Voter Reaction to Government Incompetence and Corruption Related to the 1999 Earthquakes in Turkey

51 Pages Posted: 4 Sep 2015

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

Two major earthquakes which struck northwestern Turkey in 1999 exposed rampant corruption involving construction and zoning code violations. The government's relief efforts were tainted by corruption as well, and exhibited a great deal of incompetence. How voters responded to these in the next election held in 2002 is investigated. The fact that different group of parties were responsible for the construction of the shoddy buildings, and for the corruption and mismanagement related to relief, provided us with a unique opportunity to determine whether and how the electorate punished the culprits for each of these. Vote equations are estimated for the seven major political parties. These are fitted to cross-provincial data individually, using OLS, Robust Regression methods, and Seemingly Unrelated Regressions procedures. The same picture emerges from each of these methods. Not just those ruling at the time of the earthquakes, but also other parties which were in power when the substandard buildings, were built were held accountable by the electorate. Furthermore, the Turkish voters appear to have allocated the blame rationally, taking into consideration the division of labor in the central government, and the relative influences the parties had on local administrations. Reaction of the voters to government incompetence and corruption was one of the factors which resulted in the emergence of a new party system. In 2002, the AKP, established only a year before, captured almost all of the far-right Islamist, about half of the far-right nationalist, and more than half of the center-right votes in 2002.

Keywords: natural disaster, corruption, disaster aid, governance, election, voter behavior, voter turnout, Turkey

JEL Classification: D72, D73, H84, Q54

Suggested Citation

Akarca, Ali and Tansel, Aysit, Voter Reaction to Government Incompetence and Corruption Related to the 1999 Earthquakes in Turkey. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9162, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2655111

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

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
10
Abstract Views
347
PlumX Metrics