Assistant Professor Hakkı Yazıcı from Sabancı University gave a talk as part of our weekly seminar series on December 21, 2018. In this presentation, Doctor Yazıcı provided us with an analysis of his model towards understanding optimal taxation strategies in the presence of labor market frictions accompanied with career ladders. He concluded the talk with an investigation into US labor market. We would like to thank Doctor Yazıcı for this very important discussion and wish him great success in his future studies. Below, you can find the abstract of his paper.

Abstract: We analyze the implications of ex ante dispersion in worker talents and a frictional labor market for the design of tax and benefit systems. Our model features on and off the job search, job ladders and equilibrium income and profit dispersion within talent markets. In a baseline setting with no talent dispersion, the optimal system consists of an unemployment benefit financed out of a simple lump sum tax on workers. The benefit is high enough to suppress worker income and firm profit dispersion, deter worker poaching and collapse job ladders. With talent dispersion, high benefit levels drive less talented workers out of the market and are prohibitively costly. Active talent markets are frictional. Taxes impact the dispersion of worker incomes and firm profits within these markets. These effects shape and modify conventional optimal tax formulas.



On December 14, 2018, Doctor Ayşegül Kayaoğlu from Istanbul Technical University was the presenter in our weekly Economics seminar series. Doctor Kayaoğlu’s talk focused on her work in the labour market implications of child work for later stages of their career. Employing a panel data analysis, she provided us with an examination into the dynamics of how individuals who had child work experience compared to those who did not. We would like to thank Doctor Kayaoğlu for her analysis and hope to host her again in the coming years.


Assistant Professor Sadullah Yildirim’s paper has been published by the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization. In Religiosity: Identifying the effect of pluralism, Professor Sadullah and his co-authors provide a new perspective on the question of whether plurality has an effect on religiosity. We congratulate Professor Yildirim for his work and wish him success in his future studies. Below, you can find the abstract of his paper.

Abstract: Economists and sociologists have long disagreed over the effect of pluralism on religiosity, the question of whether the number religions in a society lessens or heightens people’s beliefs and participation. The controversy stems from the omission of religion’s role in legitimizing government, which has significantly biased previous estimates. We use a novel identification strategy that exploits the variation among countries in their proximity (cost of travel) to centers of universal religions of the world (Buddhism, Christianity, Islam). Whereas the results of OLS analysis tentatively suggest a negative association between pluralism and religiosity, estimates from the method of instrumental variables reveal that the direct effect of pluralism is positive. Our results support the argument that enhanced competition in the religion market would increase religiosity by offering believers a greater variety and quality of choices.


Assistant Professor Serife Genc Ileri’s paper has been accepted for publication by the Canadian Journal of Economics. In Selective Immigration Policy and Its Impacts on Natives: A General Equilibrium Analysis, Professor Ileri analyzes how immigration impacts the economic well being of the incumbent population, shedding light upon the immigration debate which has received significant coverage in the recent years. We congratulate Professor Ileri for her work and wish him success in her future studies. Below, you can find the abstract of her paper.

Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of skilled immigration on the wage inequality between different education groups and the welfare of the incumbent population. We use a heterogenous agent overlapping generations model with endogenous discrete college education choice and calibrate it to match the features of 1981 Canadian economy. Our quantitative analysis suggests that reducing the skilled immigration rate generates a rise in the growth rate of the wage inequality between college-educated and non-college workers. As skilled immigrants are admitted at a lower rate, more natives opt for college education in the economy. Our welfare analysis shows that the incumbent young and college-educated population benefits more from a reduction in the skilled immigration rate. On the other hand, young generations with below-college education face welfare losses. Our results suggest that skilled immigration contributes positively to the overall welfare in the economy.


In the opening ceremony for the 2018-2019 academic year, Professor Mohamad Lutfi Hammour of Ibn Haldun University Economics Department presented the traditional opening lecture. We would like to thank Professor Hammour for this great session on the philosophical aspects of Economics research. Attached below is the video stream of the academic year opening ceremony along with Professor Hammour’s presentation.


In this week’s installment of the Economics seminar series, we hosted Assistant Professor Barış Alpaslan from Social Sciences University of Ankara Department of Economics. Doctor Alpaslan provided a detailed account of his research on the relationship between child labor, access to infrastructure and economic growth, particularly for low income countries. We would like to thank Professor Alpaslan for providing his insight on this important issue. Below, you can find the abstract of her paper.

Abstract: This paper develops a three-period, gender-based overlapping generations model of economic growth with heterogeneity in parental preferences, endogenous intra-household bargaining, and child labor in home production by girls.
Improved access to infrastructure reduces the amount of time parents find optimal for their daughters to spend on household chores, thereby allowing them to allocate more time to studying at home. The model is calibrated for a low income country and various quantitative experiments are conducted, including an increase in the share of public spending on infrastructure, an increase in time allocated by mothers to their daughters, and a decrease in fathers’ preference for their daughters’ education. Our analysis shows that poor access by families to infrastructure may provide an endogenous explanation, complementary to those focusing solely on social norms and cultural values, for the persistence of child labor at home and gender inequality in low-income countries.


Doctor Ece Güleryüz of İstanbul 29 Mayıs University Economics Department has given a talk as part of our Economics seminar series. Doctor Güleryüz’s talk has been built on the part of the growth theory where researchers try and elicit the determinants of the varying growth levels among countries. In her work, Doctor Güleryüz starts with a revised definition of growth rates which incorporates inclusive growth which is concerned with taking into account differences of income distribution among different groups in the society. Then, using the data from the Middle East and North African countries, Doctor Güleryüz identifies the determinants of the performance of these economies with respect to this new measure. We would like to thank Doctor Güleryüz for this important session Below, you can find the abstract of her paper.

Abstract: We investigate the macroeconomic fundamentals and structural factors which affect inclusive growth in 16 MENA countries before and after the Global Financial Crisis. We use a panel data fixed effects model in two time periods: 1996-2007 and 2008-2016. A measure of inclusive growth is defined by integrating economic growth and income inequality. In this way, we account for the relative impacts of GDP per capita growth rate and change in Gini coefficient. A wide range of factors such as environmental degradation, macroeconomic stability, fiscal discipline, globalization, human capital, life expectancy, and technological development appear to significantly affect inclusive growth performance in the MENA region. During and after the Global Financial Crisis, voice and accountability seems to be an important institutional quality component influencing the inclusiveness of economic growth.


Professor Mehmet Babacan from Medipol University and Central Bank of Turkey has given a talk as part of our Economics seminar series. The participants were given the opportunity to review the book “Turkish Economy: Between Middle Income Trap and High Income Status” edited by Professor Babacan along with Ahmet Faruk Aysan, Nurullah Gur, and Hatice Karahan. Professor Babacan provided an in-depth analysis of the industrial trends in Turkey during the last 15 years. Moreover, projections over the future of manufacturing sector and construction sector has been presented to the participants. The seminar has been immensely helpful for our international students on the path to discover a new understanding towards Turkish Economy. We would like to thank Professor Babacan for providing us with the opportunity to learn from his experience in the field.


Professor Murat Kırdar of Boğaziçi University Economics Department has given a talk as part of our Economics seminar series. The presentation attracted interest from the Economics and Management Science Departments along with a substantial presence from our graduate students. The seminar participants enjoyed the opportunity to receive an in-depth analysis of the impacts of Syrian mass migration on various sectors in the Turkish domestic workforce, particularly in terms of the wages and unemployment levels. We would like to thank Professor Kırdar for this very productive session and hope to host his presentations in the future. Below, you can find the abstract of his paper.

Abstract: We estimate the effects of the arrival of 2.5 million Syrian migrants in Turkey by the end of 2015 on the labor market outcomes of natives using a difference-in-differences IV methodology. We show that relaxing the common-trend assumption of this methodology—unlike the recent papers in the same setting—makes a substantial difference in several key outcomes. Despite the massive size of the migrant influx, no adverse effects on average wages of men or women or on total employment of men exist. For women, however, total employment falls—which results mainly from the elimination of part-time jobs. While the migrant influx has adverse effects on competing native workers in the informal sector, it has favorable effects on complementary workers in the formal sector. Migrants and native men in the informal sector are highly substitutable—we estimate about one-to-one replacement in employment. On the other hand, both wage employment and wages of men increase in the formal sector. These findings, along with those on the heterogeneity in effects by age and education, are very much in line with the canonical migration model. In addition, a rise in prices in the product market and a rise in capital flow to the treatment regions contribute to the rise in labor demand in the formal sector.


Ahmet Kaplan Made a Presentation on BlockChain at Istanbul Medeniyet University

Dr.Ahmet Kaplan made a presentation on “What will happen to block-chain enterprises” in the seminar titled “NEW PERIOD IN OPERATIONS: BLOCKCHAIN AND DIGITAL MONEY (BITCOIN)” organized by the Department of Management of the Faculty of Political Sciences of Medeniyet University.
In his presentation, Kaplan expressed the technical infrastructure of the blockchain, its impact on business, new business areas and different approaches to paradigm change.