Modelling Local and Regional Economic Development in Turkey: A “Curate's Egg”



This paper explores and unpacks the nature of the processes shaping regional economic growth in Turkey using an econometric modelling strategy. Existing empirical research in this field has focussed on regions in economically advanced and technologically innovative economies. As a consequence, the broader picture of the dynamics of regional development in less developed countries, particularly its social and political origins and the overall changes in regional inequality, has remained elusive and less clear. In this study, a set of econometric models is developed to explore the validity of a range of theoretical propositions in explaining the trajectories of regional economic change in Turkey between 2004 and 2008. Growth is calibrated in terms of employment and changing rates of unemployment in the chosen time period in the 81 provinces of Turkey. The results of the study explain that implications of the current local and regional economic development theories are a “Curate's Egg”—good in parts—because these theories are only partially relevant in the Turkish context.