Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Cevat Giray Aksoy

Author

Cevat Giray Aksoy
Senior Research Economist, Office of the Chief Economist at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Cevat Giray is a Senior Research Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London and Assistant Professor of Economics at King’s College London, Department of Political Economy. He is also a Research Fellow at London School of Economics and Research Associate at IZA Institute of Labor Economics. His current research focuses on forced migration (effects on host communities and self-selection of refugees), the political economy of trust (confidence in leaders and governments, civic values, and attitudes towards democratic institutions) and economic inclusion (earnings inequalities and access to banking services). His research has been covered by over 100 media outlets, including BBC, Bloomberg, Business Insider, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune Magazine, Harvard Business Review, Mirror, Reuters, The Daily Mail, The Independent, The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Times, Quartz, Vox, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and World Economic Forum. He is the recipient of the Young Researcher Award from the Association of British Turkish Academics and was selected as a Leader of Tomorrow by The St. Gallen Foundation. He also occasionally contributes to Pocket Economics podcasts and write for GALLUP Blog, LSE Business Review, and VOXEU.

Content by this Author

What is the likely impact of the earthquakes on economic growth in Türkiye?

The earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria in February 2023 have caused widespread destruction and loss of life. As explained in this column, originally published at the Economic Observatory, experiences from a previous earthquake suggest that the impact on GDP in Türkiye is likely to be short-lived, as public spending on reconstruction will provide a substantial economic boost.

The benefits of year-round daylight saving time: evidence from Turkey

Ever since Benjamin Franklin’s observation in the late eighteenth century that people wasted daylight by sleeping after sunrise and squandered wax by burning candles in the evening, energy conservation has been the main motivation for governments to follow ‘daylight saving time’ (DST). Using Turkey’s recent decision to extend DST to the whole year, this column summarises new evidence on how DST affects the consumption and generation of electricity, and related greenhouse gas emissions. The analysis suggests that while total consumption is unchanged, emissions may have gone down due to the policy change.

Life satisfaction in Arab countries

How do people in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia feel about their lives? Summarising analysis of data collected in nationally representative surveys, this column highlights three core messages about their reported health, happiness and views of the future.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

It’s too early to tell what happened to the Arab Spring

Did the Arab Spring fail? This column presents a view the consensus view from ERF’s recent annual conference in Morocco: careful analysis of the fundamental drivers of democratic transitions suggests that it’s too early to tell.

Arab regional cooperation in a fragmenting world

As globalisation stalls, regionalisation has emerged as an alternative. This column argues that Arab countries need to face the new realities and move decisively towards greater mutual cooperation. A regional integration agenda that also supports domestic reforms could be an important source of growth, jobs and stability.

Gender differences in business record-keeping and planning in Iraq

Only one in every ten informal businesses in Iraq is led by a woman. Yet as research summarised in this column reveals, those businesses are more likely to set budgets and sales targets, and to keep business records. This may be evidence of the role of social exclusion in motivating greater reliance on the formal bureaucratic system.

Self-employment in MENA: the role of religiosity and personal values

How important are individual’s values and beliefs in influencing the likelihood that they will embrace the responsibilities, risks and entrepreneurial challenge of self-employment? This column presents evidence from 12 countries in the Middle East and North African region on the roles of people’s religiosity and sense of personal agency in their labour market choices.

Reformed foreign ownership rules in UAE: the impact on business entry

In an effort to stimulate economic growth and diversify the economy, the government of the United Arab Emirates has recently implemented regulatory reform that allows 100% foreign ownership of companies operating in the country. This column examines the implications of the reform for entry of new firms in Dubai, using unique data on new business licences in the emirate.

Conflict and debt in the Middle East and North Africa

With the global economy is in its third year of deceleration amid declining inflation and oil prices, the Middle East and North Africa grew by just 1.9% in 2023, with a forecast for growth in 2024 at 2.7%. In addition to heightened uncertainty brought on by the conflict centred in Gaza, many countries in the region are also grappling with pre-existing vulnerabilities, including rising debt levels. This column summarises a new report that unpacks the nature of debt in MENA – and explains the critical importance of keeping rising debt stocks in check.