BOFIT Seminar - Çiğdem Börke Tunali (Istanbul University) - Migration and Regional Adjustment to Asymmetric Shocks in Turkey

Co-author: Jan Fidrmuc (University of Lille)


Turkey has experienced an unprecedented international migration inflow since the beginning of Syrian Civil War in 2011. While the international migrant stock was 1.373.749 in 2010 it increased to 6.052.652 in 2020. As a result of this, the percentage of international migrants in the total population increased from 1.9 in 2010 to 7.2 in 2020 in Turkey (United Nations, 2020). In the economics literature, whether migration plays a significant role as an adjustment mechanism in the face of economic shocks has been intensively debated since the beginning of 1960s. Although there are many empirical studies investigating this issue, there is still no consensus on the efficacy of migration in the adjustment process of labour markets in response to asymmetric shocks. In addition to this, the majority of the existing studies focus on either the US or the EU countries. Unlike the previous analyses, we investigate if the migration has a significant role in the adjustment mechanism of labour markets in Turkey. In addition to this, by taking into account the Okun’s (1962) Law, we analyse if migration flows react to variations of the local GDP growth rate from the national average as a robustness checks. This study fills an important gap in the existing literature by providing new evidence with regard to Turkish economy, a country which has the biggest international migrant stock among the middle-income countries after the Russian Federation according to the 2020 figures (United Nations, 2020). The results of this research can, moreover, shed light on the role that international migrants play by facilitating labour-market adjustment in emerging economies in general, beyond Turkey. 


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