The Impact of Sanctions on Household Welfare and Employment in Iran

58 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2022

See all articles by Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Economic Research Forum

Date Written: August 11, 2022


Wide-ranging US sanctions against Iran in the past decade were in large part imposed to harm the living standards of ordinary Iranians in the hope that their leaders would submit to US demands to limit their nuclear program. In this study, I use extensive survey data to assess the impact of sanctions on household consumption and employment. Unsurprisingly, reduction in Iran's export of oil, which dealt a large negative blow to the economy, reduce household expenditures across income strata, raising poverty rates despite government attempts to assist the poor. By contrast, employment did not su er as devaluation and falling real wages helped local production to substitute for imports that had been previously paid for by oil income. Probit analysis of panel data shows that, all else equal, living in urban areas, in households with older and female heads, and lack of health insurance increase the chance of falling into poverty after the 2018 shock of the US maximum pressure campaign.

Keywords: Sanctions, Household welfare, employment, Iran

JEL Classification: F51, F63, I30, J60, N15

Suggested Citation

Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad, The Impact of Sanctions on Household Welfare and Employment in Iran (August 11, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University ( email )

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