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Migration-Induced Women’s Empowerment: The Case of Turkey

  • Şule Akkoyunlu
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    Migration not only contributes to development through financial remittances, but also through flows of knowledge and through the diffusion of social, cultural and political norms and values. In fact, these more intangible contributions are more appreciated during economic and financial crises, as financial remittances become unstable or decrease in those circumstances. This paper, therefore, addresses the effect of migration on women’s empowerment in Turkey. The number of women in parliament in Turkey is chosen as a gauge of women’s empowerment and is explained by the emigration rate, the relative education of women to men, and a measure of democracy. Utilization of data over six decades from 1960 until 2011 gives the possibility that these series can be spuriously correlated. Therefore, the paper addresses the issue of spurious correlation in an analytical way. Spurious correlation is the risk of linking the share of women in parliament, for example, to the emigration rate when in fact there is no association. This study adopts the bounds testing procedure as a method to determine and to avoid spurious correlation. The results of bounds testing gives clear-cut evidence that women’s empowerment, the share of women in parliament in the present context, is related to the emigration rate, the relative education of women and to a measure of democracy. The bounds-testing procedure is replicated for emigration flows by destination country groups such as European and other core OECD countries, Arab countries, and Russia and CIS (Commonwealth Independent States) countries. Again, it is found that the share of women in parliament is related to the country groups with the largest effect in European and core OECD countries. The results are robust for the inclusion of asylum seekers and refugees in the emigration data. These results have important policy implications for sending as well as for destination countries, implications which are discussed in the paper.

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    Paper provided by European University Institute in its series RSCAS Working Papers with number 2013/77.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:rsc:rsceui:2013/77
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