DOI :10.26650/B/SS10.2024.013.017   IUP :10.26650/B/SS10.2024.013.017    Full Text (PDF)

Reducing Income Inequality in Türki̇ye: What Has Changed and What Can Be Done?

Betül Mutlugün

Growing inequalities across the globe since the 1980s have preoccupied the policy agenda of intergovernmental development organizations. The Millennium Development Goals launched in 2000 focused on eradicating poverty by 2015 as their primary goal. Still, all measures of income distribution present the same picture: the falling share of wages in gross domestic product cointegrates with the rise in overall income inequality and the top 1 percent income share. As this challenge has become a universal issue, working towards a more equal distribution of incomes is now part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. This chapter combines the personal and functional distribution of income approaches to understand Türkiye’s income inequality. To reach this aim, the study focuses on the share of wages and personal income inequality to show how a rising return to capital relative to wage incomes can surge top income shares. Using a range of data sources from 1970 to 2022, the study conducts a retrospective analysis to evaluate Türkiye’s performance concerning indicators linked to the Sustainable Development Goals. On this basis, the chapter identifies the potential of Sustainable Development Goal Target 10 for reversing income inequalities in Türkiye. It formulates several policy reforms and institutional arrangements to reduce inequalities and flags policy areas that might conflict with tackling widening economic inequality targets.


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