One Hundred Years of Oil Income and the Iranian Economy: A Curse or a Blessing?

39 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2013  

Kamiar Mohaddes

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics; University of Cambridge - Girton College

M. Hashem Pesaran

USC Dornsife Institute for New Economic Thinking; University of Southern California; Trinity College, Cambridge

Date Written: February 21, 2013

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of oil revenues on the Iranian economy over the past hundred years, spanning the period 1908-2010. It is shown that although oil has been produced in Iran over a very long period, its importance in the Iranian economy was relatively small up until the early 1960s. It is argued that oil income has been both a blessing and a curse. Oil revenues when managed appropriately are a blessing, but their volatility (which in Iran is much higher than oil price volatility) can have adverse effects on real output, through excessively high and persistent levels of inflation. Lack of appropriate institutions and policy mechanisms which act as shock absorbers in the face of high levels of oil revenue volatility have also become a drag on real output. In order to promote growth, policies should be devised to control inflation; to serve as shock absorbers negating the adverse effects of oil revenue volatility; to reduce rent seeking activities; and to prevent excessive dependence of government finances on oil income.

Keywords: oil price volatility, oil income, rent seeking, inflation, macroeconomic policy

JEL Classification: E020, N150, Q320

Suggested Citation

Mohaddes, Kamiar and Pesaran, M. Hashem, One Hundred Years of Oil Income and the Iranian Economy: A Curse or a Blessing? (February 21, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4118. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2221860

Kamiar Mohaddes

University of Cambridge - Faculty of Economics and Politics ( email )

Austin Robinson Building
Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1223338904 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://people.ds.cam.ac.uk/km418

University of Cambridge - Girton College ( email )

Cambridge, CB3 0JG
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 338999 (Phone)
+44 (0)1223 338896 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://people.ds.cam.ac.uk/km418

M. Hashem Pesaran (Contact Author)

USC Dornsife Institute for New Economic Thinking ( email )

3620 S. Vermont Avenue, KAP 364F
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0253
United States

University of Southern California ( email )

Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Trinity College, Cambridge ( email )

United Kingdom

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