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Impact of the 1999 Earthquakes and the 2001 Economic Crisis on the Outcome of the 2002 Parliamentary Election in Turkey

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  • Ali T. Akarca

    () (Department of Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Aysit Tansel

Abstract

The two major earthquakes which struck northwestern Turkey in 1999, not only caused enormous amounts of death, destruction and suffering, but also exposed rampant government corruption involving construction and zoning code violations. The incompetence shown by the government in providing relief, the corruption allegations in regards to those efforts, and government’s failure to prosecute corrupt officials and businessmen, further angered the public. How voters responded to these in the 2002 parliamentary election is investigated, using cross-provincial data, and controlling for other social, political and economic factors. Our results show that voters held accountable all of the political parties which participated in governments during the last decade or so, and not just the incumbents in 2002. The party in charge of the ministry responsible for earthquake relief, and parties that served longest and controlled more of the city administrations in the quake zone were blamed more. The newly formed Justice and Development Party (AKP) was the beneficiary of the votes lost by these parties. The sensitivity shown by the electorate to real and perceived corruption implies that corruption problem could be tractable in Turkey, and can be reduced through increased transparency and democratization.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali T. Akarca & Aysit Tansel, 2008. "Impact of the 1999 Earthquakes and the 2001 Economic Crisis on the Outcome of the 2002 Parliamentary Election in Turkey," Working Papers 397, Economic Research Forum, revised 03 Jan 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:erg:wpaper:397
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1993. "Why Is Rent-Seeking So Costly to Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 409-414, May.
    2. Fikret Adaman & Ali Carkoglu, 2001. "Perceptions of the Central and Local Governments? Engagement in Corruptive Activities: the Case of Turkey," Working Papers 0103, Economic Research Forum, revised 01 2001.
    3. Alberto Alesina & Beatrice Weder, 2002. "Do Corrupt Governments Receive Less Foreign Aid?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1126-1137, September.
    4. Monica Escaleras & Nejat Anbarci & Charles Register, 2007. "Public sector corruption and major earthquakes: A potentially deadly interaction," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 209-230, July.
    5. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-530.
    6. Ali Akarca & Aysit Tansel, 2006. "Economic Performance and Political Outcomes: An Analysis of the Turkish Parliamentary and Local Election Results Between 1950 and 2004," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(1), pages 77-105, October.
    7. Vito Tanzi & Hamid R Davoodi, 1997. "Corruption, Public Investment, and Growth," IMF Working Papers 97/139, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Akarca, Ali T. & Tansel, Aysit, 2007. "Social and Economic Determinants of Turkish Voter Choice in the 1995 Parliamentary Election," IZA Discussion Papers 2881, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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