Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Early Childhood Health: The Case of Turkey

Deniz Karaoğlan and Şirin Saraçoğlu

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In this study we examine the association between parents’ socioeconomic status (SES) and childhood health in Turkey, a middle income, developing country using the 2013 round of Demographic Health Survey (DHS) data set. In our investigation, we focus on children from 7 to 59 months old and as a measure of health status, we use the height-for-age z-score, which is the measure of stunting and wasting. In order to overcome the biases with respect to age and gender, we calculate the child’s standardized height measure. Using classical regression techniques, after controlling for the child’s birth order, birth weight, mother’s height, mother’s breastfeeding, nutrition status and pre-school attendance, the impact of parent’s SES on child’s health measures is assessed, and parents’ SES indicators include region of residence, number of household members, father’s presence, parents’ education and work status, and household wealth index based on the household’s asset holdings. Our results indicate that while mother’s education and occupation type are among the leading factors that affect the child’s health status, urban residence appears to be the dominant factor which positively affects child’s health: SES of families proxied by living conditions and infrastructure factors such as sanitation, access to clean water, availability of electricity, which are under the control of local governments, as well as access to health care services must be improved for better child health.

Finansal Küreselleşme Sürecinde Türkiye’de Para Politikalarının Evrimi, 1980-2014

Hasan Cömert, Aysit Tansel and Oktar Türel

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Dünya ekonomisinin son üç onyıldaki hızlı finansallaşması bağlamında, Türkiye’de para politikalarının geçirdiği evrimi konu alan bu yazı, kısa ve tanıtıcı Prolog da dâhil olmak üzere, dört bölümden oluşmaktadır. İkinci Bölüm’de 1980-2001 döneminde Türkiye’de para politikaları ve merkez bankacılığı (anlatının arka planına uluslararası gelişmeler yerleştirilerek) incelenmektedir. Çalışmanın en geniş ve ayrıntılı kısmını oluşturan Üçüncü Bölüm’de 1999-2001 Krizi ve 2001 tarihli (yeni) Merkez Bankası Kanunu’nun ardından Türkiye’de para politikalarının nasıl tasarlandığı ve yürütüldüğü ele alınmakta, bu politikaların eriştiği başarı düzeyleri tartışılmaktadır. Dördüncü (ve son) Bölüm, yazıyı sonuçlandırıcı gözlem ve değerlendirmelere ayrılmıştır. Makalenin bulguları TCMB’nin başarı veya başarısızlığının önemli ölçüde finansal akımlar ve enerji ve hammadde fiyatları gibi kendi etkisi dışındaki gelişmeler tarafından belirlendiğini göstermektedir. TCMB’nin daha etkin ve toplumsal olarak daha faydalı politikalar izlemesinin ön koşulu, bu kısıtların yapısal olarak aşılmasına bağlıdır.

A Consumer-Surplus Standard in Merger Approvals, Foreign Direct Investment, and Welfare

Onur Koska

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This study scrutinizes the ramifications of a consumer-surplus standard in approvals of mergers & acquisitions (i) on an investor's choice between acquiring a firm's existing assets (via negotiations or auctions) and investing in new assets under both complete and incomplete information; and (ii) on welfare. Any firm acquisition fulfilling the consumer-surplus standard is in the best interest of the investor, who prefers to be well informed on acquisition gains and prefers sequential offers. A local firm appropriates a bigger share from acquisition gains in an auction, and prefers generating information asymmetries. Welfare improves with a larger scope for ex-post firm heterogeneity.

The Scope of Auctions in the Presence of Downstream Interactions and Information Externalities

Onur Koska, İlke Onur and Frank Stähler

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We scrutinize the scope of auctions for firm acquisitions in the presence of downstream interactions and information externalities. We Show that no mechanism exists that allows an investor to acquire a low-cost firm under incomplete information: a separating auction implies adverse selection and relies substantially on commitment to allocation and transfer rules. A pooling auction serves as a commitment device against ex-post opportunistic behavior and alleviates adverse selection. It can earn the investor a higher expected payoff than a separating auction, even when consistency is required as to qualify for a sequential equilibrium.

