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Pathways to the middle class in Turkey : how have reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity helped?

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  • Azevedo, Joao Pedro
  • Atamanov, Aziz

Abstract

Turkey's poverty reduction performance in the 2000s has been remarkably consistent. Extreme and moderate poverty have fallen considerably since 2003. Between 2002 and 2011, extreme poverty fell from 13 percent to 5 percent, while moderate poverty halved from 44 percent to 22 percent (respectively, defined using the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia regional poverty lines of 2.5 and 5 USD/PPP). Most of this poverty reduction (89 percent) has been driven by growth, a performance consistent with most countries in Europe and Central Asia. This is substantially different form the recent performance of other regions, such as Latin America, where redistribution contributed to poverty reduction almost four times more than in Turkey. Turkey has also achieved sustained consumption growth of the bottom 40 percent of the population, even during the years of the world recession. Turkey's performance in poverty reduction and increased shared prosperity has been complemented by the systematic expansion of the middle class by 20 percentage points. This paper analyzes the main drivers of poverty reduction, shared prosperity, and changes in inequality in Turkey from 2002 to 2011. The analysis shows that labor markets, demographics, pensions, and social assistance have played a critical role in this process. It further explores some of the mechanisms that have facilitated these changes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6834.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2014
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6834

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Regional Economic Development; Inequality; Achieving Shared Growth;

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  1. Lopez-Calva, Luis F. & Ortiz-Juarez, Eduardo, 2011. "A vulnerability approach to the definition of the middle class," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5902, The World Bank.
  2. Joao Pedro Azevedo & Minh Cong Nguyen & Viviane Sanfelice, 2012. "ADECOMP: Stata module to estimate Shapley Decomposition by Components of a Welfare Measure," Statistical Software Components S457562, Boston College Department of Economics.
  3. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Inchauste, Gabriela & Olivieri, Sergio & Saavedra, Jaime & Winkler, Hernan, 2013. "Is labor income responsible for poverty reduction ? a decomposition approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6414, The World Bank.
  4. Newman, John L. & Azevedo, Joao Pedro, 2013. "Setting reasonable performance targets for public service delivery," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6385, The World Bank.
  5. Jesko Hentschel & Meltem Aran & Raif Can & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Jeremie Gignoux & Arzu Uraz, 2010. "Life Chances in Turkey : Expanding Opportunities for the Next Generation," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2505.
  6. Francisca Antman & David J. McKenzie, 2007. "Earnings Mobility and Measurement Error: A Pseudo-Panel Approach," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 56, pages 125-161.
  7. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  8. Azevedo, Joao Pedro & Davalos, Maria Eugenia & Diaz-Bonilla, Carolina & Atuesta, Bernardo & Castaneda, Raul Andres, 2013. "Fifteen years of inequality in Latin America : how have labor markets helped ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6384, The World Bank.
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