Middle East and Central Asia > Iran, Islamic Republic of

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Mr. Hamid R Tabarraei, Hamed Ghiaie, and Asghar Shahmoradi
The structural model in this paper proposes a micro-founded framework that incorporates an active banking sector with an oil-producing sector. The primary goal of adding a banking sector is to examine the role of an interbank market on shocks, introduce a national development fund and study its link to the banking sector and the government. The government and the national development fund directly play key roles in the propagation of the oil shock. In contrast, the banking sector and the labor market, through perfect substitution between the oil and non-oil sectors, have major indirect impacts in spreading shocks.
Mr. Alberto Behar and Robert A Ritz
In November 2014, OPEC announced a new strategy geared towards improving its market share. Oil-market analysts interpreted this as an attempt to squeeze higher-cost producers including US shale oil out of the market. Over the next year, crude oil prices crashed, with large repercussions for the global economy. We present a simple equilibrium model that explains the fundamental market factors that can rationalize such a "regime switch" by OPEC. These include: (i) the growth of US shale oil production; (ii) the slowdown of global oil demand; (iii) reduced cohesiveness of the OPEC cartel; (iv) production ramp-ups in other non-OPEC countries. We show that these qualitative predictions are broadly consistent with oil market developments during 2014-15. The model is calibrated to oil market data; it predicts accommodation up to 2014 and a market-share strategy thereafter, and explains large oil-price swings as well as realistically high levels of OPEC output.
Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper investigates the global macroeconomic consequences of falling oil prices due to the oil revolution in the United States, using a Global VAR model estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Set-identification of the U.S. oil supply shock is achieved through imposing dynamic sign restrictions on the impulse responses of the model. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to a U.S. supply-driven oil price shock, with real GDP increasing in both advanced and emerging market oil-importing economies, output declining in commodity exporters, inflation falling in most countries, and equity prices rising worldwide. Overall, our results suggest that following the U.S. oil revolution, with oil prices falling by 51 percent in the first year, global growth increases by 0.16 to 0.37 percentage points. This is mainly due to an increase in spending by oil importing countries, which exceeds the decline in expenditure by oil exporters.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on the Iraqi oil sector and analyzes the developments and prospects after the twin shock. The Iraqi economy was affected by the two major challenges during 2014—ISIS insurgency and the fall in global oil prices. Iraq’s oil sector has performed well despite the security challenges that emerged after the onset of the ISIS insurgency in June 2014. On average, Iraq earned $97 per barrel on oil exported in 2014. Asia remained the leading destination of the Iraqi oil exports during 2013–14, and its share increased from 50 percent in 2012 to 65 percent in 2014.
Mr. Carlo A Sdralevich, Miss Randa Sab, Mr. Younes Zouhar, and Ms. Giorgia Albertin
In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries price subsidies are common, especially on food and fuels. However, these are neither well targeted nor cost effective as a social protection tool, often benefiting mainly the better off instead of the poor and vulnerable. This paper explores the challenges of replacing generalized price subsidies with more equitable social safety net instruments, including the short-term inflationary effects, and describes the features of successful subsidy reforms.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on Iran focuses on the Targeted Subsidy Reform Law (TSRL). This is the basic law governing the implementation of the subsidy reform in Iran. The TSRL envisaged bringing subsidized prices close to international levels over a five-year period. The paper reviews the implementation of the first phase of the subsidy reform, with a particular emphasis on macroeconomic management. The sharp depreciation of the exchange rate and high inflation significantly undermined progress under the reform. High inflation partially reversed the relative price change under the reform.
Mr. Joshua Charap, Mr. Arthur Ribeiro da Silva, and Mr. Pedro C Rodriguez
The economic and environmental implications of energy subsidies have received renewed attention from policymakers and economists in recent years. Nevertheless there remains significant uncertainty regarding the magnitude of the impact of energy subsidies on energy consumption. In this paper we analyze a panel of cross-country data to explore the responsiveness of energy consumption to changes in energy prices and the implications of our findings for the debate on energy subsidy reform. Our findings indicate a long-term price elasticity of energy demand between -0.3 and -0.5, which suggests that countries can reap significant long-term benefits from the reform of energy subsidies. Our findings also indicate that short-term gains from subsidy reform are likely to be much smaller, which suggests the need for either a gradual approach to subsidy reform or for more generous safety nets in the short term.
Mr. Paul Cashin, Mr. Kamiar Mohaddes, and Mr. Mehdi Raissi
This paper analyzes spillovers from macroeconomic shocks in systemic economies (China, the Euro Area, and the United States) to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as outward spillovers from a GDP shock in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and MENA oil exporters to the rest of the world. This analysis is based on a Global Vector Autoregression (GVAR) model, estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Spillovers are transmitted across economies via trade, financial, and commodity price linkages. The results show that the MENA countries are more sensitive to developments in China than to shocks in the Euro Area or the United States, in line with the direction of evolving trade patterns and the emergence of China as a key driver of the global economy. Outward spillovers from the GCC region and MENA oil exporters are likely to be stronger in their immediate geographical proximity, but also have global implications.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper discusses the economics of energy price reform in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Economic policies in Iran have traditionally relied on the abundant availability of energy at a low price to finance the country’s economic development. Low domestic energy prices have resulted in excessive use of energy. Iran’s domestic energy use has been high by international standards, and energy demand growth has exceeded the rate of growth of per capita income, in contrast to the experience of the majority of low and high-income countries.