Writings on the economic and social conditions in Afghanistan

Writings on the economic and social conditions in Afghanistan

Writings on the economic and social conditions in Afghanistan, publications and manuscripts From 1972 to the present, with abstracts

Siddieq noorzoy
Professor of economics, emeritus,
University of Alberta

1) “External Capital Assistance and Economic Development in Afghanistan”, Research Paper No. 10, Department of Economics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, July 1972, p. 32. (This research paper sets up an econometric projection model for estimating the trends under a two-gap set of assumptions for different growth rates of GNP and requirements for achieving them for the first, second, and third five-year plans, using reprocessed data in constant prices.

2) Planning and Growth in Afghanistan”, World Development Vol. 4, No.9, 1976, pp. 761-773. (This article modified the original Harrod-Domar growth model to include the contribution of foreign capital (assistance) to capital formation and growth. It put forth an econometric model for the Afghan economy for the period 1956-71 estimating the consumption, saving import, and total investment (public, private, and foreign assistance) functions, as well as, the exogenously determined export function. Discussions of the estimated functions are followed by policy implications for planning and for future growth in the Afghan economy. This article was used as reading material in several Canadian universities in courses on economic development.

3) “Sectorial Incremental Capital Output Ratios and Growth Rates in Afghanistan”, unpublished manuscript, Department of Economics, University of Alberta, 1977,  p.40. This work discussed whether investment allocations were optimal during planning years based on the estimates of ICORs and measured growth rates in different sectors of the Afghan economy. For prioritizing the allocation of investment funds in the post-reconstruction period, which can be reasonably called the recovery period and beyond, this approach might be useful.

4) “An Analysis of the Afghan Foreign and Domestic Private Investment Law”, Afghanistan Journal, Akademische Druk-u Verlagsantalt, Graz, Austria, JG 4, Heft 1, January – February 1977, p. 29-30. apparently officially translated into Russian and published in Geographia, USSR, Academy of Science, Moscow, No. H11, 1978. This article discusses the provisions of the new investment law of 1974 and compares them with that of the law of 1967, and offers an analysis of how the new law would impact both new private and foreign investments. Undoubtedly during the recovery and growth periods following reconstruction In Afghanistan, there will be a need for a private investment law that would also cover the regulation of foreign investments in the country. Understanding these historical laws on private investment in the era of globalization where a large foreign firm can dominate the domestic market will be useful and needed for formulating new investment laws.

5)” The First Afghan Seven Year Plan, 1976/77-1982/83: A Review and Some Comparisons of the Objectives and Means”, Afghanistan Journal, jg.6, Heft 1, 1979, pp. 15-23. [This article discussed the objectives of the seven-year plan, investment allocations ad finance ( private Afghan and foreign finance), comparisons with the five year plans especially the expanded objectives for the establishment of heavy industries and mineral exploitation, and the additional goals of price stability and full employment, and balance of payments and exchange rate policies]. Under long term peace and prospects for the development of Afghanistan the various long term objectives of the seven-year plan, especially for agriculture and industrial development, which were scuttled by the coup de tat of April 1978, cannot be ignored,

6)” Alternative Economics Systems for Afghanistan”, International Journal of Middle East Studies Vol. 15, No. 1, 1983, pp. 25-45. This publication discussed the nature of the two economic systems that had to emerge dude to the war conditions; one in the urban areas under the control of the Soviet-backed communist regime, the other in the urban areas under the control of the Soviet-backed communist regime, the other in the rural areas under the control of the Mujahideen. The possible development of structural changes was also discussed. This article, for the first time, sets up a framework for estimating the costs of the war to Afghanistan. It also discussed issues on reconstruction and financial requirements which was argued that must come from outside sources, including reparations from the Soviet Union.

7) Long Term Economic Relations Between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union: Art Interpretive Study”, International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 17, No. 2, 19854, pp. 151-73 This publication developed the hypothesis that the Soviet government attempted to maximize economic gains for itself from the invasion of Afghanistan subject to the constraints imposed by the war. This Russian-cum-Soviet approach of attempting to maximize gains from the bilateral trade relations with Afghanistan is traced in different periods from the late 19th Century to the post-invasion period. The findings support our hypothesis.

8) “Sour Ghasi Afghanistan ba Shurawi”, (Exports of Gas from Afghanistan to the Soviet Union), Kulture, Vol. 5, No.2, Bonn, West Germany, April 1986, pp. 45-51. (It estimated significant yearly revenue losses to Afghanistan from exporting its natural gas to the Soviet Union.

