Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Yet another addendum to an addendum

An anonymous reader made the following comment to my addendum to this week's Hurriyet / Roubini column:
Why does the decline in agricultural employment not explain the decreasing LFP for women? If the data here ( is to be believed, agricultural employment in Turkey has decreased from almost 50% to about 25% over the last two decades.

Assuming that most of these women who were previously "employed" ("employed" rather than employed, because these "jobs" tend to be extremely informal in Turkey) in agriculture did not take up non-agricultural jobs when they migrated to the cities, this might explain the drop in LFP for women over the last two decades.

I don't think AKP has anything to do with it, actually I think AKP has passed some legislation (albeit insufficient) encouraging women's employment, and whatever you might think of Erdogan, he is not known for his opposition to women's participation in the labor force, quite the opposite, he actually explicitly said multiple times that he is a strong supporter of it.
Let me me clear: I was not saying the decline in agricultural employment does not explain (upps, again the dreaded double negation) the decrease in women's LFP; just that it is not sufficient to explain all of it.  Why? Even without any sophisticated analysis, simple back-of-the envelope calculations reveal that very strong assumptions would be needed for all of the LFP fall to be explained solely by migration: You'd need something like all of these women working in the fields and almost none of them working in the cities they migrate to. I am not sure how the background paper of the World Bank study reaches the same conclusion, as I haven't seen the paper for over a year and could not find it, but it should be more or less the same logic.

But I agree with her that the AKP / Erdogan do not have much to blame for the decline in women's LFP. Even if increase in conservatism is playin a role, the the AKP and Erdogan have only been in power for the last decade, whereas women's LFP has been on the decline since the early 1990s. As much as I am a fierce critic of Erdogan's economic policies, such as playing the small-town merchant with the IMF Stand-by and the fiscal rule, I accept that he is never given the benefit of doubt, for fear that he has a hidden agenda- which I wouldn't know, as I am not his psychotherapist...

BTW, there is definitely something wrong with Blogspot: I was alerted of the reader's comment through email, but the comment itself is not where it is supposed to be. I was going to post it to the blog anyway, to make sure she sees my response, but still.... Luckily, I won't have to deal with Blogspot much longer: No, to the dismay of my perennial spammer, the CHP fanatic and a few others, I am not quitting. But having got my cues from the Turkish agricultural workers, I will be migrating as well. But more on that later: That deserves a separate post, but as a preview, I am officially joining forces with Dr. Doom...

1 comment:

Staffing Supplier said...

More and more people are turning towards Town and cities, which is hampering the agricultural growth.