Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper analyzes spillovers from macroeconomic shocks in systemic economies (China, the Euro Area, and the United States) to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as outward spillovers from a GDP shock in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and MENA oil exporters to the rest of the world. This analysis is based on a Global Vector Autoregression (GVAR) model, estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Spillovers are transmitted across economies via trade, financial, and commodity price linkages. The results show that the MENA countries are more sensitive to developments in China than to shocks in the Euro Area or the United States, in line with the direction of evolving trade patterns and the emergence of China as a key driver of the global economy. Outward spillovers from the GCC region and MENA oil exporters are likely to be stronger in their immediate geographical proximity, but also have global implications.
The estimated spillover of the global crisis to emerging market (EM) economies in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) indicates that nearly two-thirds of the increased financial stress in MENA EM countries after the Lehman shock is attributable to direct or indirect spillovers of financial stress in advanced economies. Moreover, the estimated models suggest that the increased financial stress and slowdown in economic activity in advanced economies can explain about half of the drop in real GDP growth in MENA EM countries after the Lehman shock.
In this paper we estimate gravity models to see whether trade volumes of countries in the MENA region are significantly lower than what would be expected given their economic, cultural and geographical characteristics. Our empirical results show that the variables used in standard gravity models cannot explain a significant part of MENA's trade performance, particularly on exports. We then go on to 'augment' the standard gravity model with relevant variables from the World Bank's Business Enterprise surveys. Our results further show that these variables, and in particular transport constraints and inefficiencies in customs clearance processes, are important in explaining the MENA region's underperformance in trade.
This paper investigates the global macroeconomic consequences of falling oil prices due to the oil
revolution in the United States, using a Global VAR model estimated for 38 countries/regions
over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Set-identification of the U.S. oil supply shock is achieved
through imposing dynamic sign restrictions on the impulse responses of the model. The results
show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to a U.S.
supply-driven oil price shock, with real GDP increasing in both advanced and emerging market
oil-importing economies, output declining in commodity exporters, inflation falling in most
countries, and equity prices rising worldwide. Overall, our results suggest that following the U.S.
oil revolution, with oil prices falling by 51 percent in the first year, global growth increases by
0.16 to 0.37 percentage points. This is mainly due to an increase in spending by oil importing
countries, which exceeds the decline in expenditure by oil exporters.