Oil Slump Leaves Iraq With ‘Army’ of Unemployed Youth

Oil Slump Leaves Iraq With ‘Army’ of Unemployed Youth
Iraqi workers are seen at the Rumaila oil refinery, near Basra, Iraq, Dec. 13, 2009 (AP photo by Nabil al-Jurani).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of falling oil and commodities prices on resource-exporting countries.

Plunging oil prices have put Iraq in an economic bind, and according to The New York Times, “much tougher economic times are ahead.” In an email interview, Frank Gunter, a professor of economics at Lehigh University and author of “Political Economy of Iraq: Restoring Balance in a Post-Conflict Society,” discussed the impact on Iraq of low oil prices.

WPR: How important is oil for Iraq’s economy and government revenues, and what impact have falling oil prices had on domestic politics, both in Baghdad and between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government?

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