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Distributive Politics and Regional Development: Assessing the Territorial Distribution of Turkey's Public Investment

Davide Luca and Andr�s Rodr�guez-Pose
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Andrés Rodríguez-Pose ()

Journal of Development Studies, 2015, vol. 51, issue 11, 1518-1540

Abstract: Turkey is often perceived as a country with low bureaucratic capacity and prone to political manipulation and 'pork-barrel'. This article tests whether this is the case, by analysing the extent to which politics, rather than equity and efficiency criteria, have determined the geographical allocation of public investment across the 81 provinces of Turkey between 2005 and 2012. The results show that although the Turkish government has indeed channelled public expenditures to reward its core constituencies, socioeconomic factors remained the most relevant predictors of investment. Moreover, in contrast to official regional development policy principles, we uncover the concentration of public investment in areas with comparatively higher levels of development. We interpret this as the state bureaucracy's intentional strategy of focussing on efficiency by concentrating resources on 'the better off among the most in need'.

Date: 2015
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DOI: 10.1080/00220388.2015.1028536

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