Economic Reform and Development

Iraq’s economic growth is constrained by a lack of sound economic policy, corruption, negligible rule of law, state dominance, the flight of investment capital and low levels of external investment. IRIS aims to promote economic reform based on sound research and case studies, and generate independent and reliable analysis as well as a platform for vigorous public debate. Questions we ask:
• How do we define meaningful economic reform and what does it entail?
• What is needed to accelerate the reform process?
• Are state institutions able to implement economic reform and handle its consequences?
• Is it possible to have economic transformation without political reform?
We also consider the prospects for diversification and inclusive growth. Currently, 35 percent of the Iraqi population is living below the poverty line and youth (17-25) face a 60 percent unemployment rate. Under pressure to cut fiscal expenditure and reduce unemployment, the government as well as those in the private sector have turned to entrepreneurial initiatives. However, the ecosystem required for entrepreneurship to thrive does not yet exist. Entrenched political, economic and socio-cultural interests impede Iraqis, and especially Iraqi youth, from reaching their potential. Our work considers how to build an environment that encourages startups and enables entrepreneurial ventures to take hold and succeed.
Recent publications under the Economic Reform and Development portfolio include the following:
Recent events include: