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Redistribution of power and status through public finance: the case of Turkey (1980-2003)

Cangöz, M. Coşkun
This dissertation explores whether fiscal policies can be used as a means of redistribution of power and status, and the ways of transferring state’s economic power to social groups. In this regard, state budget is recognized as the main tool for the execution of redistributive policies of the governments. In this framework, this study investigates how budget was employed to change power balance of social groups during the period of 1980-2003, in Turkey. In order to measure the changing power balances budget expenditures and revenues are reclassified and the size of the financial resources allocated or transferred to the particular social groups are determined. The analysis of budget data demonstrated that budget in Turkey has a strong influence on redistributive politics. Regarding the policy making point of view, the traditional centralist approach was deteriorated and increasing number of parties and interest groups involved in budget mechanisms. Another finding is supporting the particular economic or social groups within the current time period or across the periods either through the withdrawal of state sector from the area of traditionally publicly provided private goods; transferring budget resources and changing the taxation policies or by borrowing.