The Colorado College Venture Grant Proposal
The Effects of the European Union on the Immigrant labor Force: The Case of Turkish Workers in Germany
SENTIOR THESIS PROJECT PROPOSAL
LETTERS OF SUPPORT
I propose to conduct extensive research in Germany for my senior thesis project, and kindly request a venture grant for the expenses of this research trip.
Title of the Project:
The Effects of the European Union on the Immigrant Labor Force: The Case of Turkish Workers in Germany
Aims of the Project:
The aims of this project are, in broad terms, to study the various socioeconomic effects of the European Union on the immigrant workers in Europe. More specifically, the project will analyze how the EU policies, especially the Common Market, have affected the immigrant workers from the non-member countries, in Europe.
In this context, I plan to focus on the case of the Turkish guest workers in Germany. In the case of Germany, not only the establishment of the Single Market in 1987, but also the reunification in 1989, will be considered as the main possible reasons for the changes in the employment conditions of the Turkish workers there, which would also hold true for other foreign workers. The paper will try to detect these changes, and put them in a historical context. An example of the history of treatment of foreign workers is the association agreement of 1963 between Turkey and the European Community. This agreement foresaw that in 1986 free movement of Turkish workers in Europe, like the EU citizens, would be possible. However, this promise has not been fulfilled to this date. The project will try to draw conclusions about the possibility of further discrimination against the Turkish workers in Germany, especially due to the liberalization of the labor market, and aggravated by the reunification and the objectives set by the Maastricht Treaty.
Based on some of these conclusions made about Germany, the state of the "foreign" workers in Europe, in comparison to the "citizens" of Europe, will be identified. This will help me understand the "unwritten policy" of the EU on immigrant labor issues, such as equality of payments and job opportunities, visa requirements, family benefits, etc. Given the present high rates of unemployment in the EU countries in the light of the Economic and Monetary Union, and some negative sentiments against the immigrants in Europe, this paper will address an important and interesting topic in international economics and politics.
I realize at these initial stages in my preparation for this project, that the research topic still requires some refinement. As I further my preliminary research, I will be able to narrow it down to possibly one specific area of the above-mentioned broad topic. This area of focus may be either the effects of the Common Market or those of the reunification in Germany on the immigrant workers (however, in both cases in the context of the general EU policies regarding the subject). The rest of this proposal, in terms of my interest in this project, and the methods and resources to be used, apply to both of these possible final topics.
Reasons for Pursuinq this Proiect, and its Contributions to my Education:
It is very common in Turkey day after day to hear about discrimination, and even violence, against the Turkish workers in Germany. Being from Turkey, I grew up hearing such horror stories. Similarly, it is common to actually experience this kind of discrimination as a Turkish citizen in Germany. During the semester I spent in Germany, I got a chance to experience these reserved sentiments against the Turkish workers, and also the pressure on the labor market from the "Ossies" looking for employment in competition with the "Wessies", on a first-hand basis. These experiences led me to think more about this issue, and wonder whether or not the Single Market has an even further significant effect on this situation, and whether these unfriendly sentiments against the foreign workers have any economic effects. Professor Libby Rittenberg’s interest in the topic, as my thesis advisor, and my increased knowledge of the EU through the class I took last block, "The Economics of the European Union", encouraged me to pursue this topic as my senior thesis project.
I believe that this project will not only help me further my knowledge of the structure of the EU and its policies, but also improve my understanding of labor economics. It will also give me a chance to utilize my German skills and interest in the German culture, as well as in economic research, by allowing me to work in both my major and minor fields of study at the Colorado College. Furthermore, given my Turkish background, this project will be very interesting, and the results will be of special significance for me.
The Procedure and the Resources:
I am planning to build an econometric model for this project, and to conduct an econometric analysis of a survey data set with variables such as earnings, education, EU citizenship or not, and such, in order to test for any possible economic discrimination against the immigrant workers in Europe. I expect to obtain the data from a research institute in Germany, called "The Center for Turkish Studies", which is one of the most well-known institutes in the country. As a matter of fact, an NPR morning news story about the Turkish workers in Germany, just a few days ago, referred to a study done by this particular institute. I have been in touch with its director, Professor Faruk Sen, and have made arrangements with him to conduct my research at this institute between Jan 18-Feb. 9. While there, I will have access to a rich collection of publications, and the chance to consult many experts in the area of my project. Another good source of data may be the "German Socio-Economic-Panel Study" (GSOEP). Additionally, the official statistical reports of the European Union such as Eurostat, which I am already familiar with through my research for last block, will also be useful for this project. I will also explore additional sources as necessary such as those of the International Labor Organization.
The final paper will also include a historical and theoretical background of the issue examined. Some necessary resources are available in the Tutt Library and from others through the inter-library loan, which I have already utilized in order to obtain some articles and books on this subject. I will also have access to the library of the University of Essen in Germany for such information.
