Session 6:

 Economic policy, Employment and Social Welfare

In this session 3 papers were presented which are, respectively, (1) : “Effects of Microfinance Programs on Female Empowerment and Poverty Reduction: A Case Study for Turkey”. Serin Zehra Vildan(2)” Retesting Alexander Gerschenkron: Does Strong Government Contribute to The Economic Development of Islamic Developing Countries?” Jiade Xiao (3)” Public Employment as a Social Welfare Policy: Job Creation in the Public Sector and Youth Exclusion in Egypt”. Yusuke Kawamura. In the following paragraphs, a brief report of each article will be represented.

The First presentation:

In the modern era credit policies are of great importance, specially for women. According to authors, the aim of this paper is to explore the effects of microcredit programs on poverty reduction and women empowerment in Turkey.  Results showed that microcredits increased their spending of poor women and contribute to increase their welfare level. Empirical analyses reveal positive effects of microcredits on women empowerment in İstanbul. However, microcredits are mostly used to provide financial support for their husbands instead of self-employment projects. The results of face-to-face interviews conducted with women and the results of the survey during the study have displayed similar findings which highlight the problems requiring attention. The findings of the study give clues about the benefits and problematic sides of microcredit. Although there are many criticisms towards microcredit applications, microcredit is still an effective tool preferred by millions of poor women.  Another point that she mentioned was that women generally occupied with handicraft work and something like that. High interest rates, increase informal economy were the results of microcredit programs  .The authors believed that this kind of credit would be helpful for people. Another point  that  the authors shared was about zakat and its effect on poor people, in fact this money changed poor life .

The Second presentation :

In this article, the researcher said that strong government contributed significantly to the economic development in the developing countries. The author said that, the results showed that there was significant positive correlation between state capacity and economic development among the developing countries as well as Muslim developing countries. This result did not support that strong government was a sufficient condition for economic development, but suggests that strong government was a significant contribution to, or even a necessity for, the economic development of the Islamic developing countries. In this section, the paper also discussed the case study of Iran, a typical country with a strong government in the region. In the last section, the paper drew the conclusion that strong governments had been contributing to the economic development of the Islamic developing countries, as of the non-Islamic developing countries. This conclusion implied that state capacity building is very important for the Islamic countries as the high percentage of developing countries among the Islamic countries, and this should not be abandoned merely because of the attack from the Western countries.

The last presentation:

Author said:” This study aims to examine (1) public employment as a social welfare policy in Egypt before the occurrence of the Arab Spring and (2) the extent of its impact on the labour market in the post-Mubarak era (2011–present)”.  He said that, For this purpose, this study used a historical institutionalism and qualitative approach (process tracing).Beside narrating the dynamics of public employment policy, he presents some important problems of it. In the following paragraph more details will represented.

The author said that “ public employment in the Nasser Era& the Sadat Era: Nasser Era(1952-1970) Nationalization of private companies& Expansion of the public Sector.The Sadat Era(1970-1980) : partial Economic liberalization, the job guarantee scheme, increasing external resources”. He mentioned that in that era more people went to university, the government founded new universities, more public- sector jobs were needed.