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  • Addressing transboundary cooperation in the Eastern Nile through the Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Insights from an E-survey and key informant interviews
    Berga, Helen; Ringler, Claudia; Bryan, Elizabeth; El Didi, Hagar; Elnasikh, Sara. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    The Nile is the lifeblood of northeastern Africa, and its roles for and interdependency with the national economies it traverses and binds together grow as it moves from source to sea. With rapid economic development—population growth, irrigation development, rural electrification, and overall economic growth—pressures on the Nile’s water resources are growing to unprecedented levels. These drivers of change have already contributed to stark changes in the hydropolitical regime, and new forms of cooperation and cross-sectoral collaboration are needed, particularly in the Eastern Nile Basin countries of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan. As direct sharing of water resources is hampered by unilateral developments, the need has increased for broader, cross-sectoral collaboration around the water, energy, and food sectors. This study is conducted to assess and understand the challenges of and opportunities for cooperation across the water-energy-food nexus nationally in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan, as well as regionally across the Eastern Nile. To gather data, the paper uses an e-survey supplemented with key informant interviews geared toward national-level water, energy, and agriculture stakeholders, chiefly government staff and researchers. Findings from the survey tools suggest that most respondents strongly agree that collaboration across the water, energy, and agriculture sectors is essential to improve resource management in the region. At the same time, there is ample scope for improvement in collaboration across the water, energy, and food sectors nationally. Ministries of water, energy, and food were identified as the key nexus actors at national levels; these would also need to be engaged in regional cross-sectoral collaboration. Respondents also identified a wide range of desirable cross-sectoral actions and investments—both national and regional—chiefly, joint planning and operation of multipurpose infrastructure; investment in enhanced irrigation efficiency; joint rehabilitation of upstream catchments to reduce sedimentation and degradation; and investment in alternative renewable energy projects, such as wind and solar energy.
  • Why can’t MENA countries trade more?: The curse of bad institutions
    Karam, Fida; Zaki, Chahir. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper explores the relationship between institutions and trade in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The literature offers a broad consensus that bad institutions hamper trade and that trade liberalization engenders institutional reforms; however, MENA has generally been neglected in this literature, even though most countries in the region suffer from a clear deficit of “good” institutions. Taking into account the inverse relationship between institutions and trade, we use a gravity model that explains bilateral trade for disaggregated goods and service sectors for 21 MENA countries over the period 1995-2014. Our results show that in the presence of excessive zero trade observations, poor institutions can be considered as fixed export costs that help explain the zero probability of trade for some countries. We find that institutions do matter for trade after controlling for the endogeneity problem between institutions and trade.
  • Linking the economics of water, energy, and food: A nexus modeling approach
    Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Breisinger, Clemens; Mondal, Md. Hossain Alam; Ringler, Claudia; Wiebelt, Manfred; Zhu, Tingju. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2017
    Abstract | Full Text
    We use an innovative methodology to model the socioeconomic linkages between water, energy, and food in the East Nile Basin. Based upon a theoretical nexus framework, the methodology is expanded into a quantifiable modeling suite that under-lies the analysis of each of three country case studies. The advantages are that, despite resource shortages being a challenge, the modeling suite aids in devising policies and strategies that formulate these sectoral interdependencies and provide the evidence-based research results necessary for their design in a way that exploits synergies existing across sectors, countries, and regions (Al-Zubari n.d.). This paper lays out the methodology and gives an example of an application and scenarios by focusing on three countries in the East Nile Basin. This methodology paper will be followed by three individual country case studies that highlight the water, energy, and food nexus for each.
  • The role of agriculture and the agro-processing industry for development in Egypt: An overview
    El-Enbaby, Hoda; Figueroa, Jose Luis; El-Didi, Hagar; Breisinger, Clemens. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    In order to complement the ongoing macroeconomic and safety net reforms in Egypt, it is important to foster additional sector-specific economic growth, especially in sectors that are good at creating jobs and reducing poverty. One sector that may help foster socioeconomic development in coming years is agriculture and related agro-processing industries. This paper shows that agriculture in Egypt continues to play a relatively important role in the economy compared to other mid-dle income countries. The sector’s stable growth performance has proved to be a reliable contributor to economy-wide output growth over the past decades. The underlying productivity gains have prevented the country’s food import depend-ency ratio from rising in spite of rapidly growing food demand.
