Bulent Anil, Duygu Guner, Tuba Toru Delibasi and Gokce Uysal

Measuring the gender peer effects on student achievement has recently attracted a lot of attention in the literature. Yet, the results are inconclusive. A substantial amount of research shows that having relatively more girls in a division increases the academic achievement of all students. Nevertheless, the identification of pure gender effects remains a challenge due to the fact that girls outperform boys in overall academic performance. Our study overcomes this identification problem in a setting where girls are not academically better. Using 2009-2010 school year data on 8th graders in Turkey, this paper disentangles pure “academic” peer effects and “gender” peer effects. Our estimations reveal that the higher the share of females in a division, the lower the likelihood that a student drops out. One standard deviation increase in the share of females in the division decreases the likelihood of dropout by 0.3 percentage points. This result holds even though females are 9.32 percentage points more likely to drop out. These findings are robust to the inclusion of various control variables e.g. parental and academic background of the student, school and regional characteristics. We also find that the gender peer effects are prevalent in both females and males.

pdf. workingpaper018

Growth Evaluation: 2016 2. Quarter


Seyfettin Gürsel  and Selin Köksal

From the first quarter of 2016 to  the second, GDP grew by 0.3 percent which is below expectations. On yearly basis, Turkish economy also showed low performance by growing 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2016.

Private consumption and net export are two components that dragged down the quarterly economic growth. The negative contribution of net exports was expected. However the fall by 2.8 percent in exports combined with the unexpected decline in private consumption by 0.5 percent affected economic growth in a negative way.

On the other hand, a positive surprise came from, private investments that grew by 6 percent and government spending contributed also positively to GDP growth increasing by 3.5 percent. Finally, these opposite changes produced a limited growth in quarterly GDP.

doc. growth2016q2

pdf. growth2016q2

Labor Market Outlook: September 2016


Seyfettin Gürsel, Gökçe Uysal and Selin Köksal

Seasonally adjusted labor market data show that nonagricultural unemployment rate increased by 0.6 percentage points and reached 12.9 percent in the period of June 2016.  During this period, the number of people employed in agriculture, manufacturing and construction sectors decreased respectively by 129 thousand, 56 thousand and 66 thousand. In the service sector, the increase in employment remained limited to 28 thousand. Thus, the number of non-agricultural unemployed grew by 160 thousand in one month and reached 3 million 257 thousand. The unemployment rate which was 11.8 percent in the period of April 2016 increased by more than 1 percentage point and was at 12,9 percent in June 2016. The weak performance of GDP growth is reflected on labor market. Betam’s forecasting model predicts that the increase in non-agricultural unemployment will continue in the period of July 2016.

doc. labormarketoutlook2016m09

pdf. labormarketoutlook2016m09


Labor Market Outlook: August 2016


Seyfettin Gürsel, Gökçe Uysal and Mine Durmaz

Seasonally adjusted labor market data show that nonagricultural unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points and reached 12.2 percent in the period of May 2016. Betam’s forecasting model predicted that the nonagricultural unemployment rate would remain constant in the period of May 2016. This unexpected increase in unemployment is mainly because of the weak increase in employment against the increase in the labor force. The increases in nonagricultural employment in services and in manufacturing were limited to 53 thousand and 5 thousand respectively. However, employment decreased in the construction sector by 11 thousand. Compared to the May 2015 period, number of unemployed women increased by 9 thousand whereas number of unemployed men increased by 92 thousand in the period of May 2016.

doc. LaborOutlook2016M08

pdf. LaborOutlook2016M08

Labor Market Outlook: July 2016


Seyfettin Gürsel, Gökçe Uysal and Mine Durmaz

Seasonally adjusted labor market data shows that nonagricultural unemployment rate remained constant at the level of 11.5 percent in the period of April 2016. Betam’s forecasting model estimates that the nonagricultural unemployment rate will remain constant in the period of May 2016. In this period, strong increases were observed in both nonagricultural labor force and nonagricultural employment. Remarkably, employment increases are driven mainly by the manufacturing sector. Note that the number of unemployed females increased and the number of unemployed males declined in the period of April 2016 compared to April 2015.

