CPI), foreign direct investments (FDI), and gross capital formation (GCF). Using data that covers the period between 1990 and 2020, empirical results support a negative long-run association between exports and REER, and a negative long-run relationship between exports and CPI. At a 10% significance level, results also support a positive long-term relationship between exports, FDI, and GCF. The results derived from the ECM model suggest that the short associations are between exports and GCF at a 5% significance level, and between exports and REER at a 10% significance level, which accounts for a positive coefficient and a negative one, respectively. The findings reveal insightful policy implications to enhance Moroccan exports through controlling REER, encouraging foreign investments, and enhancing GCF.

Exports performance, Morocco, ARDL, ECM, Macroeconomic variables

Verifying the Tunisian exchange regime stability in the post-revolution period by state-space models and high-frequency data

Author: Mohamed Bouabidi

Article history:
Received: 10 November, 2021
Accepted: 13 July, 2022

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The 2010-2019 period was marked by a steady depreciation of the Tunisian Dinar (TND) against the two major international currencies: a depreciation rate of 95% against the United States Dollar (USD) and 63% against the euro (EUR). To examine whether this depreciation is caused by a discrete manipulation of the de facto exchange regime and exchange rate or a natural result of the supply and demand fundamentals under a floating regime, this study applies the State-Space Model technique to daily data because it serves to check whether the weights are time-varying or stagnant. The results show that the steady depreciation of the TND cannot be exclusively attributed to market forces. The de facto regime is crawl-like with implicit time-varying weights that have opposite trends, except in 2017. The TND is implicitly anchored to the two major currencies and the monetary authorities intervene to modulate and moderate its fluctuation. These findings may be important to anticipate the future exchange rate trend; develop an effective hedging strategy; or examine the effect of external shocks and economic fundamentals changes on the exchange rate evolution.

Exchange Rate, de Facto Regime, State Space Model, Depreciation, Fear of Floating.

Inclusiveness in access to health services in Sub-Saharan Africa

Author: Hanna Kociemska and Romuald Cichon

Article history:
Received: 03 March 2022
Accepted: 17 December 2022

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Addressing social inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is a pressing concern because the region faces crippling socioeconomic inequalities. We consider it essential to explore the determinants of inclusion in the healthcare system, but that can be done more effectively by determining the drivers of inequality in health access. To this end, our research focused on 47 SSA countries from 2000–2019. First, we calculate the Inclusion Healthcare Index (IHI) based on socioeconomic characteristics specific to SSA countries. Then, we verify the selected determinants of the IHI, including the level of health expenditure and quality of government. Contrary to common wisdom, the results suggest that neither health expenditure levels nor the quality of government significantly affects the degree of inclusion of the healthcare system in SSA

inclusiveness, healthcare expenditure, sub-Saharan Africa, quality of government

COVID-19 and Trade in Zimbabwe: An Auto-Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) Analysis

Author: Regret Sunge

Article history:
Received: 22 Aug 2021
Accepted: 01 Dec 2022

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This study examined the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on trade in Zimbabwe for the period 03/2020 to 06/2022. The pandemic necessitated the enforcement of lockdown measures. Prudent as they are, they brought several socio-economic problems. However, during this period, trade outperformed the previous comparable period. This motivated the current study which provides a novel contribution to the impact of COVID-19 in Zimbabwe. The current study is the first to provide an econometric COVID-19 impact analysis, let alone on trade in Zimbabwe. The auto-regressive-distributed-lag (ARDL) estimation technique was used to analyze the relationship. The headline result is that the COVID-19 pandemic had an unfavorable impact on total trade and exports and a favorable impact on imports. The impact was bigger and more significant on imports than exports. This suggested expenditure switching from foreign to locally produced goods. The results provide a case for revamping the import substitution industrialization approach. Specifically, the government should support firms producing import-substituting goods. To avoid failures of previous ISI approaches, the focus should be on reducing import dependency through increasing local firms’ productivity and competitiveness through value-addition and beneficiation. Furthermore, it is time for Zimbabwe to penetrate emerging foreign markets. This can be done by export incentive schemes such as favorable export surrender requirements and (2) simpler import and export procedures. Also, the private sector needs to (1) glocalise (attracting foreign investment towards local production) and (2) enhance value addition and beneficiation to produce high-end goods that are currently exported as raw materials and/or semi-finished.