Participation of Turkey in Global Value Chains: An Analysis Based on World Input Output Database

Ceren Gündoğdu and Dürdane Şirin Saraçoğlu

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This study examines the trends in Turkey’s participation in Global Value Chains (GVCs), particularly through backward integration (i.e. vertical specialization-VS or the foreign content of value added in exports) between 1995 and 2011 utilizing the World Input Output Database (WIOD), and this is the first attempt to adopt WIOD for analyzing VS in Turkish exports at sectoral and trade partner dimensions. The findings show that Turkey’s VS has increased between 1995 and 2011. Considering the sectoral trends in manufacturing with respect to technological classification, especially in the 2000’s, Turkey’s VS share in mid-high and high-tech sectors has increased faster than that in mid-low as well as low tech sectors. At individual partner level, Germany, China, Italy and France play important roles in VS of Turkish exports. Although Germany sustained the largest contribution to Turkey’s VS up to 2010, in 2010 China became the top contributing country; however this contribution is chiefly in a low-tech industry such as textiles, thus is not necessarily conducive to Turkey’s upgrading her position in GVCs. In that respect, integration into the GVCs through technology-intensive sectors via the technology imported from developed countries might better help improve Turkey’s position in the world markets.

Real Exchange Rates and Growth

Duygu Yolcu Karadam and Erdal Özmen

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This paper empirically investigates the impact of real exchange rates (RER) on growth of a large number of advanced (AE) and developing economies (DE) by employing the recent non-stationary panel data estimation procedures to estimate conventional growth models augmented with global financial and monetary conditions variables. Our results suggest that, the expansionary depreciation findings for DE are often based on a misinterpretation of an error correction mechanism coefficient. We find that external variables representing global financial and monetary conditions are strongly significant in explaining growth in DE along with the conventional variables including trade openness, human capital, domestic savings. Our data support the view that RER depreciations are contractionary for DE with high external debt and expansionary for AE. Higher trade openness enhances the contractionary impact of RER depreciations in both AE and DE. These results are found to be robust for different RER and per capita real income measures.

Disability and Labor Force Participation: Evidence from Turkish Males

Burcu Düzgün Öncel and Deniz Karaoğlan

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This paper attempts to examine the influence of disability status on labor force participation of males aged between 25 and 64. Our attention is only on males in order to avoid complications arising from gender differences in disability and labor force participation. The data is from Turkish Health Survey (THS) for the year 2012 prepared by Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT). We believe that revealing the differences in labor outcomes that can be attributed to disability status of individuals would be important to understand labor market dynamics of a developing and young populated country; Turkey. We define disability as an impairment of long term health conditions that lasts more than six months which restricts individual in daily activities and categorize individuals as non-disabled, disabled with no limitations, disabled with some limitations and disabled with severe limitations by controlling work related disabilities. In the first part of the study we provide descriptive analysis on the relationship between disability status and labor market states. We observe that higher share of disabled individuals with severe limitations are out of labor force in every age and low educated individuals experience more disabilities. In the second part, we first estimate probit equations in order to see the relationship between disability and labor force participation, then we implement propensity score matching (PSM) techniques in order to overcome selection bias. PSM results indicate that severe disability prevents males from entering into the labor force, whereas being non-disabled increases the probability of being in the labor force.

The Causal Effect of Education on Health Behaviors: Evidence from Turkey

Aysit Tansel and Deniz Karaoğlan

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This study provides causal effect of education on health behaviors in Turkey which is a middle income developing country. Health Survey of the Turkish Statistical Institute for the years 2008, 2010 and 2012 are used. The health behaviors considered are smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable consumption, exercising and one health outcome namely, the body mass index (BMI). We examine the causal effect of education on these health behaviors and the BMI Instrumental variable approach is used in order to address the endogeneity of education to health behaviors. Educational expansion of the early 1960s is used as the source of exogenous variation in years of schooling. Our main findings are as follows. Education does not significantly affect the probability of smoking or exercising. The higher the education level the higher the probability of alcohol consumption and the probability of fruit and vegetable consumption. Higher levels of education lead to higher BMI levels. This study provides a baseline for further research on the various aspects of health behaviors in Turkey.

