Publication Date

June 2006

Publication Details

Valadkhani, A, Unemployment Conundrum in Iran, Working Paper 06-15, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 2006.


This paper examines the major causes of Iran’s unemployment conundrum using a simultaneous-equation model and annual time series data from 1968 to 2000. It is found that the rate of unemployment responds positively to output gap and increasing economic uncertainty and negatively to the higher growth rates of real investment and inflation, supporting the view that there exists a degree of trade-off between inflation and unemployment. However, since persistent and soaring inflation rates eventually lead to the chronic depreciation of the domestic currency and rising economic instability, it will be irrational to exploit this tradeoff to fight against unemployment, particularly in the post-1979 revolution. Iran possesses one of the youngest populations in the world with approximately 40 per cent of its population less than 15 years. It is thus argued that if major tax and constitutional reforms are not undertaken, unemployment will continue to rise, depicting a sombre future for the next working age generation.