Edited by Tüzin Baycan and Hugo Pinto
Chapter 9: External shocks and regional economic performance in Turkey
Permanent duality across regions characterizes the regional disparities in Turkey. This duality exists in all dimensions of development, including the persistent unemployment problem. Throughout the last decade high unemployment rates were observed in all regions of the country. Focusing on unemployment in Turkey, the aim of the chapter is twofold. First, the chapter intends to capture the main determinants of the regional unemployment. To this end we define an excess supply function to estimate the determinants of regional unemployment combining the supply of and demand for labor. Second, the chapter scrutinizes the effects of external shocks on the regional variations in economic performance in Turkey. Regional unemployment and regional growth are defined as the basic economic performance indicators. For the first aim, migration is taken as the main source of the variations in the regional labor supply. On the demand side, we focus on the structural changes. The study defines two types of changes in the structure at the regional level: (1) The changes in the sectoral composition á la Kuznets; and (2) The Lilien index, which represents the dispersion in (or reallocation within) the sectors. For the second aim, we define two exogenous shocks: the 2008 crisis and the migration issue at the regional level. The 2008 crisis has a global character without any local dimension. Hence, its effects could be defined as completely exogenous. Migration can be affected partly by the regional factors. Therefore, we may assume that this shock is partially exogenous. In this part, the chapter will define the regions as flexible or rigid against these shocks. The results reveal that the adjustment potential to external shocks may be higher in the regions which have relatively simple economic structure.
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