  • An agriculture- and trade-focused social accounting matrix for Tunisia, 2012
    Thabet, Chokri. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    The purpose of this paper is to document the different steps followed to construct the Tunisian Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) for the year 2012. More precisely, it describes the estimation methods and the nature of data used in the development of the SAM, which has a specific focus on the agriculture and food sectors. The SAM also features a regional disaggregation by three agro-ecological zones. The data used in the construction process are based on two main publications of the “Institut National de la Statistique” (INS): the input-output table (I/O) (2012) and the supply-use table (2012). The I/O (2012) disaggregates the Tunisian economy into 24 sectors, including two agri-food sectors: (1) Agriculture and Fishery, and (2) Food Industries. The supply-use table accounts for about 400 commodities, of which 59 are agriculture, forestry, and fishery products and 64 are processed-food products. Other major information sources used include the household survey publication (2010), the annual report of the Central Bank (2013), the “Annuaire des Statistiques Agricoles” (Ministry of Agriculture 2013c), and the “Budget Economique” (2013).
  • Prioritizing development policy research in Egypt: An innovative approach to inform IFPRI’s Egypt Strategy Support Program
    Abdelaziz, Fatma; Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Breisinger, Clemens; Dorosh, Paul A.; Ecker, Olivier; El-Didi, Hagar; El-Enbaby, Hoda; Figueroa, Jose Luis; Kenawy, Laila; Leroy, Jef L.; Minot, Nicholas; Spielman, David J.; Trinh Tan, Jean-François; Zhang, Xiaobo. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper presents an innovative approach to prioritizing development policy research in Egypt with the specific objective of informing the research agenda of the Egypt Strategy Support Program of the International Food Policy Research Institute. The key steps in this process were: 1) a review of relevant priority setting methods and existing government strategies, 2) pre-selection of research themes, 3) selection of national and international experts, 4) design and conduct priority setting workshop; and 5) priority matrix construction and paper writing.
  • A disaggregated social accounting matrix: 2010/11 for policy analysis in Egypt
    Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Moussa, Suzane; Khalil, Amani; Hussein, Fayza; Serag, Eman; Hassan, Naglaa; Fathy, Ahmed; Samieh, Asmaa; ElSarawy, Mahmoud; Farouk, Embareka; Souliman, Saad; Abdel-Ghafour, Amani. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) is pleased to present a disaggregated version of the Egypt SAM for 2010/11. This new SAM builds on the previous SAM 2010/11 built and published by CAPMAS with the support of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The value added of this new disaggregated version of the SAM is its focus on the agricultural sector and different types of households. By disaggregating the single agricultural sector into 22 agricultural sub-sectors and the single household of the previous SAM into 20 household groups, defined by expenditure decile and rural or urban residence, the disaggregated SAM now allows for analyzing agricultural issues at the detailed crop level and to better understand the potential im-pacts of policy changes for both better off and more vulnerable households.
  • Analyzing trade integration in North African markets: A border effect approach
    Chebbi, Houssem Eddine; Abbassi, Abdessalem; Tamini, Lota D.. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper uses the border effect estimate from a gravity model to analyze the level of market trade integration among Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia from 2005-2012. We analyze total trade as well as trade in agricultural and industrial products. The border effect estimates show that crossing a national border within these North African countries induces a trade-reduction effect. The highest effect is for Algeria, with total trade being reduced by a factor of 5 in 2011-2012, while the lowest effect is for Tunisia, with the total trade being reduced by a factor of 2 in 2011-2012. Our results also show that the border effect is stable over time. The mean value masks differences that are quite substantial in market integration when considering agricultural products or industrial products, the borders effects being lower for the latter. For industrial products in 2011-2012, the highest border effect is in Tunisia, with a factor of 3.3, and the lowest border effect is for Morocco with a factor of 1.9. For agricultural products in the same period, the highest border effect is in Algeria, with a factor of 5.9, and the lowest border effect is in Egypt, with a factor of 2.9. Finally, the equivalent tariffs implied by the estimated border effects are not implausible compared to the actual range of direct protection measures. Integration of the North African market should be pursued by improving structural policies to improve trade efficiency and reap the benefits of international trade.
  • Trade performance and potential of North African countries: An application of a stochastic frontier gravity model
    Tamini, Lota D.; Chebbi, Houssem Eddine; Abbassi, Abdessalem. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2016
    Abstract | Full Text
    The objective of this paper is to analyze trade potential versus actual realized trade among North African trading partners. Following the literature on production economics, we built a stochastic frontier gravity model. The underlying assumption is that all deviations from trade potential is not due to white noise but may also be due to inefficiencies. Time-variant country-specific trade efficiency estimates are obtained and analyzed. Our results indicate that Mauritania, as a country both of destination and of origin, is where the region’s trading relationship is the least efficient. Tunisia, followed by Morocco, faces the fewest behind- and beyond-the-border effects. Our analysis of market integration and trade efficiency at the disaggregated level indicates that trade efficiency scores exhibit high variability between categories of products. Moreover, North African market integration is worst when considering the goods from “Textiles; Footwear & Headgear” category. Our estimates indicate that trade efficiency for agricultural products is relatively low, indicating the existence of significant behind- and beyond-the-border inefficiencies. Our estimates also underline the importance of improving domestic policies to encourage entrepreneurial development and business facilities.
