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An analysis of the structure and determinants of Turkey-EU trade

Kosekahyaoglu, Levent (2000) An analysis of the structure and determinants of Turkey-EU trade. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86167) (KAR id:86167)


The aim of this thesis is to examine the structure and determinants of TurkevEU trade at both aggregate and sectorally disaggregated levels after the trade liberalisation and restructuring program of Turkey in the 1980s in order to assess the possible effects of further trade liberalisation between Turkey and the EU (le Turkey's accession to the EU). Before studying the determinants of Turkey-EU trade, we first investigate the competitiveness of Turkish manufacturing relative to the EU over the liberalisation period using Balassa's revealed competitive advantage (RCA) indices as well as the similarity of exports from Turkey and the EU using Finger and Kreinin similarity indices. Our analysis on the similarity of exports includes comparison of the similarity of exports from Turkey and the three Mediterranean countries, namely Spain, Greece and Portugal which have similar factor endowments. Regarding the overall similarity of exports from Turkey and the EU as a whole, we find that the similarity of exports from the two areas has increased noticeably over the liberalisation period when there was a shift in commodity composition of Turkey's exports towards manufactured goods. Our results suggest that the assessment of the similarity of exports from Turkey and the three Mediterranean countries should consider the type of the products as the similarity of exports in agricultural goods differs substantially from that of manufactured goods. Our results on determinants of Turkey-EU trade indicate that wages appear to be a key factor in explaining Turkey's exports to the EU not only for loww -tech industries, but also for medium and high-tech industries. This suggests that the remarkable increase in Turkey's exports in the 1980s relied heavily on low wage levels which not only increased the cost competitiveness of the country but also reduced domestic demand and hence forced firms to exploit foreign markets. In conclusion, our results indicate that the structural adjustment and trade liberalisation reforms of Turkey in the early 1980s have brought the Turkish economy closer to the EU and put Turkey's economy on the right track for integration with the EU or Europe at large, notwithstanding the huge problems that have emerged.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86167
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Turkey's accession
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:31 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 09:21 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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