Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some column and blog ideas

I came up with quite a bit of interesting blog and column ideas in the last few days. I am not sure if all of these will turn into actual articles or posts, but I had better jot them down here before I forget them:
  • Quality of services: We economists tend to focus too much on price and quantity, but little on quality of goods and services because the latter is very hard to measure. I have had so many bad experiences on the quality of services in Turkey that I began to look at the literature measuring that.
  • Tourism: The tourism sector did much better than expected in Turkey during the crisis. In retrospect, I would have never thought substitution effects would be so prevalent in the sector. But Turkey still does not look competitive in the sector when benchmarked against peers. This is also related to the quality of services.
  • Turkish Assets: I have been seeing an important dichotomy in Turkish assets of late. While technicals and positioning seem to be very supportive of Turkish assets, fundamentals do not look that favorable.
  • Stocks versus flows: Another interesting dichotomy I have noticed is in Turkish data. While stocks seem to be very positive, flows do not look as good. Incidentally, many analysts and ratings agencies are paying too much attention to stocks, but not enough attention to flows.
  • IMF: The IMF came up with some really revolutionizing ideas in the last couple of months, most of which got ignored, as headlines were reserved for financial sector levy/tax, the Greek rescue package and financial regulation. In fact, those are the least interesting and arguably not the most important of IMF's recent work.
  • Inflation: Comments on May inflation showed me that there is wide confusion on many of the concepts and key patterns of Turkish inflation, so I would like to do a piece on debunking myths about Turkish inflation in the next couple of months, especially after an inflation data release.
  • Food inflation: I might have found an easy way to get a quick and dirty estimate of food inflation, so if I could try that out, it will definitely make its way to my writing.
  • A tale of two currencies: I was looking at South African economic and financial data just for the sake of it, and I saw some interesting relationships between South African and Turkish currencies. Maybe, I will devote next week's column to this topic in honor of the World Cup.
  • Female labor force participation and expanding opportunities for the next generation: I attended a seminar on Friday, where two recent reports on these topics were presented and discussed. I really would like to cover at least one of them in my Hurriyet columns.
 BTW, I would be more than happy to exchange in a public (as comments to this post) or private discussion on any of these topics.

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