nep-ara New Economics Papers
on MENA - Middle East and North Africa
Issue of 2016‒12‒18
four papers chosen by
Paul Makdissi
Université d’Ottawa

  1. Socio-Economic Factors Affecting Early Childhood Health: The Case of Turkey By Deniz Karaoğlan; Dürdane Şirin Saracoğlu
  2. Response of Turkish Financial Markets to Negative Interest Rate Announcements of the ECB By Gokhan Sahin Gunes; Sumru Oz
  3. Nightlights as a Development Indicator: The Estimation of Gross Provincial Product (GPP) in Turkey By Basihos, Seda
  4. Measuring the Effectiveness of Taxes and Transfers in Fighting Poverty and Inequality in Iran By Ali Enami

  1. By: Deniz Karaoğlan (Department of Economics, Bahçeşehir University); Dürdane Şirin Saracoğlu (Department of Economics, METU)
    Abstract: 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.
    Keywords: Health, children, z-score, household socioeconomic status, Turkey
    JEL: C20 I15 J13
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Gokhan Sahin Gunes (Koc University-TUSIAD ERF and Koc University); Sumru Oz (Koc University-TUSIAD ERF)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of negative interest rate announcements of the ECB on Turkish financial markets. Negative Interest Rate Policies (NIRP) are expected to affect emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) through an increase in the inflow of capital searching for higher yields. The expectation for an increase in short-term capital inflows to an EMDE might have transmission channels to the whole economy similar to those of expansionary monetary policies, except for a sign change in case of the exchange rate channel. The rest of the transmission channels are portfolio, interest rate, and credit channels. The latter is excluded from the analysis since it takes time to realize. Accordingly, we analyze the impact of negative interest rate announcements of the ECB on EUR/TRY and USD/TRY exchange rates; 1-month and 3-month TRLibor rates; BIST 100 Index, as well as 2-year and 10-year bond returns using GARCH (1,1) model. The results show that the announcements significantly affect both the volatility of Turkey's financial indicators and their returns especially through interest rate and portfolio channels. The robustness of the results on volatility is tested by using an event study.
    Keywords: NIRP, transmission channels, financial indicators, Turkey.
    JEL: E58 F30 G10
    Date: 2016–12
  3. By: Basihos, Seda
    Abstract: For a while in Turkey, researchers dealing with spatial economics are unable to make detailed comparative and descriptive analysis on sub-national base due to lack of data. In particular, GDP, which is a basic indicator of economic activities, has not been published in Turkey at sub-national level since 2001. In this study, we use a different data source, night-time satellite imagery, to obtain sub-national GDP and GDP per capita series for the period between 2001 and 2013 at the level of provinces which is the basic administrative division of the Country. We also re-construct the series for the period between 1992 and 2001. For the estimation of sub-national GDP, we use Neural Network Algorithm.
    Keywords: Nightlights, GDP, Gross Provincial Product, Economic Growth, Neural Network, Spatial Economics, Turkey
    JEL: C45 O1 O49 R11
    Date: 2016–05–05
  4. By: Ali Enami (Tulane University and CEQ Institute.)
    Abstract: This paper introduces two new Commitment to Equity (CEQ) indexes to assess the effectiveness of taxes and transfers in reducing inequality and poverty: the Impact and Spending Effectiveness indicators. The Spending Effectiveness indicator has an additional interpretation as a measure of efficiency. These effectiveness indicators are used in this paper to rank taxes and transfers in Iran. In addition, I estimate the Fiscal Impoverishment and Fiscal Gains to the Poor Effectiveness indicators, which have also been developed by the CEQ Institute. The results show that in this case study, taxes and transfers are similarly effective in achieving their inequality-reducing potential. The income tax is the most effective intervention on the revenue side, achieving 40 percent of its inequality-reducing potential. On the spending side, social assistance transfers are the most effective, achieving 45 percent of their potential. Taxes are especially effective in raising revenue without causing poverty to rise, indicating that the poor are largely spared from taxation. In contrast, transfers are not very effective because the majority of them are not targeted to the poor: the most effective transfers achieve 21 percent of their poverty reduction potential.
    Keywords: Inequality, poverty, fiscal incidence, marginal contribution, effectiveness indicator, policy simulation, Iran
    JEL: D31 H22 I38

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