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Our seminars aim to bring together academics, policymakers, and researchers to stimulate a discussion about current research in social policies and global development.

Current Seminars

We do not have any upcoming events at the current time. Please follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date

Past Seminars

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The Situation of Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training in Turkey: A Discussion in the Nexus Between Employment, Gender, and Family Ties

Prof. Dr. Fatoş Gökşen, Prof. Dr. Kezban Çelik, and Nazlı Aktakke

October 23, 2020


Development Analytics is hosting a webinar entitled “The Situation of Youth Not in Employment, Education or Training in Turkey: A Discussion in the Nexus Between Employment, Gender, and Family Ties”
The webinar will be held in Turkish and moderated by Dr. Meltem Aran and Dr. Volkan Yılmaz. Nazlı Aktakke will be presenting the report findings funded by the project and Prof. Dr. Fatoş Gökşen and Prof. Dr. Kezban Çelik will be discussing their studies on youth.


Migration, Diversity and Urban Co-Existence: Contemporary Perspectives

Dr. Kristen Biehl, Assistant Professor at Sabancı University Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

February 28, 2020



Migration stands out as one of the most characteristic and complex features of the 21st century as more people than ever, coming from increasingly more disparate places, are migrating to new destinations for a greater variety of reasons and under distinct circumstances. A shared aspect is that most of these migrations are urban in nature, being concentrated in cities attracting human, financial, and other flows from across the globe. This study discusses some of the recent conceptual turns in the migration studies field which have been developed to better understand these changing migration dynamics and their impact of urban life. These concepts are situated within the expanding field of international migration studies in Turkey, including both her prior ethnographic research exploring migration linked diversity and change in Istanbul’s Kumkapi neighbourhood and current research examining “social cohesion” programs and initiatives within Turkey’s refugee response.


Evaluation for Improvement: Optimizing Program Effectiveness through Statistical Mediation Analysis

Dr. Yasemin Kisbu-Sakarya, a faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Koç University

February 07, 2020



Statistical mediation analysis allows researchers to investigate through which mechanisms a program changes the targeted outcome variables. A mediator differs from other third variables such as a moderator in that the mediator is intermediate in the causal process such that the program influences the mediator, which in turn influences the outcome. This presentation will first address the theory and examples of mediators in prevention and intervention research and then the findings of the methodological studies on mediation including estimation with latent variables and causal modelling of mediated effects will be shared. Finally, two recent studies investigating mediated effects in large-scale educational interventions in Turkey will be described and the contributions to program improvement will be discussed.


Gender Differences in Response to Early Retirement Incentives Evidence from Turkey

Dr. Güneş Aşık, Assistant Professor at TOBB University of Economics and Technology

November 22, 2019



This paper explores the impact of a super early retirement incentive that allowed women and men to retire as early as 38 and 44 years old in Turkey. The legislation dated 1992 brought incentives to individuals who met several conditions to retire at a much earlier age than the conventional 60-65 years window, but compliance was imperfect. Using the Statistics on Income and Living Condition (SILC) panel data between 2007-2012 and employing a Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Design randomized on age, I find that the incentives led to a reduction of about 33.9 hours in weekly hours worked by women who are 39 to 48 years old in a bandwidth of three years around the eligible age for retirement. Moreover, the study finds that the entitlement for retirement reduced the probability of labour force participation of women by about 75 percentage points. While the study does not find any impact on the hours supplied by men, it finds that the labour force participation declined by about 26.6 percentage points.


The Effect of Employment Status on Contraceptive Choices of Women with Young Children

Dr. Didem Pekkurnaz, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Başkent University


May 01, 2019


Childcare burden is one of the main reasons behind the lower employment rate of women in Turkey, and the opportunity cost of child-rearing is high for working women (especially in higher work status). Since using an effective birth control method prevents the risk of unintended pregnancies, we may expect differences in contraception behaviour between working and not working women. This study aims to analyse the impact of the employment status of women with young children on their contraception behaviour using data from the 2013 Turkey Demographic and Health Survey. Results show that employed women are more likely to choose a modern (effective) method over a traditional (less effective) one. Especially, those working as government employees are more likely to use a modern method relative to a traditional method.


The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Mortality Rates in Turkey

Dr. Berna Tunca, the College of Administrative Sciences and Economics, Koç University


March 15, 2019


Turkey hosts more than 3.6 million registered Syrian refugees. Refugees who were displaced from Syria during the civil war arrived in Turkey in great need of health care. Free health care is provided to Syrian immigrants in Turkey, resulting in capacity problems in the provinces with a higher immigrant-native ratio. Public hospitals provided more than 1 million inpatients, and 20 million outpatients care to Syrian refugees between 2011 and 2016 (AFAD). This paper exploits the influx of Syrians to Turkey to estimate the effects of immigrants on the mortality rates of the native population. Using the immigrant-native population ratio as the main control variable and holding health input statistics constant, the paper estimates the effects of refugees on mortality rates of the native population for different gender and age groups.