Early Childhood Development and Human Capital Formation: The Case of Turkey in Global Perspective

Şirin Saraçoğlu and Deniz Karaoğlan

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Drawing on cognitive science, child psychology, and economics literature, this paper investigates the significance of early child development and the environmental factors that affect early child development. Earlier literature has established that the child’s brain development is almost complete in the first three years of life, and this development is critically affected by the child’s environment, including the family’s socioeconomic status and the availability of early child education and care. The young child requires adequate psycho-stimulation for the optimal development of the brain in the first few years of life, which subsequently helps her accomplish at school and achieve in adulthood. It has been emphasized in the literature that in order for all young children start life at an equal footing, governments should provide equal opportunities for early childhood education and care where families are not able to provide. In this paper, we compare and contrast the current status of early child education in Turkey with that of selected developed countries, which have advanced far in early childhood education. Despite the striking evidence on the affirmative effects on the individual as well as the individual’s contributions to social and economic development, early childhood education (particularly up to age three) is not considered to be a priority in the education system in Turkey.

Empirical Investigation of Purchasing Power Parity for Turkey: Evidence from Recent Nonlinear Unit Root Tests

Dilem Yıldırım

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This study explores the empirical validity of the purchasing power parity (PPP) hypothesis between Turkey and its four major trading partners, the European Union, Russia, China and the US. Accounting for the possible nonlinear nature of real exchange rates, mainly due to the existence of transaction costs, we employ a battery of recently developed nonlinear unit root tests. Empirical results reveal that nonlinear unit root tests deliver stronger evidence in favor of the PPP hypothesis when compared to the conventional unit root tests only if nonlinearities in real exchange rates are correctly specified.

Estimating Cost Efficiency of Turkish Commercial Banks under Unobserved Heterogeneity with Stochastic Frontier Models

Hakan Güneş and Dilem Yıldırım

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This study aims to investigate the cost efficiency of Turkish commercial banks over the restructuring period of the Turkish banking system, which coincides with the 2008 financial global crisis and the 2010 European sovereign debt crisis. To this end, within the stochastic frontier framework, we employ a modified version of the true fixed effect model of Greene (2005), where the unobserved bank heterogeneity is integrated in the inefficiency distribution at a mean level. To select the cost function with the most appropriate inefficiency correlates, we first adopt a search algorithm and then utilize the model averaging approach of Huang and Lai (2012) to verify that our results are not exposed to model selection bias. Overall, our empirical results reveal that cost efficiencies of Turkish banks have improved over time, with the effects of the 2008 and 2010 crises remaining rather limited. Furthermore, not only the cost efficiency scores but also impacts of the crises on those scores appear to vary with regard to bank size and ownership structure, in accordance with much of the existing literature.

Foreign Direct Investment as a Signal

Onur Koska, Ngo Van Long and Frank Stähler

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This paper models competition among multinational firms in an environment of firm heterogeneity, incomplete cost information and strategic interaction. In this context, FDI serves as a signal of productivity: when firms sort into exporters and multinationals, they also show whether they have low or high productivity. We show that the signaling effect of FDI increases the FDI incentive as firms would like to avoid sending a low productivity signal.

The Feldstein-Horioka Puzzle in the Presence of Structural Breaks: Evidence from China

Dilem Yıldırım and Ethem Erdem Orman

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This study explores the empirical validity of the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle for China in thepresence of structural breaks. To this end, we employ the recently proposed multiple-break cointegration test of Maki (2012), along with the one-break Gregory and Hansen (1996) cointegration test. Once the existence of the cointegration between domestic savings and investment is ensured by allowing for endogenous structural breaks, Fully Modified Ordinary Least Squares (FMOLS) and Dynamic Ordinary Least Squares (DOLS) estimation procedures are implemented to obtain reliable inferences from the cointegrating regression. Empirical results reveal that the relationship between Chinese domestic savings and investment has changed with the regime shift towards flexible exchange rates and the 2008- 2009 global financial crises. More specifically, with the introduction of managed floating exchange rate regime, a substantial reduction is observed in the almost unitary saving retention coefficient of the fixed exchange rate period. Furthermore, the correlation has experienced a slight increase since 2009, which coincides with the worldwide protectionist policies adopted in the depth of the global financial crisis.