Faṣlnāmah-i Pizhūhish/hā-yi Iqtiṣādī-i Īrān (Jan 2018)

Challenges of Education System in Oil-Dependent Countries: The Case Study of Iran

  • javad taherpoor ,
  • Farzaneh Sanadian

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22, no. 73
pp. 107 – 130


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The strategy of using oil income to achieve economic growth and development in rentier economies can have devastating effects on the scientific field in the long-run. Pursuing the strategy of “injecting oil income” ultimately sends signals to players in the scientific field which encourages them to follow the path of “expanding low-quality education”. Based on the analytical framework presented in this study, domination of a rentier environment in an economy leads to establishment of a rent-seeking incentive structure. In this situation, on the one hand, the priorities of firms in production sector are changed and reaching some parts of benefits in oil sector of the economy becomes the basis of profit-maximizing of firms and these firms find themselves not dependent on science and knowledge. On the other hand, based on oil income, government finds itself needless of science and knowledge to promote its own financial and managerial capacities. In addition, the government uses the injection of oil income to achieve scientific development, which application of this method makes education system needless of financing through other sectors of the economy. The set of these consequences at last leads the education system towards the path of prioritizing quantity and disregarding quality in its activities. Available data regarding the quantity and quality of efforts in Iranian education system, including number of patents and innovations, number of academic articles and the sources of financing in education system verifies the theoretical framework presented in this paper.