Reconsidering Expenditure Priorities in Iraq: A Targeted Basic Income

By Bassam Yousif and Omar El-Joumayle, for the Economic Research Forum (ERF). Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Reconsidering Expenditure Priorities in Iraq: A Targeted Basic Income

While Iraq has experienced greater political inclusion over the last two decades, economic inclusion remains elusive.

Our analysis indicates that 1) Political inclusion cannot be relied on to achieve economic inclusion, and 2) Iraq's post-2003 political arrangement have on balance worked to restrict economic inclusion.

Government spending and transfers of oil income have not been widely dispersed but concentrated among public sector workers and well-connected contractors.

Because of the strong incentives for official corruption, it is hard to adequately counter corruption through mostly legal and regulatory reforms or economic liberalization.

Iraqi labor markets are highly distorted and hence unable to provide jobs to enough people, let alone reduce poverty.

We propose a targeted basic income scheme to more equitably distribute Iraq's oil revenues.

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