Friday, April 30, 2010

Reader Request: Books on the Turkish Economy

A reader recently asked me on recommendations for books (English or Turkish) on the Turkish economy, which I am more than happy to oblige. Before I present my list below, there are a couple of disclaimers: First, I am only writing about books I have read and am familiar with, so this is in no way a complete list. If you do a book search on Amazon, you can find quite a few titles, ranging from Banking to Customs Union, on the Turkish economy. Second, I wanted to list general books rather than specific titles, so a book on Banking would not be on the list below.

So, here we go:

Ekonomi Politikası / Teori ve Türkiye Uygulaması (Political Economy, Theory and Application to Turkey) by Mahfi Egilmez and Ercan Kumcu: The authors are two well-respected policy economists (with credible academic hats as well), Kumcu was a long-time vice president in the Central Bank of Turkey and Egilmez the undersecretary of the Treasury. What I really like about the book is that it combines macro theory with applications to the post-liberalization (since the mid-80s) Turkish economy. Of course, it does not claim to be a comprehensive expose of macro theory or recent Turkish economic history. But after going through the book, you’ll definitely have a better understanding of macro as well recent economic developments in Turkey.

Makroekonomik Gostergelerin Yorumlanmasi (Interpreting Macroeconomic Indicators) by Omer Faruk Colak and Alaattin Aktas: As the title suggests, the authors go over Turkish macroeconomic indicators. Nothing illuminating if you have worked as a market economist, but could be quite useful if you haven't.

Ekonomik Gostergeler ve Istatistikler Rehberi (Guide to Economics Indicators and Statistics) by Elif Cepni: Similar to the previous book, but not as comprehensive on the Turkish indicators. But it makes up for this some basic economic theory and accounting (i.e. how inflation indices and real interest rates are calculated) as well as some international stuff.

Unfortunately, all the books above are in Turkish, but fortunately, if you don't speak Turkish, I have a couple of recommendations as well:

Financial Programming and Policy: The Case of Turkey by Richard C. Barth and William Hemphill: A nice introduction Financial Programming as well as to the Turkish economy. The only problem is that the book was published in 2001, so the data are from 1990s...

The Turkish Economy: The Real Economy, Corporate Governance and Reform, edited by Sumru Altug and Alpay Filiztekin: Papers on different aspects of the Turkish economy, but the book is quite comprehensive. The ludicrous price is an issue, but according to Amazon, a paperback for USD40 is coming in October.

In addition, if you want to get a comprehensive and (somewhat) up-to-date analysis of the Turkish economy the World Bank CEMs as well as IMF and OECD country reports are always a good source. Obviously, these sources have also working papers and reports on specific Turkey topics, which are way too numerous to list here.

Feel free to add in, either as a comment to this post or an email to me, your recommendations as well, I would be more than happy to incorporate them to the next edition of this post...

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