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Blessing or Burden? The Impact of Refugees on Businesses and the Informal Economy

Dr. Onur Altındağ, Department of Economics, Bentley University


July 27, 2018


​This paper studies the impact of more than 3 million Syrian refugees on Turkish businesses operating in an economy with a large informal sector.  It uses an instrumental variable design that relies on exogenous variations in refugee outflows from Syria and the geographic location of Arabic-speaking communities in Turkey before the conflict began. Using yearly censuses of firms, it finds that refugee inflows had a positive impact on the intensive and extensive margins of production, which are highly concentrated in the informal economy. The effects are stronger for smaller firms and those that operate in the construction and hospitality industries.

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Understanding Crowd Working Markets: Determinants of Job Satisfaction and Earnings

Dr. Luis Pinedo Caro, International Labour Organisation


January 26, 2018


This article provides an economic analysis of the determinants of wages and job satisfaction among crowdworkers. This study takes advantage of the international scope of a survey on crowd workers carried out by the ILO to show evidence in favour of crowdsourcing platforms clearing at an international price, opening the door to relatively well-remunerated work in developing countries. In addition, the study offers a novel perspective with respect to job satisfaction in crowdsourcing platforms by analysing the relationship between the reasons for doing crowd work and the crowd workers' level of job satisfaction; this analysis confirms that workers based in poorer countries are more satisfied with crowd work and suggests that crowdsourcing platforms may lead to high levels of job satisfaction when it is not a forced choice due to, for instance, lack of other job opportunities.

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Effect of Supplier’s Bankruptcy on Firm Productivity: Evidence from Turkey

Dr. Beyza Polat, Department of Economics, Özyeğin University

December 27, 2017


​This research uses data from the Entrepreneur Information System (EIS) to examine the impact of a firm’s supplier’s bankruptcy on the firm’s productivity. EIS is a unique dataset as it contains information on the transactions between all firms in Turkey. Using this dataset, the study identifies the buyer-supplier relationships between the firms and looks at the effect of a breakdown of this relationship due to the exit of the supplier on the buyer’s productivity. The study uses data on the manufacturing industry covering the period 2008-2013 and employs the differences-in-differences methodology with propensity score matching to study this effect. It finds that when a buyer-supplier relationship breaks down due to the supplier’s bankruptcy, the buyer firm’s productivity is negatively affected by this shock. It also finds that this negative effect is stronger when (i) the buyer firm operates in a supplier dominant industry and (ii) the supplier firm’s share in the total supplies of the buyer firm becomes higher. Finally, the study looks at the effect of the buyer firm’s strategic response to the supplier’s exit from the market. This study finds that buyer firms, which increase their number of suppliers in response to the shock, are more negatively affected by the shock.

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Determinants of Participation In Participatory Budgeting: What Can We Learn From A Developed Country Setting?

Mine Tafolar, Department of Political Science, the University of Illinois at Chicago

December 22, 2016


Several countries, across the globe, started to implement a public policy innovation referred to as Participatory Budgeting (PB) from 1989 onward. Participatory budgeting engages community members in the budgeting process by giving them a direct voice on how public money should be spent. In the 1990s, Chicago also began to introduce alternative participatory budgeting practices that could have a potential for strengthening transparency and accountability. Despite the use of various methods to reach out to residents, the voting participation rate stands at remarkably low levels. This study considers the various mechanisms through which the citizens were invited to participate in the budgeting process and aims to identify the key factors, which resulted in the dearth of participation in this developed country setting. Using a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data, the study seeks to answer the following questions: “What are some of the reasons for low participation in the program? What are some of the factors that distinguish participants from non-participants and do their preferences differ? Are there any takeaways from the situation in this setting to developing country contexts?”

