With its imminent surge in oil production, Iraq is more vulnerable than ever to the "resource curse." The influx of wealth threatens to distort the economy and deepen ethno-sectarian divisions by fuelling a political culture of rent-seeking, patronage, and corruption.
To forestall the worst effects of this problem, Iraq should distribute some of its oil revenues directly to the people. A properly structured dividend could address several of the country's critical development needs all at once – helping to alleviate poverty, diversify the economy, stimulate capital formation, and enhance transparency and accountability.
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