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Risk Sharing in the Middle East and North Africa: The Role of Remittances and Factor Incomes

  • Faruk Balli
  • Syed Abul Basherz
  • Rosmy Jean Louis

This paper investigates welfare gains and channels of risk sharing among 14 Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) countries, including the oil-rich Gulf region and the resource scarce economies such as Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia. The results show that, for the 1992-2009 period, the overall welfare gain across MENA countries is higher than those documented for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nations. In the Gulf region, the amount of factor income smoothing does not differ considerably when output shocks are longer-lasting than transitory; whereas the amount smoothed by savings increases remarkably when shocks are longer-lasting. By contrast, both factor income flows and international transfers respond more to permanent shocks rather than to transitory shocks in the non-oil MENA countries. The results also show that a significant portion of shocks is smoothed via remittance transfers in the economically less developed MENA countries, but not in the oil-rich Gulf and OECD countries. Finally, for the overall MENA region, a large part of the shock remains unsmoothed, suggesting that more market integration is needed to remedy the weak link of incomplete risk-sharing.

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File URL: http://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/pdf/working-papers/2012/392012.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2012-39.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2012-39
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  1. Sascha O. Becker & Mathias Hoffmann, 2003. "Intra-and International Risk-Sharing in the Short Run and the Long Run," CESifo Working Paper Series 1111, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson & Yunyong Thaicharoen, 2002. "Institutional Causes, Macroeconomic Symptoms: Volatility, Crises and Growth," NBER Working Papers 9124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David K. Backus & Patrick J. Kehoe & Finn E. Kydland, 1987. "International real business cycles," Working Papers 426, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Bugamelli, Matteo & Paterno, Francesco, 2005. "Do workers'remittances reduce the probability of current account reversals ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3766, The World Bank.
  5. Demyanyk, Yuliya & Volosovych, Vadym, 2008. "Gains from financial integration in the European Union: Evidence for new and old members," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 277-294, March.
  6. Fratzscher, Marcel & Imbs, Jean, 2007. "Risk Sharing, Finance and Institutions in International Portfolios," CEPR Discussion Papers 6496, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Asdrubali, Pierfederico & Sorensen, Bent E & Yosha, Oved, 1996. "Channels of Interstate Risk Sharing: United States 1963-1990," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(4), pages 1081-1110, November.
  8. Wincoop, Eric van, 1994. "Welfare gains from international risksharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 175-200, October.
  9. Carlos Fonseca Marinheiro, 2003. "Output Smoothing in EMU and OECD: Can We Forego Government Contribution? A Risk Sharing Approach," CESifo Working Paper Series 1051, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. David Antonio C., 2011. "How do International Financial Flows to Developing Countries Respond to Natural Disasters?," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 11(4), pages 1-38, December.
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