Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Abdullah Altun


Abdullah Altun
Department of Economics, Gebze Technical University, Turkey

Abdullah Altun received his Ph.D. degree in 2017 from the Gebze Technical University, Turkey. He is a full-time assistant professor in Economics at the Gebze Technical University, Turkey. His primary research interest is international trade and economic growth. In his studies, he mainly focuses on the macroeconomic impacts of GVCs. He was visiting scholar at the Faculty of Technology Management and Technopreneurship of the Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTEM), Malaysia and at the Faculty of Economics of University of Warsaw, Poland. Before the full-time academic career, he was working as a Senior Specialist in Informatics and Information Security Research Center in The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey.

Content by this Author

MENA trade patterns and the pursuit of growth

Changing trade structures continue to shape national development paths, not least for the countries of Middle East and North Africa, whose futures depend closely on trends in globalisation. This column outlines empirical evidence for the region, which indicates the positive growth effects of participation in global value chains for the all sectors. The analysis also reveals considerable variation within the region in terms of types of trade flows, sectors and trade partners.

Trade openness and global value chains: effects on Turkish industries

Production processes and distribution systems have become increasingly fragmented across countries since the 1990s. Many large economies have benefitted from this phenomenon of ‘global value chains’, but as this column explains, the story may be different for developing countries. Empirical evidence from Turkey reveals positive productivity and growth effects of linkages, but damaging effects of backward participation on industries.

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Labour market effects of robots: evidence from Turkey

Evidence from developed countries on the impact of automation on labour markets suggests that there can be negative effects on manufacturing jobs, but also mechanisms for workers to move into the services sector. But this narrative may not apply in developing economies. This column reports new evidence from Turkey on the effects of robots on labour displacement and job reallocation.

Global value chains and domestic innovation: evidence from MENA firms

Global interlinkages play a significant role in enhancing innovation by firms in developing countries. In particular, as this column explains, participation in global value chains fosters a variety of innovation activities. Since some countries in the Middle East and North Africa display a downward trend on measures of global innovation, facilitating the GVC participation of firms in the region is a prospective channel for stimulating underperforming innovation.

Food insecurity in Tunisia during and after the Covid-19 pandemic

Labour market instability, rising unemployment rates and soaring food prices due to Covid-19 are among the reasons for severe food insecurity across the world. This grim picture is evident in Tunisia, where the government continues to provide financial and food aid to vulnerable households after the pandemic. But as this column explains, the inadequacy of some public policies is another important factors causing food insecurity.

Sustaining entrepreneurship: lessons from Iran

Does entrepreneurial activity naturally return to long-term average levels after big economic disturbances? This column presents new evidence from Iran on trends in entrepreneurship among various categories of firm size, sector and location – and suggests policies that could be effective in promoting entrepreneurial activities.

Intimate partner violence: the impact on women’s empowerment in Egypt

Although intimate partner violence is a well-documented and widely recognised problem, empirical research on its prevalence and impact is scarce in developing countries, including those in the Middle East and North Africa. This column reports evidence from a study of intra-household disparities in Egypt, taking account of attitudes toward gender roles, women’s ownership of assets, and the domestic violence that wives may experience from their husbands.

Manufacturing firms in Egypt: trade participation and outcomes for workers

International trade can play a large and positive role in boosting economic growth, reducing poverty and making progress towards gender equality. These effects result in part from the extent to which trade is associated with favourable labour market outcomes. This column presents evidence of the effects of Egyptian manufacturing firms’ participation in exporting and importing on their workers’ productivity and average wages, and on women’s employment share.

Do capital inflows cause industrialisation or de-industrialisation?

There is a clear appeal for emerging and developing economies, including those in MENA, to finance investment in manufacturing industry at home with capital inflows from overseas. But as the evidence reported in this column indicates, this is a potentially risky strategy: rather than promoting industrialisation, capital flows can actually lead to lower manufacturing value added and/or a reallocation of resources towards industries with lower technology intensity.

Financial constraints on small firms’ growth: pandemic lessons from Iran

How does access to finance affect the growth of small businesses? This column presents new evidence from Iran before and during the Covid-19 pandemic – and lessons learned by micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Happiness in the Arab world: should we be concerned?

Several Arab countries have low rankings in the latest comparative assessment of average happiness across the world. But as this column explains, the average is not a reliable summary statistic when applied to ordinal data. The evidence from more robust analysis of socio-economic inequality in happiness suggests that policy-makers should be less concerned about happiness indicators than the core development objective of more equitable social conditions for citizens.

The economics of Israeli war aims and strategies

Israel’s response to last October’s Hamas attack has led to widespread death and destruction. This column outlines the impact thus far, including the effects on food scarcity, migration and the Palestinian economy in both Gaza and the West Bank.