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Title: Capital and development in social and cultural contexts : an empirical investigation on transport infrastructure development and female labour force in Turkey
Author: Akyelken, Nihan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 617X
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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Non-economic factors like culture and politics, as well as the socio-economic background, matter significantly in directing economic development endeavours towards social wellbeing. Therefore, the current narrow definition of economic development must be extended to include overall wellbeing. As one of the primary forms of physical capital constituting a regional economy, transport investments have played a significant role in development plans. Given that accessibility to social infrastructure is a basic need, certain levels of infrastructure are essential. How these investments have an impact on different groups of individuals has kept many scholars busy for a long time. However, the economic spillover effects of these investments into female labour markets have remained largely unexplored. Situating the implications of development initiatives, including transport investments, for female labour markets in social and cultural contexts requires an integrated view of the regional economy. Although economic geography and existing development theories provide extensive conceptual models to elucidate the links between transport, labour markets and culture, the methodological implications are obscure; hence, the empirical evidence remains weak. This thesis explores the economic and non-economic dynamics of regional economies to clarify the links between transport infrastructure, labour markets, and social and cultural conditions. In particular, the association between female labour forces and development efforts, in the form of transport infrastructure development, is conceptually and empirically examined. This thesis conducts a case study on Turkey. With the extensive infrastructure investment that has been made since 2002 and the extremely low rates of female labour force participation (around 25%), compared to EU-15 and OECD averages of around 65%, Turkey serves as an illuminating case. Theoretically, the study shows that the focus of transport economics on the economic growth effect of investments is not consistent with current efforts to extend economic development objectives: transport research requires a broader view to assess its development implications. The study demonstrates how the interactions between the economic, physical, political, cultural and socio-economic attributes of regions significantly affect how individuals benefit from the investments. The overarching policy implications of the study are useful for regional development policy with a gender focus: complementary policy interventions in human capital development and the consideration of social and cultural attitudes should strengthen the positive impacts of physical investments on female labour markets.
Supervisor: Banister, D. ; Wojcik, D. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography ; Europe ; Globalisation ; Development economics ; Political science ; Public policy ; Social justice ; Poverty ; Social Inequality ; Gender ; Urban Studies ; female labour force ; transport ; mobilities ; gender ; development ; Turkey ; southeastern Anatolia