doc. laboroutlook2016m07

pdf. laboroutlook2016m07

Minimum wage increase is adversely affecting informal employment

Ozan Bakış, Seyfettin Gürsel and Melike Kökkızıl

Various effects of minimum wage increased in January 2016 by 30 percent are still question of debate. One of the concerns for the possible effects of this high increase is on wage-employment relation. More specifically, it stands an important question about the effect of wage increase; in which direction and to what extent it will affect the informality among wage earners. Even though relevant studies from several countries claim that the effect of minimum wage hike has no significant effect on employment, they reveal an adverse effect on informal employment. In the context of Turkey, the studies establish that relatively same increase of minimum wage recorded in 2004 has an impact on informality, albeit related publications are few. It is too early to make a comprehensive research on the effects of the recent rise in minimum wage. Nevertheless, this study illustrates a notable indication that minimum wage increase is adversely affecting informality based on the large differences observed in the share of minimum wage earners in sectors and informality rates in sectors in the period of February 2014-2015 and February 2015-2016.

pdf. ResearchBrief196

Economic Outlook & Forecasts: May 2016

Moderate Growth

Ozan Bakış, Mine Durmaz, Melike Kökkızıl

Leading indicators continue to move in opposite directions as mentioned in our previous research briefs. The first quarterly data of 2016 reveals that recovery in investment stands out and a moderate progress in consumption persists. Nonetheless, government spending exhibits a sharp decline. As for investment, significant increases are seen in import of investment goods and its production; however, production of commercial cars will remain limited compared to our previous calculations.

Updated data indicate that negative contribution of net export to the growth will become clearer. Our estimates for quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year growth rates are revised to 0.6 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively. In addition, we predict the current account deficit to GDP ratio to be 4.2 percent and the gold-excluded ratio to be 4.8 percent.

doc. EconomicOutlook2016M05

pdf. EconomicOutlook2016M05

Labor Market Outlook: June 2016


Seyfettin Gürsel, Gökçe Uysal and Melike Kökkızıl

Seasonally adjusted labor market data shows that nonagricultural unemployment rate decreased from 11.8 percent to 11.5 percent (0.3 percentage points) in the period of March 2016 compared to the previous period. Betam’s forecasting model had predicted a 0.1 percent decrease for this period. We expect that the nonagricultural unemployment will continue to decline in the period of April 2016. In March 2016, increases in both non-agricultural labor force and non-agricultural employment strengthened. In addition, employment in manufacturing, construction and services increased by 19 thousand, 42 thousand and 140 thousand, respectively. In parallel, non-agricultural unemployment decreased. In this period, increases in the male labor force exceeded those in the female labor force and respective increases in employment were recorded at the same levels. Hence, female (male) unemployed decreased (slightly increased), annually.

doc. LaborOutlook2016M06

pdf. LaborOutlook2016M06


Gökçe Uysal, Melike Kökkızıl and Selin Köksal

This research brief evaluates the education and labor market status of young people aged between 15 and 19 in Turkey by using the 2013 and 2014 Household Labor Force Survey data.  According to the data, one third, i.e. 2 million 175 thousand young people do not pursue their education. 73.6 percent of young people who do not pursue education are at most primary school graduates. Unusual proportions of dropouts do not enter to labor market, either. Almost 900 thousand young people are neither in education nor in the labor market and 73 percent of them are women. Even though 12 years compulsory education provides higher enrolment rates, the absenteeism remains unaddressed. Investing in youth’s human capital and increasing labor productivity by reintegrating the youth back into the education system are crucial if Turkey aims to escape the middle income trap.

doc. ResearchBrief195

pdf. ResearchBrief195

Labor Market Outlook: May 2016


Seyfettin Gürsel, Gökçe Uysal and Mine Durmaz 

Seasonally adjusted labor market data shows that nonagricultural unemployment rate decreased from 12.1 percent to 11.9 percent (0.2 percentage points) in the period of February 2016 compared to the previous period. Betam’s forecasting model had predicted a 0.1 percent decrease for this period. We expect that the nonagricultural unemployment will continue to decline in the period of March 2016. In this period, the driving force behind the decrease in nonagricultural unemployment is the almost constant labor force. While employment losses in manufacturing continue, employment in services and construction increased. Female nonagricultural labor force and employment continue to increase faster than male labor force and employment. However, due to the strong increase in the labor force, female unemployment increased while male unemployment continues to decrease.

doc. LaborOutlook2016M05

pdf. LaborOutlook2016M05


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