COVID-19; Trade; Exports, Imports, Lockdown; ARDL

Exchange Rate Regime Choice and Economic Growth: An Empirical Analysis on African Panel Data

Author: Anass Abouelkhair and Yasser Y. Tamsamani

Article history:
Received: 8 August, 2021
Accepted: 8 September, 2022

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The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, for a large panel of African countries, the thesis of currency neutrality is tested and the exchange rate regimes are classified according to their economic performance. Second, it seeks to identify the economies structural characteristics associated with a specific exchange rate regime that promotes economic growth. The results of the estimated models reject the currency neutrality hypothesis and highlight an outperformance of intermediate exchange rate regimes. Specifically, they show that the intermediate regimes are more conductive to economic growth in the case of countries that have experienced positive terms-of-trade shocks and benefited from FDI inflows. On the other hand, the opening of capital account seems incompatible with intermediate regimes, and external indebtedness does not promote economic growth regardless of the adopted exchange rate regime.

Exchange rate regime, Economic growth, Neutrality hypothesis, Panel data, Africa

The Role of Mobile Money Banking Service in Financial Development: Evidence from Ghana

Author: Andrew Osei Agyemang, Angelina Kissiwaa Twum, Joseph Dery Nyeadi, Joseph Owusu Amoah, and Anasford Nti Appau

Article history:
Received: 12 February, 2020
Accepted: 15 September, 2022

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Abstract (Click Here for Abstract)

Mobile money services have shown to be quite beneficial in enhancing and promoting the fundamental responsibilities of the banking sector by establishing and meeting the financial needs of the unbanked and making different financial instruments accessible. An increase in mobile money services is vital for economic success in the financial industry. Before mobile money services were introduced in Ghana, formal banking services had little access to individuals, particularly in rural communities. The study employed a quantitative research design using secondary data sources for the analysis. Monthly time series from 2012 to 2020 was used for the empirical analysis. The study utilized the Vector Error Correction Model (VECM) estimation technique to show the short-run and long-run relationship among the integrated variables. The results from the primary model for the long-run relationship revealed that the number of active mobile money account users has a positive and statistically significant relationship with the proportion of domestic credit to private sector (DCPS). Similarly, the number of active mobile money agents revealed a positive and significant relationship with DCPS. Also, a positive and significant relationship was found between the total volume of transactions and DCPS in Ghana. The findings add to existing literature and give policymakers a clue about improving mobile money services in Ghana.

Financial Development; Financial Services; Mobile Money Services; Ghana

Demographic Dividend of Ghana: The National Transfer Approach

Author: Eugenia Amporfu, Daniel Sakyi, Prince Boakye Frimpong and Olanrewaju Olaniyan

Article history:
Received: 28 June, 2019
Accepted: 26 April, 2022

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Clarifying and managing demographic changes are central to national economic planning. Yet, how to measure the demographic transition can be fiendishly difficult. This paper breaks new grounds by using the National Transfer Accounts Approach to estimate the lifecycle deficit and the first demographic dividend for Ghana in 2005. The results of the National Transfer Accounts for Ghana indicate that, lifecycle surplus runs for about 30 years and peaks around age 50. Further, there is early entry into and late exit from the labour force, probably due to significant unregulated labour market activities in Ghana, particularly in the informal economy. The results reveal that Ghana started enjoying her first demographic dividend in 1990 and is expected to peak around 2031. The paper proposes some policies geared towards strengthening the labour market which potentially would develop the human capital particularly in the productive ages to help sustain the benefits.

