Impact of the 1999 Earthquakes on the Outcome of the 2002 Parliamentary Election in Turkey

21 Pages Posted: 23 May 2008

See all articles by Ali Akarca

Ali Akarca

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics

Aysit Tansel

Middle East Technical University (METU) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Abstract

The two major earthquakes which struck northwestern Turkey in 1999, not only caused enormous amounts of death, destruction and suffering, but also exposed rampant government corruption involving construction and zoning code violations. The incompetence shown by the government in providing relief, the corruption allegations in regards to those efforts, and government's failure to prosecute corrupt officials and businessmen, further angered the public. How voters responded to these in the 2002 parliamentary election is investigated, using cross-provincial data, and controlling for other social, political and economic factors. Our results show that voters held accountable all of the political parties which participated in governments during the last decade or so, and not just the incumbents in 2002. The party in charge of the ministry responsible for earthquake relief, and parties that served longest and controlled more of the city administrations in the quake zone were blamed more. The newly formed Justice and Development Party (AKP) was the beneficiary of the votes lost by these parties. The sensitivity shown by the electorate to real and perceived corruption implies that corruption problem will be tractable in Turkey, and can be reduced through increased transparency and democratization.

Keywords: Turkey, earthquake, corruption, election, party preference

JEL Classification: D72, D73, Q54

Suggested Citation

Akarca, Ali and Tansel, Aysit, Impact of the 1999 Earthquakes on the Outcome of the 2002 Parliamentary Election in Turkey. IZA Working Paper No. 3466, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1136267 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

Ali Akarca (Contact Author)

University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

725 University Hall (UH)
Chicago, IL 60607-7121
United States

Aysit Tansel

Middle East Technical University (METU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Inonu Bulvari
Ankara 06800
Turkey
90 312 210 2073 (Phone)
90 312 210 7964 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Economic Research Forum (ERF) ( email )

21 Al-Sad Al-Aaly St.
(P.O. Box: 12311)
Dokki, Cairo
Egypt

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