Demographic roots of socioeconomic development : a case study for Turkey

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2013
Özer, Merve Nezihe
Demographic transition is under way in all over the world as well as in Turkey. From 1940s onwards, life expectancy has increased by more than 30 years and total fertility rate has declined from 6-7 children per woman to almost 2 children in Turkey. Those changes in mortality and fertility patterns affected the age distribution of the population such that share of individuals in working age group has increased to almost 70% while share of children aged 15 and below in total population is lower than 30% and share of elderly aged 65 and over has not increased above 10% yet. Such a change in the age structure of the population in favor of working ages opened demographic window of opportunity for Turkey at the beginnings of 2000s which provides a favorable environment for economic development. Demographic window of opportunity is expected to contribute economic growth through behavioral channels of female labor supply, household savings, and child quality (i.e., investment on education of children). For each of them, a separate model is estimated by using 2003 and 2010 Household Budget Surveys. Logit estimation procedure is used for female labor force participation model, and ordinary least squares for others. The results reveal that female labor force and child quality channels are functioning in Turkey although the impact of child quantity on child quality is very small. However, household savings do not respond to changes in fertility.