The Economy of Iraq: Oil, Wars, Destruction of Development and Prospects, 1950-2010

The Economy of Iraq: Oil, Wars, Destruction of Development and Prospects, 1950-2010

The Economy of Iraq: Oil, Wars, Destruction of Development and Prospects, 1950-2010

The Economy of Iraq: Oil, Wars, Destruction of Development and Prospects, 1950-2010

Synopsis

The economy of Iraq has fluctuated wildly since the 1950s. It has been affected by changes in government, by wars, and by general instability. This book analyzes a complex subject and is especially timely at this critical juncture in the history of Iraq, the Middle East, and international relations. Abbas Alnasrawi traces the growth of the economy of Iraq since 1950, assesses its present state of crisis and underdevelopment, and explores its prospects for recovery. Alnasrawi contends that the economic development of Iraq was shaped by the rise of oil revenue, the Iran-Iraq war, and the invasion of Kuwait and its aftermath. The volume takes a clearsighted and critical look at the evolution of these forces and their impact on the evolution of the economy, along with its present status and prospects.

Excerpt

In 1960, Iraq's real GDP measured in 1980 prices was $8.7 billion. In 1979 GDP peaked at $54 billion. And by 1993 Iraq's GDP has declined to $10 billion, the equivalent of what it was in 1961. Put another way, these figures inform us that more than three decades of real GDP growth have been erased. But these dismal statistics tell a small part of this unique episode in the history of the second half of this century. This is so because the GDP in 1961 had to support 7 million people; in 1993 it had to support a population that has grown to nearly 21 million. Such a drastic collapse in per capita GDP translates into the nullification of nearly half a century of growth and improvement in the living standards of the population.

To place this change in some international context, Iraq in the years prior to its invasion of Kuwait was at the top of the per capita GDP ladder of developing countries. By 1993, real monthly earnings were lower than the monthly earnings of unskilled agricultural workers in India-one of the poorest countries in the world.

What happened to an economy noted for the wealth of its oil reserves, agricultural potential, water resources, relatively high rates of literacy and skills, vast access to foreign technology and expertise, an enviable balance-of-payments surplus and foreign reserves, and a long history of determined effort to develop and diversify the economy?

Simply stated, the central concern of this work is to find an explanation or explanations of what happened to cause this unprecedented and unparalleled collapse. To this end, the first chapter is devoted to an examination of the critical role of the oil sector in the Iraqi economy. Chapter 2 is devoted to a study of Iraq's development policies under the monarchy and assesses development programs and policies in the . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.