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

  • Balli, Faruk
  • Basher, Syed Abul
  • Jean Louis, Rosmy

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 gains across MENA countries are 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 rather 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 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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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 40739.

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Date of creation: 18 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:40739
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  1. 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.
  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. Fratzscher, Marcel & Imbs, Jean, 2009. "Risk sharing, finance, and institutions in international portfolios," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(3), pages 428-447, December.
  5. Wincoop, Eric van, 1994. "Welfare gains from international risksharing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 175-200, October.
  6. Matteo Bugamelli & Francesco Paterno, 2006. "Do workers' remittances reduce the probability of current account reversals?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19872, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Becker, Sascha O. & Hoffmann, Mathias, 2006. "Intra- and international risk-sharing in the short run and the long run," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 777-806, April.
  8. Carlos Marinheiro, 2003. "Output Smoothing in EMU and OECD: Can We Forego Government Contribution? A risk sharing approach," GEMF Working Papers 2003-02, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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