Kuznets Prize to Binnur Balkan and Semih Tumen

January 5, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago: At a reception organized by Springer Nature, a major scientific publisher, a large crowd of scientists and members of the publication and think tank communities were celebrating the 30th birthday of the Journal of Population Economics. The Journal is now at the forefront of research publication in economic demography. The event took place as part of the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association (ASSA 2017), the largest gathering of economists world-wide (with more than 13,000 participants), which took place in Chicago, IL on January 6-8, 2017 (Friday, Saturday, & Sunday).

Kuznets Prize 2017

At the reception, the 2017 Kuznets Prize for the best article published in the 2016 volume of the Journal of Population Economics and selected by the editors was granted to Binnur Balkan and Semih Tumen from the Central Bank of Turkey for their article “Immigration and prices: quasi-experimental evidence from Syrian refugees in Turkey,” Journal of Population Economics (2016), 29(3), pp. 657-686.

Read more: Kuznets Prize 2017

The article exploits the regional variation in the unexpected (or forced) inflow of Syrian refugees as a natural experiment to estimate the impact of immigration on consumer prices in Turkey. Using a difference-in-differences strategy and a comprehensive data set on the regional prices of CPI items, the authors find that general level of consumer prices has declined by approximately 2.5 % due to immigration. Prices of goods and services have declined in similar magnitudes. The authors highlight that the channel through which the price declines take place is the informal labor market. Syrian refugees supply inexpensive informal labor and, thus, substitute the informal native workers especially in informal-labor intensive sectors. The authors document that prices in these sectors have fallen by around 4 %, while the prices in the formal labor-intensive sectors have almost remained unchanged. Increase in the supply of informal immigrant workers generates labor cost advantages and keeps prices lower in the informal labor-intensive sectors.

Semih Tumen (author left) receives the prize from Klaus F. Zimmermann (Editor-in-Chief) of the Journal of Population Economics.

Editor-in-Chief Klaus F. Zimmermann, Princeton University, UNU-MERIT & Maastricht University, on leave from Bonn University, was also presenting the first issue 2017 of the Journal of Population Economics, where the prize is documented. Zimmermann created the Journal with a team 30 years ago together with the publisher, Springer. Publisher Nicholas Philipson of Springer New York was introducing the event.

Nicholas Philipson (left) and Zimmermann

About the authors


Binnur Balkan is a first year PhD student at Stockholm School of Economics (SSE).


Semih Tumen is an Economist and Director General at the Structural Economic Research Department at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey.


Read more about the Kuzents Prize and previous winners here.


This entry was posted in Events, Media, Science. Bookmark the permalink.