Author: Djavad Salehi-Isfahani

Prof. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani is an associate at Harvard's Belfer Center’s Iran Project. His previous appointments include Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (1977-84), visiting faculty at the University of Oxford (1991-92), visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution (2007-08), Research Fellow at the Belfer Center, Harvard Kennedy School (2009-2010), Kuwait Foundation Visiting Scholar at the Belfer Center's Middle East Initiative (MEI), Harvard Kennedy School (fall 2013), and joint MEI/Iran Project Visiting Scholar (2016-17). He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Economic Research Forum (2001-2006), a network of Middle East economists based in Cairo. His research has been in demographic economics, energy economics, and the economics of the Middle East. More information about his research and other writings can be found on his personal web page:

Poverty and Living Standards in Iran After the Nuclear Deal

The current protests in Iran could be attributed to joblessness and unfulfilled economic expectations, but not necessarily to high poverty.

Demographic and Social Origins of the Iranian Uprisings

In 2015/16, a shocking 31% of men and 53% of women aged 18-29 were unemployed, compared to 20% and 19% in 1997.  More importantly, the pain of this worsening situation is increasingly felt by older age groups.  Entire families are affected when their young men and women are unable to find employment, housing, and form a family.