Nader Habibi

Henry J. Leir Professor of the Economics of the Middle East at the Crown Center, Brandeis University




Working Papers are article-length scholarly works in progress by Crown Center researchers. They aim to reflect the wide range of scholarship conducted by various faculty, senior, and junior fellows during their stay at the Crown Center. These articles have not undergone peer-review and may only be downloaded for personal use. Permission for attribution lies solely with the Working Paper's author.

The Economic Legacy of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Working Paper 5

Nader Habibi
Working Paper 5, April 2014


In June 2013, in a surprise election result, Hasan Rouhani, a pragmatic cleric succeeded Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran's president. During his eight year presidency Ahmadinejad's radical foreign policy statements received considerable attention in the international media. Inside Iran, however, it was his economic policies that engendered the most contentious debates. In this Working Paper, Prof. Nader Habibi evaluates the legacy of Ahmadinejad’s presidency through a detailed examination of his economic policies and ideology. Specifically, he examines how powerful centers of authority, such as the Supreme Leader and the Revolutionary Guards, influenced the allocation of economic resources and led to considerable economic redistribution and opportunities. Nonetheless, Prof. Habibi concludes, Ahmadinejad's economic legacy is also tainted by mismanagement and contradiction, due in part to his misunderstanding of key fundamental economic concepts.

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