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How to Make Genetically Engineered Seeds Work For Development? A Comparative Study of Policy Challenges

Dr. Alper Yağcı, Department of International Relations, Özyeğin University

October 13, 2016


Genetically engineered, or transgenic, seeds hold promise for increasing agricultural productivity by increasing crop resilience and reducing the need for certain chemical inputs. However, they also come with new health and environmental risks. Furthermore, unlike conventional seeds, transgenic seeds are protected by novel intellectual property instruments such as patents, on the basis of which patent owners seek monetary compensation from the farmers using these seeds. Both the absence of legal precedents to patent protection of seeds and the concentrated market structure in patents for transgenic seed applications make this relationship prone to disagreements and political conflict. Consequently, over the last two decades governments around the world have adopted very divergent policies in regulating agriculture with transgenic seeds; some allowing farmers to be charged technology fees for the seeds, some allowing relatively free usage, and others completely banning this technology in their territory. In this talk, the presenter analyses the causes and some consequences of such divergent policy choices based on fieldwork and insights from four countries: Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, and India.

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How Social Context Affects Bureaucratic Accountability and Local Public Services

Dr. Tuğba Bozçağa, Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

August 22, 2016


​Theories of democratic governance assume that citizens hold politicians accountable for their performance in providing public services. This study shifts the debate on public services to bureaucratic accountability.  Since the accountability relationships among citizens, service providers, and bureaucrats are embedded in the local social context, the character and density of local social ties, the study argues, are likely to condition the accountability relationships among citizens, service providers, and local bureaucrats. Specifically, in social contexts which allow for stronger and denser information flows and sanctioning mechanisms, local public investments are likely to translate into better outcomes, and henceforth, higher satisfaction with government performance. Using an original panel dataset containing detailed information on education and health investments and electoral outcomes in Turkey, the study finds that particularly health investments have a positive effect on the vote share of the incumbent government. However, consistent with the theoretical expectations, this positive effect is limited only to small and non-Kurdish districts, where social ties of citizens vis-a-vis service providers and bureaucrats are presumably stronger. A crucial contribution of this study is that the effect of public investments on local outcomes and incumbent support is not uniform.

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Non-State Provision and the Quality of Social Services: Insights from the Health Sector in Lebanon

Aytuğ Şaşmaz, Department of Government, Harvard University

July 29, 2016


In many developing countries, non-state actors have effectively replaced or overshadowed the state as important providers of social welfare. In parts of the Middle East, religious charities and parties have taken on this role, building a parallel or alternative welfare infrastructure alongside the state. How well do these groups provide welfare goods? Do some religious groups have a “welfare advantage,” or a demonstrated superiority in the quality and efficiency of providing social services, as some suggest? This paper explores whether religious or other organisational types are associated with distinct levels of the quality of care. Based on a pilot study in Beirut, Lebanon, the study evaluates a variety of hypotheses suggesting why faith-based organisations might deliver better services. The study finds little support for a faith-based welfare advantage. Instead, the data indicate that secular NGOs exhibit superior measures of health care quality, a seemingly counterintuitive finding in Lebanon where religious and sectarian actors dominate politics and the welfare regime and enjoy the most extensive resources. Our tentative explanation for this finding emphasises the ways in which the socio-political context shapes the choices of qualified providers to select into secular organisations and why citizens might perceive these providers to be better, irrespective of the actual quality of services delivered. A planned national scale-up of the project aims to explore these and other hypotheses about the linkages between organisational missions and the quality of service delivery.

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How to Measure the Effectiveness of a Nationwide Youth Leadership Programme: An Impact Evaluation Study from South Africa

Ece Yağman, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town

March 29, 2016


"Activate!" is a national youth leadership programme in South Africa that has been in operation since 2012. The key objective of this programme is to encourage youth leadership and promote behavioural change, especially in the area of reducing tolerance of destructive risk. An impact evaluation of this programme has been undertaken by the University of Cape Town utilising a randomised control trial (RCT) framework. The study includes a series of experimental games in conjunction with more traditional quantitative survey methods, to collect data on social preferences, risk, discounting, loss aversion, and reciprocity as well as a host of survey-based measures of labour market participation, civic engagement and political activism. The preliminary findings suggest that there might be heterogeneous treatment effects. For instance, conditional on the programme changing the beliefs of the participants about the trustworthiness of others, there is a positive impact on trust behaviour. This presentation covers the design, implementation, and initial key findings of the study.

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What Is It That We Measure? Investigating Validity and Transparency in Poverty Measurement

Selçuk Bedük, Department of Social Policy and Intervention, University of Oxford

January 05, 2016


Income poverty measures have been criticised on the issues of coverage/indexing, equivalence and referencing. As a response, numerous measures using multiple deprivation indicators have recently been proposed. In principle, deprivation measures can improve on these validity problems. In practice, however, existing deprivation measures are also prone to the same validity problems. To mitigate such biases, shifting the focus from measurement methods to elaborating concepts, and establishing the links between measures and concepts is essential. The main concern is not multidimensionality per se but enhancing the validity of poverty measurement. The thesis empirically explores these arguments and proposes a new multidimensional measure that aims to mitigate the identified biases of existing measures. The first three papers focus on examining the (empirical) validity of existing deprivation measures using alternative methods, while the fourth paper, informed by the learnings of the first three papers, focuses on elaborating a concept of poverty and a related multidimensional measure of poverty for the EU countries. 

Past Seminars

Development Seminar Series, 2013- 2015

Our Development Seminar Series (2013-2015) focuses on the most current issues and debates in the field and engages internationally renowned academics, policymakers and development practitioners as speakers to share their work and expertise with our audience. 


Can the Montessori Preschool Model Be Applied In Developing and Low-Income Country Settings: Case Studies from Colombia, Peru, Uganda, Tanzania, and Bahrain.

Barbara Isaacs, Montessori St Nicholas

June 01, 2015


Bogazici University, Istanbul.
UNICEF Turkey Country Office, Ankara.

Barbara Isaacs is the Academic Director of London Montessori Centre International (MCI). She joined MCI in 1998 after training Montessori teachers at both Montessori St Nicholas and London Montessori Centre. She was the proprietor of Seedlings Montessori Nursery in Oxfordshire for 15 years.  She has over 20 years of experience as a teacher trainer, and she is the Senior Accreditation Officer for the Montessori Accreditation and Evaluation Board. She is the author of two teacher-training books in the Montessori Method: “Bringing the Montessori Approach to your Early Years Practice” and “Understanding the Montessori Approach: Early Years Education in Practice.”

Read the Article: "Montessori Teacher Training in neighbourhood Crèches of Istanbul: The Project and Beyond"


Inequality of Opportunities and the Arab Spring

Prof. Melani Cammett, Department of Political Science, Brown University


December 23, 2013


Melani Cammett is an Associate Professor of Political Science, a faculty associate at the Population Studies and Training centre, and a faculty fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. Cammett specializes in the political economy of development and the Middle East. Her new book, “Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon” explores how politics shape the distribution of welfare goods. Cammett’s co-edited book, “The Politics of Non-State Social Welfare in the Global South” examines the political consequences of non-state welfare provision in diverse regions. Her current research focuses on public and social goods provision by Islamists and other types of public and private actors in several Middle Eastern countries. Cammett has published work on a diverse array of topics in numerous scholarly and policy-oriented journals. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. from the Fletcher School at Tufts University and has consulted for various development policy organizations.

Read the Article: "Bread, Freedom and Social Justice: A Political Economy Framework for Understanding Arab Uprising"


Persistence of Fortune: Impact of Population Movements on Development

Prof. Louis Putterman, Department of Economics, Brown University

December 17, 2013


The Department of Economics, Kadir Has University.

Louis Putterman is a Professor of Economics at Brown University. Putterman conducts research on economic behaviour, economic development, organisations, incentives, and economic systems. His recent research topics include effects of early history on recent levels and rates of growth; industrial enterprise behaviour and employment in China; income distribution; and rural economic development. In recent years, he has been conducting experiments to study trust, reciprocity, cooperation, and preferences regarding the distribution of income. Prof. Putterman holds a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University and a Ph.D. in Economics from Brown University. He received Fulbright and other research awards to conduct research in Tanzania and China. He has been active in Brown’s Development Studies program, directing its master’s program since 2000 and its undergraduate program since 2005. He was president of the Association for Comparative Economic Studies in 2000-2001. He wrote and edited eight books and published over 80 scholarly articles in refereed journals and books. His latest book “The Good, The Bad, and The Economy – Does Human Nature Rule Out a Better World?” was published in 2012.


Better Social Policy: Design, Implementation, Evaluation and Country Cases

Prof. Lant Pritchett, Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

November 22, 2013

The Republic of Turkey, Ministry of Development.

Lant Pritchett is a renowned Harvard economist with many years of experience in the practice and teaching of development. He is currently a Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the faculty chair of the MPA/ID program since 2007. He is a non-resident fellow of the centre for Global Development, and a senior fellow of BREAD. He is also co-editor of the Journal of Development Economics. Pritchett’s work primarily focuses on labour, education, migration, and social protection. He held several research positions at the World Bank between 1988 and 2007 and served as the lead economist in the Social Development group of the South Asia region in Delhi, India in 2004-2007. Pritchett helped produce several World Bank reports including World Development Report 1994: Infrastructure for Development, Assessing Aid: What Works, What Doesn’t and Why (1998), World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for the Poor. He has authored or co-authored over 50 academic papers and published widely on issues of economics, demography, education, and health.

Read the Article: "A Story of Snakes and Turtles as told by Pritchett"

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