  • Measuring women’s decisionmaking: Indicator choice and survey design experiments from cash and food transfer evaluations in Ecuador, Uganda, and Yemen
    Peterman, Amber; Schwab, Benjamin; Roy, Shalini; Hidrobo, Melissa; Gilligan, Daniel. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    Despite wide use of women’s decisionmaking indicators, both as a direct measure of intrahousehold decisionmaking and as a proxy for women’s empowerment or bargaining power, little has been done to explore what such indicators capture and how effective they measure program impacts on empowerment. We review theoretical and operational evidence from recent literature on women’s decisionmaking and analyze survey experiments undertaken in cash and food transfer programs in Ecuador, Yemen, and Uganda from 2010 to 2012. We find large variations in how women are ranked in terms of decisionmaking depending on how indicators are constructed. In addition, we find that across countries, composite decisionmaking indicators are not consistently associated with other proxy measures of women’s empowerment or household welfare, such as women’s education levels or household food consumption. We also find mixed evidence across countries related to the impact of transfer programs on women’s decisionmaking indicators. We conclude with implications of our findings for future research and use of decisionmaking indicators for program evaluation in developing countries.
  • How did wars dampen trade in the MENA region?
    Karam, Fida; Zaki, Chahir. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper investigates the effects of war on trade in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), an area at considerable risk for conflicts. Using an augmented gravity model, we introduce a war variable and distinguish between different types of conflicts. We run a battery of sensitivity analysis tests to control for the endogeneity problem that may arise in our estimation. The results show that, in general, wars have a significantly negative impact on trade (exports and imports); civil conflicts in particular hinder exports, imports, and overall trade significantly. The disaggregated version of the gravity model shows that non-state conflicts have a detrimental effect on bilateral trade flows in manufacturing; however, none of the conflicts modeled affect trade in services. Finally, the outcome of the gravity model for manufacturing has been used to compute ad-valorem equivalents (AVEs) of wars at the country level. We found that, on average, a conflict is equivalent to a tariff of 5 percent of the value of trade. More heterogeneity is observed at the sectoral level, where AVEs range from 4 to 65 percent.
  • Policy changes in times of crisis: Evidence from the Arab Spatial Policy Analyzer
    Bordignon, Jacopo; Breisinger, Clemens. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2015
    Abstract | Full Text
    The paper introduces and demonstrates different uses of the Arab Spatial Policy Analyzer (ASPA), a new online policy database for the analysis of food and nutrition security in the Middle East and North Africa region. Using the ASPA database, we assess the nature of policy activity throughout the Arab region, specifically during the 2008 global food price crisis and the 2011 social uprisings. The ASPA is a means for identifying broadly those policy areas where governments are active and can help analysts, researchers, and decisionmakers discern what policy actions governments are undertaking to bring about stability and prosperity for their people. The ASPA database draws from a variety of sources: country reports of the Economist Intelligence Unit; datasets of the World Bank Food Price Crisis Observatory, the FAO Food and Agriculture Policy Decision Analysis Tool, and FAOLEX Legal Office; and the Global Agriculture Information Network reports of the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agriculture Service. The database has several distinct features when compared to other policy monitoring tools, including a novel policy classification system and policy directions indicating either an increasing or decreasing value for determinate policy instruments—for example, an increase in food subsidies. We find that in times of crisis governments in the Middle East and North Africa region focus on “firefighting” policies that neglect both fiscal prudence and interventions with more impact, such as investments in infrastructure and targeted social protection measures.
  • Costing alternative transfer modalities
    Margolies, Amy; Hoddinott, John F.. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    Discussions regarding the merits of cash and food transfers by academics and implementers alike focus on their relative impacts. Much less is known about their relative costs. We apply activity-based costing methods to interventions situated in Ecuador, Niger, Uganda, and Yemen, finding that the per transfer cost of providing cash is always less than that of providing food. Given the budget for these interventions, an additional 44,769 people could have received assistance at no additional cost had cash been provided instead of food. This suggests a significant opportunity cost in terms of reduced coverage when higher-cost transfer modalities are used. Decisions to use cash or food transfers should consider both impacts and costs.
