Date of Award

Winter 1991

Project Type


Program or Major


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

First Advisor

Marc W Herold


The primary purpose of this dissertation is to examine the impact of macroeconomic policies (specifically those supported by the International Monetary Fund) on the poor, especially women and children, both conceptually and in the case of Turkey after 1980. The premise is that macroeconomic policies affect the standard of living through their impact on the growth rate, the rate of inflation, and the level and composition of government expenditures.

This dissertation includes a review of IMF-supported programs and the debates that have surrounded them. It then discusses Turkey's economic history prior to 1980 and the country's economic performance after the economic program of 1980. Following this discussion, it focuses on the status of women in Turkey and the country's social achievements as measured by changes in labor force, education and health indicators.

The findings of the dissertation lead to the conclusion that health and education indicators in Turkey have continued to improve, both in the aggregate and for women under the post-1980 economic program. There has been some deterioration, specifically in the incidence of some communicable diseases, and in secondary school failure rates. Unemployment has remained high and real wages have declined through most of the 1980s. Although there has been a long-term decrease in female economic activity rates, there is some evidence that women's participation in the informal sector (especially in textiles and clothing) has been fairly significant.

Turkey's experience is found to be somewhat different from the findings of other case studies: in many cases, social indicators have showed some deterioration, possibly due to declines in expenditures on social sectors. In the case of Turkey, the protected status of these sectors in the second part of the 1980s may have allowed the continued improvement of the variables, although little is known about other social indicators such as the incidence of malnutrition, school drop-out rates, and child abandonment rates.