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The Effect of Hosting 3.4 Million Refugees on the Health System in Turkey and Infant, Child, and Elderly Mortality among Natives

Author

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  • Aysun Aygun

    (Istanbul Technical University, Department of Economics)

  • Murat Guray Kirdar

    (Bogazici University, Department of Economics)

  • Berna Tuncay

    (Koç University, Department of Economics)

Abstract

As of the end of 2017, 3.4 million Syrian refugees lived in Turkey. These refugees left a country where the health system was completely broken. Several studies report that Syrian refugees faced numerous diseases during their exodus, brought certain infectious diseases to the hosting communities, and have a high incidence of health care utilization. Moreover, they have much higher fertility rates than natives (5.3 to 2.3). We examine the effect of Syrian refugees on the health infrastructure in Turkey and on natives’ mortality—with a focus on infant, child, and elderly mortality. Our OLS results yield suggestive evidence of a negative effect of the refugee shock on infant and child mortality. However, we find that this is a result of endogenous settlement patterns of refugees. Once we account for the endogeneity using a plausibly exogenous instrument, we find no evidence of an effect on native mortality for any age group. We also analyze the pressure that the refugees put on the health care services in Turkey, as well as the government’s response, to understand our findings on mortality outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Aysun Aygun & Murat Guray Kirdar & Berna Tuncay, 2020. "The Effect of Hosting 3.4 Million Refugees on the Health System in Turkey and Infant, Child, and Elderly Mortality among Natives," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 2014, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
  • Handle: RePEc:koc:wpaper:2014
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    1. Mehmet Balcilar & Jeffrey B. Nugent & Jiahui Xu, 2022. "Adversities in Syria and their relation to their physical and mental health conditions as Syrian refugees in Turkey," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 69(1), pages 37-59, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    refugees; health care infrastructure; native mortality; infant; child; elderly; instrumental variables.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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