  • Building resilience to conflict through food security policies and programs: Evidence from four case studies
    Breisinger, Clemens; Ecker, Olivier; Maystadt, Jean-François; Trinh Tan, Jean-François; Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Bouzar, Khalida; Sma, Abdelkarim; Abdelgadir, Mohamed. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    Food insecurity at the national and household level not only is a consequence of conflict but can also cause and drive conflicts. This paper makes the case for an even higher priority for food security–related policies and programs in conflict-prone countries.
  • Agriculture for development in Iraq?: Estimating the impacts of achieving the agricultural targets of the national development plan 2013–2017 on economic growth, incomes, and gender equality
    Al-Haboby, Azhr; Breisinger, Clemens; Debowicz, Darío; El-Hakim, Abdul Hussein; Ferguson, Jenna; van Rheenen, Teunis; Telleria, Roberto. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2014
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper estimates the potential effects of achieving the agricultural goals set out in Iraq’s National Development Plan (NDP) 2013–2017 using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model. The findings suggest that raising agricultural productivity in accordance with the NDP may more than double average agricultural growth rates and add an average of 0.7 percent each year to economywide gross domestic product during the duration of the plan. As a consequence, the economy not only diversifies into agriculture, but agricultural growth also lifts growth in the food processing and service sectors.
  • Building a Social Accounting Matrix for Yemen, 2012
    Al-Riffai, Perrihan; AlHawri, Mohamed; Al-Bataly, Abdulmajeed; Breisinger, Clemens; Wiebelt, Manfred. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
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  • A Social Accounting Matrix for Iraq, 2011
    Debowicz, Dario. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2013
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  • Managing transition in Yemen
    Breisinger, Clemens; Ecker, Olivier; Al-Riffai, Perrihan; Engelke, Wilfried; Al-Bataly, Abdulmajeed. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
    Abstract | Full Text
    This paper has been produced to support the Government of Yemen and the international community in designing a transition plan for the country. The political crisis and conflict situation in Yemen has led to a sharp decline in economic output beginning in 2011—a decline from which Yemen is estimated to recover only in 2015, if favorable conditions apply. Moreover, the impact of the crisis on the poor is dramatic
  • Taxation policy and gender employment in the Middle East and North Africa Region
    Fofana, Ismaël; Corong, Erwin; Chatti, Rim; Bouazouni, Omar. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
    Abstract | Full Text
    Empirical evidence suggests that women are more vulnerable to chronic poverty and gender inequality is likely to condition the impacts of policies on the rest of the economy and consequently on poverty itself. While gender-responsive budgeting has made significant headway into economic policy, taxation has lagged behind. Because tax policy is the most economically direct way by which governments can influence individual behavior, requests have been made for gender-responsive tax policy that promote gender equality. This study applied to Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia aims to contribute to this debate by assessing the induced gender employment bias of current taxation policies in these countries. It explores the pattern of male and female employment and discusses the indirect tax distortions across sectors within each country and between countries. The possible impact of the indirect tax distortion on male and female employment is quantitatively assessed using a gender-focused computable general equilibrium model. The analysis reveals that indirect taxes, in particular import duties, are biased for female employment in Algeria and Egypt, but not in Morocco and Tunisia. Female labor–intensive industries in Algeria and Egypt are highly protected in the benchmark and are not competitive internationally so that removing protection would increase competition with cheaper import substitutes and cause the sector to contract and lay off workers. In contrast, the same female labor–intensive industries are less protected in Morocco and Tunisia. Hence, removal of indirect taxes in these countries would result in quasi-neutral effects between male and female salary and wage earnings. The taxation policies in the Middle East and North Africa region have changed over the last decade and may undergo significant changes in the coming years. In light of this unpredictability, an assessment of the tax-related relative price bias on men and women constitutes a crucial step toward providing adequate guidance to planners, policymakers, and other stakeholders.
  • Does Food Security Matter for Transition in Arab Countries?
    Maystadt, Jean-François; Trinh Tan, Jean-François; Breisinger, Clemens. Washington DC: IFPRI. 2012
    Abstract | Full Text
    Expectations are high that transition in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen will bring about more freedom, justice, and economic opportunities. However, experiences from other world regions show that countries in transition are at high risk of entering conflicts, which often come at large economic, social and political costs. In order to identify options on how conflict may be prevented in Arab transition countries, this paper assesses the key global drivers of conflicts based on a dataset from 1960 to 2010 and improved cross-country regression techniques. Results show that unlike in other studies where per capita incomes, inequality, and poor governance, among other factors, emerge as the major determinants of conflict, food security at macro- and micro-levels emerges as the main cause of conflicts in the Arab world. This “Arab exceptionalism in conflict” suggests that improving food security is not only important for improving the lives of rural and urban people; it is also likely to be the key for a peaceful transition.

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