February 27, 2019 - 12:00 am



Koc University Rumelifeneri Campus, Faculty of Administrative Sciences Building, CASE B41   View map

MiReKoc Seminar Series of Spring 2019 starts with Berna Tuncay’s presentation on ‘The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Mortality Rates in Turkey’. The presentation and discussion will take place on Wednesday, February 27th, 2019, at 12:00, in CASE B41. Registration is required for participants not affiliated with Koç University. (ROOM CHANGED from SOS143 to CASE B41 for this particular seminar!)


The Impact of Syrian Refugees on Mortality Rates in Turkey


Turkey hosts more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees as of 2017. We exploit the influx of Syrians to Turkey to estimate the effects of immigrants on the mortality rates of the natives. Refugees who were displaced from Syria during the civil war arrived Turkey in great need of health care. Free health care is provided to Syrian immigrants in Turkey resulting in capacity problems in the provinces with higher immigrant-native ratio. Public hospitals provided more than 1 million inpatients and 20 million outpatients care to Syrian refugees between 2011 and 2016 (AFAD). Using immigrant-native population ratio as the main control variable and holding health input statistics constant, we estimate the causal effects of refugees on mortality rates of the natives for different gender and age groups. This paper finds an increasing effect of immigrants on the mortality rates of the natives for female children between 1-year-old and 4 years old. Analyses of the health input data reveals that number of doctor and bed per person decreases with the arrival of Syrians. The capacity problem does not account for the hundred percent of the impact on mortality rate, suggesting the importance of another channels, increase in infectious diseases and decrease in income level.


Berna Tuncay is currently a Lecturer in the College of Administrative Sciences and Economics at Koç University since June 2016. She won 2017-2018 Teaching Excellence Appreciation at Koç University. She was previously an Assistant Professor of Economics at IMT Institute for Advanced Studies Lucca in Italy and a Research Associate in Center for Economics of Innovation, Regulation, and Competition Policy at AXES Laboratory for the Analysis of Complex Economic Systems in Italy between May 2014 and February 2016. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Economics and Finance from Bogazici University in 2004. After holding positions as a financial auditor and a corporate finance expert in Istanbul, she moved to the USA in 2006. She held a research assistant position at the City University of New York for 2 years in the field of applied macroeconomics. She received her Master’s Degree in Economics in 2011, Master’s Degree in Finance in 2012, and Graduate Certificate Degree in Statistics and Mathematics in 2014 from the University of South Florida. While teaching a wide range of economics and finance courses at the University of South Florida, she earned her Ph.D degree in Economics in 2014. She held a research scientist position at Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Florida for one year between April 2012 and March 2013 to apply econometric models to the field of health economics. She won the Provost’s Award for Outstanding Teaching at the University of South Florida in April 2014. Berna’s major areas of research are Health Economics, Industrial Organization, Applied Econometrics, Mathematical Statistics, International Economics and Finance, Applied Stochastic Models, and Experimental Design.