The Cost of Economic Liberalization in Turkey

This book's main theme is that the neoliberal economic policies forced on developing countries by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank serve the interests of Western industrial countries more than those of developing countries, as the post-1980 Turkish experience illustrates. Within a simple dependency-oriented framework the book presents the effects of liberalization policies in Turkey. These policies were mostly concerned with allocative efficiency, disregarding distributional efficiency issues. The results were not always socially or politically desirable. These policies consistently favored capital over labor and created an economic system that made the rich richer and the poor poorer. Privatization, in the name of raising allocative efficiency, contributed to increasing inequality and poverty. Anti-inflationary policies, debt-reduction schemes, environmental policies, and agricultural reforms all favored the interests of high-income groups. Their benefits increasingly accrued to industrial countries, either by transferring surplus from the national metropolis to the international metropolis, or by restructuring the developing countries' output, input, and financial markets so that any exchange between developing and industrial countries would