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Coalition Economic Policies in Iraq: Motivations and Outcomes

Bassam Yousif
Third World Quarterly
Vol. 27, No. 3 (2006), pp. 491-505
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4017766
Page Count: 15
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Coalition Economic Policies in Iraq: Motivations and Outcomes
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Abstract

Explanations of the current violence and instability in Iraq range from stubborn ethnic rivalries to insufficient troop levels. While not contesting these hypotheses, this essay nonetheless posits an alternative position: inappropriate economic policies. The Coalition Provisional Authority's abrupt liberalisation of prices and markets aimed to improve efficiency in the allocation of resources and to expand output, yet resultant joblessness has promoted insecurity, which, in turn, has reduced Iraq's already low capacity to absorb investments, essential for transition. Moreover, Coalition measures have reinforced public anxiety about the arbitrary nature of markets, underlining the historically uncertain character of property rights and ironically fuelling resistance to future reform. People-centred approaches, structured around a guaranteed public employment scheme, offer an alternate economic path.

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