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  • Etkinlikler/ Seminerler / Sosyal Politika Seminerleri 2015-2016: The Impact of Public Investment in Social Care Services on Employment, Gender Equality and Poverty: The Turkish Case

    Boğaziçi Üniversitesi Sosyal Politika Yüksek Lisans Programı 'nın SPL 579 Seminer Dersi kapsamındaki etkinlik herkese açıktır.

    Program detayları:

    Boğaziçi University
    Master of Arts in Social Policy
    SPL 579 (Graduate Seminar)


    Prof. İpek İlkkaracan

    (Istanbul Technical University)

    “The Impact of Public Investment in Social Care Services on Employment, Gender Equality and Poverty: The Turkish Case”


    March 31 (Thursday), 2016


     John Freely Seminar Room (Albert Long Hall / BTS)


    Among all Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, Turkey has by far the lowest rate of access to early childhood care and preschool education (ECCPE) services. Not coincidentally, Turkey also has the OECD’s lowest labor force participation rate for working-age women (15–64), at 33.6 percent—almost half the OECD average. For most mothers in Turkey, foregoing paid labor is dictated by a simple cost-benefit analysis: the potential monetary gains from paid work are much lower than the cost of buying market substitutes to replace household and care work. This is partly a function of Turkey’s underinvestment in ECCPE services—the government spends just 0.18 percent of GDP on early child care and pre-school, compared to an OECD average of 0.8 percent. Underinvestment in social care thus takes its toll on the country’s long-term economic potential, not only through weakened labor force attachment but also in diminished childhood development and the persistence of socio-economic inequalities at an early age.

    What is less well known is that expanding ECCPE services would also produce considerable short-term demand side economic benefits, in terms of employment creation, remediation of gender inequality through enhanced labor demand effects, and poverty reduction. We use a combination of input-output analysis and microsimulation with household income and living conditions survey data, to measure the effects of raising Turkey’s early child care and preschool enrollment rate to the OECD average through a publicly funded expansion of ECCPE and compare the results to the same expenditure on physical infrastructure (construction) projects.

    The results indicate that spending on social care infrastructure (i.e. ECCPE) generates two-



    and-half times more direct and indirect jobs than spending of similar magnitude on physical infrastructure; as much as 84% of these jobs have permanent contracts under social security coverage (vs. only 30% in the case of construction); 72% of the jobs go to women (vs. only 6% in the case of construction) and targeted social care infrastructure spending has the potential to decrease relative poverty by 1.14 percentage points (vs. 0.35 percentage points in the case of construction). We conclude that prioritizing public spending on social care, and on ECCPE in particular, should be a central part of an inclusive growth agenda for Turkey not only in terms of its better-known supply side effects on labor force participation and human capital, but also its demand side effects on jobs generation and income distribution.

    This research study, a collaborative initiative by Istanbul Technical University Women’s Studies Center and the Levy Economics Institute New York, is funded by UNDP and UN Women Regional Offices for Europe and CIS, UNDP and ILO Turkey Offices and the Aydın Doğan Foundation.

    See below for full article in English:



    Türkçe tam metin için bakınız:




    İpek İlkkaracan is professor of economics at Istanbul Technical University, Faculty of Management; associate director of the ITU Women’s Studies Center; and a research associate at the Levy Economics Institute, New York. She holds a BA in political science from Swarthmore College and an MA and Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research. Her research areas include macroeconomics of unemployment and wages, labor market inequalities, work-life balance policies, time use, the care economy, and sustainable growth. İlkkaracan serves on the editorial board of Feminist Economics and is an elected board member of the Middle Eastern Economics Association and the International Association for Feminist Economics. She acts as the country expert on Turkey in the European Network of Experts on Gender Equality, reporting to the European Commission on a quarterly basis. She  is also a founding member of the Gender, Macroeconomics, and International Economics GEM-Europe Network; Women for Women’s Human Rights – New Ways; and the Women’s Labor and Employment Initiative (KEIG) Platform.