The Ups and Downs of Turkish Growth, 2002-2015: Political Dynamics, the European Union and the Institutional Slide

Daron Acemoglu, Murat Ucer

NBER Working Paper No. 21608
Issued in October 2015
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment

We document a change in the character and quality of Turkish economic growth with a turning point around 2007 and link this change to the reversal in the nature of economic institutions, which underwent a series of growth-enhancing reforms following Turkey's financial crisis in 2001, but then started moving in the opposite direction in the second half of 2000s. This institutional reversal, we argue, is itself a consequence of a turnaround in political factors. The first phase coincided with a deepening in Turkish democracy under the prodding and the guidance of the European Union, and witnessed the waning of the military's influence and the broadening of effective political participation. As Turkey-European Union relations collapsed and internal political dynamics removed the checks against the domination of the governing party, in power since 2002, these political dynamics went into reverse and paved the way for the institutional slide that is largely responsible for the lower-paced and lower-quality growth Turkey has been experiencing since about 2007.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21608

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