Ghana, National Transfer Accounts, First Demographic Dividend, Lifecycle Deficit, Economic Support Ratio

Foreign direct investment, human capital and economic growth in the Arab Maghreb countries

Author: Bouzayani Rajab, Abida Zouheir and Abidi Jameleddine

Article history:
Received: 19 November 2021
Accepted: 8 May, 2022

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In a global sphere characterized by the interdependence between capital flows, capital markets of the developing countries open up more foreign direct investment flows through host country development such as human capital development and financial system development. One of the sources of economic growth in the developing countries is the implementation of macroeconomic policies, such as the attractiveness of foreign direct investment, the development human capital, the development institutions and the improvement of the education system. Following the estimation of panel data from the Arab Maghreb countries from 1995 to 2019 through the generalized method of moments, this paper shows the positive and significant effect of foreign direct investment and human capital, and the importance of the interaction in strengthening economic growth.

FDI, Humain Capital, Economic Growth, GMM

On the nexus between sovereign ratings and financial stability: Fresh insights from Tunisia

Author: Dorsaf Azouz Ghachem, Ameni Ben Sayari and Azza BĂ©jaoui

Article history:
Received: 3 May, 2021
Accepted: 7 March, 2022

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In this paper, we attempt to analyze the causal relationship between the financial stability and sovereign rating for Tunisia. To do so, we adopt two-step methodology. We first construct a Financial Stability Index (FSI). Second, we use two models based on different control variables to examine the causal nexus between the FSI and Tunisian sovereign ratings. We construct the FSI using the 11 listed banks during the period 2007-2016. The empirical results show that there are two different phases: phase of financial stability (from 2007 to 2010) and phase of financial instability (from 2011 to 2016) with a significant fall due to indebtedness and inflation’s increase. Afterwards, we show that the financial stability significantly affects the sovereign ratings. Such analysis of the causal nexus could be interesting from a policy perspective.

Financial stability; Sovereign ratings; Index construction; Banking system; Emerging countries; Revolution

Farming households’ food demand in South West Nigeria: An application of Substitution Elasticity Demand System (SEDS)

Author: Olugbenga A. Egbetokun and Gavin C.G. Fraser

Article history:
Received: 15 March, 2021
Accepted: 21 October, 2021

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Food constitutes a key component of a number of fundamental welfare dimensions, such as food security, nutrition and health. It makes up the largest share of total household expenditure in low-income countries, accounting on average for about 50% of the households’ budgets. Most demand analysis use existing models, but this study applied a new model – SEDS to analyse food demand among farming households in South West Nigeria. A multi-stage sampling technique was employed study to select 342 respondents. Primary data was collected through the use of a structured questionnaire. Data collected include information on a number of different food groups consumed by households, socioeconomic characteristics, demographic factors and income. The analytical techniques used were descriptive analysis and the Substitution Elasticity Demand System (SEDS). The result of SEDS shows that own price elasticities were less than 1 except for root and tuber, and fats and oil. It was found that cereals, legumes, fruit and vegetables and animal protein were price inelastic, i.e. necessities, and roots and tubers and fats and oils were price elastic, i.e. luxury goods.

