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The impact of the 2008 crisis on top labor incomes in Turkey: A nonparametric analysis

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  • Tumen, Semih

Abstract

This paper presents a nonparametric analysis of the impact of the 2008 crisis on earnings distribution in Turkey. Using micro-level data from the Household Labor Force Survey (2004-2011), I show that the crisis has operated most visibly above the upper quartile of the earnings distribution. I present three main findings: (1) the share of the top decile -- especially the top percentile -- has increased significantly right after the crisis, (2) the top quartile (i.e., the right tail) of labor incomes in Turkey resembles, on average, a Pareto distribution with a corresponding Gini coefficient of around 0.23, and (3) following the crisis, the earnings differentials have widened above the top quartile and wildly deviated from the Pareto form. I document that the changes observed right after the crisis have mostly been temporary; that is, a normalization process has operated in the aftermath of the crisis. I argue that the health of the domestic banking system might be an important determinant of the effect of large scale financial crises on top labor incomes. A sound banking system can generate income polarization in a country, when global crises lead to asymmetric income reallocations across sectors.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 47112.

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Date of creation: 21 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:47112

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Keywords: Earnings differentials; inequality; the 2008 crisis; Turkish Household Labor Force Survey.;

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  1. Roine, Jesper & Vlachos, Jonas & Waldenström, Daniel, 2009. "The long-run determinants of inequality: What can we learn from top income data?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 974-988, August.
  2. Kumhof, Michael & Rancière, Romain, 2011. "Inequality, Leverage and Crises," CEPR Discussion Papers 8179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Anthony B. Atkinson & Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2011. "Top Incomes in the Long Run of History," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 3-71, March.
  4. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
  5. Fitoussi Jean Paul & Saraceno Francesco, 2010. "Europe: How Deep Is a Crisis? Policy Responses and Structural Factors Behind Diverging Performances," Journal of Globalization and Development, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-19, January.
  6. Saez, Emmanuel, 2001. "Using Elasticities to Derive Optimal Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(1), pages 205-29, January.
  7. Rolf Aaberge, 2006. "Gini’s Nuclear Family," Discussion Papers 491, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  8. Anthony B. Atkinson & Salvatore Morelli, 2011. "Economic crises and Inequality," Human Development Research Papers (2009 to present) HDRP-2011-06, Human Development Report Office (HDRO), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
  9. Thomas Philippon & Ariell Reshef, 2012. "Wages and Human Capital in the U.S. Finance Industry: 1909--2006," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1551-1609.
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