I am very lucky to know a number of people who can serve as resources, and who have expressed interest in, and support for, this project. I expect to receive assistance and guidance mainly from Professor Libby Rittenberg, who is my thesis advisor, and the faculty sponsor of this proposal. Professor Canan Balkir, a visiting Turkish professor, from whom I took the "Economics of the European Union" class last block, is an expert in this issue. She has also indicated strong interest in my project, introduced me to Professor Faruk Sen at the Center for Turkish Studies, and is encouraging me to produce a publishable thesis. I am also in touch with Professor Suzanne Schuttemeyer, a political science professor at the University of Luneburg, from whom I had the privilege to take a class in Germany on the German political system. She will soon let me know about additional resources in Germany that may be useful for this project.
I believe that I already have some valuable resources to help me complete this project successfully. I am also confident that should there be need for more and different resources throughout the project, I would be able to find them through my various contacts in Turkey and Germany.
The main output of this project will be my senior thesis. Additionally, I would like to produce an article about this project in German or in English. The article will include a summary of the results of my study, my personal experiences during my research in Germany, and the contribution of my education at CC, including my study abroad experience, to this project and vice versa. I hope to publish this article in the Catalyst, the Disparaging Eye, and/or the Market (the new publication of the Economics Department). During my stay in Germany, I would also like to get a chance to go to Luneburg briefly, and give a presentation of my study to the CC group there.
According to the conditions of the "Christian Hilliard-Richard Howland Independent Research Award in Economics and Business", which I have recently received, I will present my work to the community of the Economics/Business Department at a "Food for Economic Thought" meeting. I would also be willing to share the results of my study and my experiences with any interested party.
Besides these opportunities to present my study to the C.C. community, I would also like to pursue the opportunities for publishing this study in relevant journals in Germany and Turkey, as well as in the US, possibly with trilingual abstracts where appropriate.
Background and Preparation:
My education at The Colorado College as an Economics major, my Turkish background, and experience in Germany, not only make this topic very exciting for me but also prepare me well for it. The semester I spent in Germany last year through the CC LOneburg Program allowed me to become proficient in German, and offered the valuable experience, which improved my understanding of Germany, its people and its culture. Also, my coursework experience at CC in economics, such as "Econometrics", "the Economics of the EU", and "Research Methods" etc., where I have written many successful research papers and made presentations, provided me with advanced research, computer, econometric modeling and analytical skills. My coursework in Germany, such as "German Culture and Institutions", and the German language classes taken both here and abroad equipped me with the knowledge and skills necessary for this project. My fluency in Turkish, English and German will not only allow me to benefit from a large array of publications, but also let me communicate with experts on this topic both in Turkish and in German while researching in Germany.
I have already read some articles about this topic, and ordered some books through the inter-library loan. I also frequently discuss my project with Professor Rittenberg and Professor Balkir, and gain valuable input from them about its direction. Especially due to my contacts with Germany recently, I already feel very involved with this topic, and am looking forward to the actual research and writing processes. My first thesis block will be Block 4, where I will produce the first chapter of my thesis. I will also do some extensive library and WWW research during next block. I am planning on going to Germany in Block 5 for about: 3 weeks, where I will do hands-on research, collect data, interview people, and work on my econometric model further. I will also keep a journal of the progress of my research, and my experiences, to use as a basis for my presentations and articles at CC. When I come back, I will analyze the results, and draw conclusions for my thesis. I project Block 7 as the completion date of my project. Thereafter, I will be ready to present it to the Colorado College community.
This project is very exciting for me, as I am very interested in international economics, and hope to pursue this field as my career in the future. Some of my career aspirations are to get a Ph.D. in Economics, to excel in research and academics, and to write publishable articles and books. I also love traveling and languages, and would like to incorporate international experiences in my career as much as possible. Thus, this project will be a very valuable experience for me in preparing for such a career.
Contributions of this Grant to the Project:
Aside from the immense sentimental significance of this grant for me as a spur to the long process of senior thesis awaiting me, this grant will be crucial to my project financially, as, otherwise I would not be able to go to Germany for research. I will be facing a lot of expenses in pursuing an international project like this, as seen in the budget below, and kindly request adequate funding from you. I will also allocate the research award that I have received recently to this research trip.
- Round-Trip Airfare to Germany: $700
- Train Tickets within Germany: $200 (Essen and Luneburg)
- Communication expenses with the C.C.: $50 (Telephone, Fax, Mailings)
- Living Expenses $250 (Food and Lodging possibly at the University of Essen)
Independent Research Award ($350)
TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED $850
THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION OF MY PROPOSAL. I WILL DO MY BEST TO PRODUCE A WORK OF GREAT SUCCESS AND SIGNIFICANCE. I AM CONFIDENT THAT I WILL GAIN IMMENSELY FROM THIS EXPERIENCE, BOTH PERSONALLY AND ACADEMICALLY, AND I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO SHARING IT TO THE FULLEST EXTENT POSSIBLE WITH THE COLORADO COLLEGE COMMUNITY.