Spatial econometric analysis of regional growth and employment convergence in Turkey

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2015
Akçagün, Pelin
The main objective of this thesis is to investigate how spatial interactions across the provinces and regions may affect the regional growth and employment convergence in Turkey. The overall outcomes suggest not only the validity but also the superiority of the spatial econometric models. First, a comprehensive set of spatial cross-sectional models is employed to reveal the provincial growth convergence from 1991 to 2009. The results suggest evidences of absolute and conditional convergence across provinces with main driving forces being employment and human capital described by the high school graduates. Second, a methodological departure is provided by the spatial dynamic panel data models. The outcomes disclose structural differences in the 2002-2007 period in which the initially ineffective public and private investments turn out to be growth-promoting. On the other hand, the employment and human capital as measured by the university graduates could not mark significant differences in determining provincial growth. Third, the employment convergence that exhibits both regional and sectoral variations is estimated by spatial panel seemingly unrelated regression models. Throughout the 2004-2011 period, the growth rate of employment rates display divergence in the agriculture and convergence in the services sector. The industry sector shows divergent pattern in static models which becomes insignificant in dynamic setting. The agriculture sector loses its significance and regional competition for labor arises among neighbors. On the contrary, the employment rates in the industry and services sectors signify positive feedbacks across adjacent regions. The estimation results validate the employment shifts from agriculture to services sector.

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Citation Formats
P. Akçagün, “Spatial econometric analysis of regional growth and employment convergence in Turkey,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2015.