Food; Demand systems; Household; Elasticity and Substitution

The impact of the investment climate on foreign direct investment in Africa

Author: Parfait Bihkongnyuy Beri and Gabila Fohtung Nubong

Article history:
Received: 14 December, 2020
Accepted: 9 January, 2022

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This paper investigates the impact of investment climate on FDI in Africa using a dataset that spans 2000 to 2018. It also hypothesised that the relationship between investment climate and FDI could vary by country classification as a landlocked, least developed (LDC), natural resource-abundant or has a developed financial market system (DFM). The system's GMM and the fixed-effect model with Driscoll-Kraay standard errors results show that investment climate is critical for FDI in Africa, resource-rich countries and those with DFM. Conversely, the role of the investment climate is less significant in landlocked countries, which underscores the need to consider the possibility of heterogeneity to avoid false-positive conclusions. We also find that the moderating role of the investment climate and GDP is nontrivial in the relationship. These results suggest that the LDCs and landlocked countries need to strengthen their investment climates by adopting policies that enhance the rule of law, fight corruption and build robust institutions to attract FDI. It also shows how researchers can navigate the considerable encumbrance of dealing with several constructs of the investment climate by employing principal components analysis, which gives the optimal granularity required for further investigation. This more specific definition is critical when the intent is to make generalities about the role of the investment climate.

Investment climate; institutions; foreign direct investment; PCA.

Dynamics of current account deficits over the economic cycle of countries with an emergence horizon

Author: Marius Achi

Article history:
Received: 26 March, 2021
Accepted: 27 December, 2021

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This article highlights the different phases of a business cycle in the presence of persistent current account deficits. The relationship is facilitated by the quantile regression method. In this method the regression parameters are determined around the conditional mean in the quadratic form of the deficit dynamics. The empirical analyses are thus carried out on six (06) African countries with fixed and different emergence horizons covering the period 2005q1-2014q4. The results of the individual estimations lead to policy recommendations discussed according to whether the effects are procyclical for Côte d'Ivoire, countercyclical for Benin, Mali, Niger and Democratic Republic of São Tomé and Príncipe and both procyclical and countercyclical for the Democratic Republic of Congo for specific quantiles.

Current account deficit; Business cycle; countercyclical; procyclical; Quantile regression.

Assessing and hedging the impact of longevity risk for countries with limited data

Author: Samuel E Assabil and Francis Eyiah-Bediako

Article history:

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Almost all literature on the impact of longevity concludes that its impact is huge and can collapse any life or pension company if steps are not taken to address it. Yet, life companies in most developing countries do not account for longevity risk. This is a result of the lack of suitable mortality data needed for such valuation. In this work, we have proposed a generalized method of assessing the impact of longevity risk when mortality data is scarce and shown theoretically that our earlier proposed method is a particular case. This means that this method can be used by not just pension companies but all life companies. The method is based on our earlier proposed model which shows that there is a nearly linear relationship between annuitant’s hazard function and their mortality at higher ages (post-retirement age) which permits approximating post-retirement mortality data with the Gompertz model. The work also considers how such a risk could be managed under the assumption of limited mortality data, and shows that a range of life products whose expected return depends on the distribution of individual lifetimes could be used to hedge such a risk. Specifically, we showed how a whole life annuity product could be used to hedge such a risk.

Hedging; Longevity Risk; Interest Rate; Limited Data; Mortality.

A critical examination of the effect of size on the profitability of insurance brokerage firms in Ghana

Author: Richard Angelous Kotey, Franklin Owusu-Sekyere and Daniel Asante Amponsah

Article history:
Received: 27th June, 2020
Accepted: 31st March, 2021

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Abstract (Click Here for Abstract)

This paper takes a critical look at the effect of firm size on the profitability of Ghanaian Insurance brokerage firms. Specifically, the paper examined the effect of firm size (measured by total assets) on firm profitability (measured by ROA and ROE) from a lagged perspective (i.e. the lagged effect of size), non-linear perspective, and across quantiles, using fixed effects, random effects, robust and PCSE estimation techniques. Analysing a unique data of 64 insurance brokers from 2007 to 2015, the findings show that firm size exhibited a significant and positive short term effect on firm profitability but the relationship turned negative in the long term showing a non-linear relationship of size on profitability, with an inflection point above the mean firm size. However, the non-linear effect was evident in the 50th and above percentile of brokers but not in the lower quantiles. The lagged values of size also significantly affected firm profitability but it was not as pronounced as the short term effects. The study recommends larger Ghanaian insurance brokerage firms take a staggered and reflective approach in its growth measures. 

Profitability; Size; Non-linear effect

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