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Religiosity, Employment, and Horizontal Inequalities in Turkey

Religiosity, Employment, and Horizontal Inequalities in Turkey

Oyvat, Cem ORCID: 0000-0002-5097-0246, Tekgüç, Hasan and Yagci, Alper H. (2021) Religiosity, Employment, and Horizontal Inequalities in Turkey. [Working Paper]

Oyvat_Tekgüç_Yağcı_GPERC Rev 090921.pdf - Published Version
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In societies that are horizontally fragmented between identity-based social groups, electoral competition is often motivated by the desire to use public office to advance group interests (Alesina et al., 1999, Bates, 1983, i Miquel, 2007). We focus on the case of Turkey to study group favoritism in such a context. Rigorous individual-level empirical study of this question has so far remained limited since official household income surveys in Turkey do not include questions about religion and religiosity. We fill this gap by exploiting individual-level polling data that spans the available 2012-2018 period in pooled cross-sectional fashion, and analyzing whether age cohorts that joined the labor market before and after AKP came to power experience varying outcomes in employment and income depending on their religion and religiosity. We find that under AKP rule pious Sunnis displayed significant improvement in the ratio of those in public sector employment (especially for women) and private high-status jobs (especially for men). In fact, for the youngest cohorts, the gap between pious Sunnis and others in public employment has already closed. Finally, gaps in income per capita between pious Sunni and others are narrowing only for the youngest cohorts. Our findings suggest that AKP governments use public employment to reward like-minded groups.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Turkey, public sector employment, patronage, Political Islam, event study design, clientelism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability (IPEGFA) > Greenwich Political Economy Research Centre (GPERC)
Faculty of Business
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 17:57

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