9) “Soviet Economic Interests in Afghanistan”, Problems of Communism, a bi-monthly publication of the US Government (USIS), May-June 1987, Vol. 36, No. 3, pp.43-54. This article discussed the evolution of the Soviet foreign economic policy in general and toward the developing countries in particular with its application in the multi-faceted bilateral relations between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan.

10) Long Term Soviet Economic Interests and Policies in Afghanistan”, Chapter IV, in Afghanistan: the Great Game Revisited, Edited by R. Klass, Freedom House, New York,1987, pp.71-95. This publication expands on the different aspects of the Soviet foreign policies in the military cum political and economic areas and argued that these policies were complementary with one another. In the case of Afghanistan among other things, these policies also meant shifting the monetary costs of the war on to the Afghan economy. It presents a list of military-related Soviet exports to Afghanistan translated from Soviet sources for the years 1979-1984. It also contains the list of discovered and exploitable mineral resources of Afghanistan up to 1977).

11) Population Loses in Afghanistan: Some Observations and Comments”, Writers’ Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA), Vol. 3, No.3 1988, pp. 6-14. The assumption of zero population growth made by Marek Sliwinski in his estimates of population losses due to the war (Afghanistan 1978-87: War, Demography and Society, University of Genera, Geneva, March 1988) is replaced in this publication by the actual rate of growth of population existing before the war in re-estimating the impact of the war on population losses. The new estimates showed a much higher loss raising these losses from the 9 percent estimated by Sliwinski to 10 percent of the pre-war population, which at the estimated population of 15.5 million in 1979 these losses numbered 1.55 million lives lost.

13) Reconstruction and Development in Afghanistan”, manuscript, Institute of International Studies, Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1988/89, p.73. This manuscript discussed the preconditions for post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction, including the necessary frameworks for national and regional coordination, broad goals of reconstruction, estimates of the supplies of labor, the capital stock, and their requirements, the need for sectorial surveys of the prevailing conditions following the example of the survey of agriculture by the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan. This work also presented a village model for rural reconstruction. This manuscript along with No. 14 below is part of a larger work underway on the Afghan economy.

14) Issues on and Problems of Social and Economic Reconstruction and Recovery in Afghanistan”, an invited presentation at the Seminar on the Potential for Recovery in Afghanistan and the Role of International Assistance, Operation Salam (UNOCA) and University de Neuchatel, Geneva, May 5-7, 1989, Discussion Paper No. 3, Document GE 89-01370, p.17. This work summarizes some of the results of this writer’s ongoing research on the problems of reconstruction and rehabilitation in post-war Afghanistan. It argues for systematic surveys of the prevailing conditions for planning and rationalizing the use of resources including outside assistance. It discusses the structure and needs of the various sectors of the Afghan economy. This writer argues for combining the goals and approaches to reconstruction with the needs of long term development. It warns against the use of Adhoc and patchwork approaches to reconstruction which may result if professional people with a broad understanding of the requirements of the Afghan economy are not involved.

15) Issues on Land Reform and Distribution, manuscript, Institute of International Studies, Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1989, p. 43. This manuscript traces the history of land distribution in Afghanistan from the late 19th century until Decree No.8 in 1980 and later Decree under Najibullah in 1987 on land redistribution. It discusses the methods of land distribution applied under different governments and the problems that arose from the land policies, especially under communist regimes. This work offers policy guidelines for the government in order to minimize social conflict and promote equity in land ownership and economic growth. This work is under revision to include events and policies developed under the coalition of the Mujahideen and the Taliban and post-Taliban governments.

16) “Eskan-e-Mojadad-e- Mohajerin dar Afghanistan” (The Re-establishment of Refugees in Afghanistan) an invited presentation at the Seminar on Social Reconstruction in Afghanistan, Cultural Council of Afghanistan Resistance, Islamabad, published in its Farda-e-Afghanistan-e-Islami (Islamic Afghanistan’s Tomorrow) Vol. 4, November 1990, pp 97-134. The many-faceted problems of refugee resettlement are discussed, and estimates of repatriating refugees, supplies of labor from the refugee population, and schooling requirements among other issues are covered are detailed. A theoretical compensation model is also presented for a hypothetical repatriating refugee.

17) Consumption Behavior in Fifteen Selected Middle Eastern Countries”, manuscript, Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1990, p. 27. This manuscript estimated alternative forms of the consumption function for Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and twelve Arab countries for the period 1960-1980. The estimated coefficients indicated differences among these countries with respect to consumption and saving.

18) The Status of Economic Information on Afghanistan and Problems of Policy-Making’, Working Paper, Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, Berkeley, research paper presented to the annual meeting of the Middle East Studies Association of North America, Portland, Oregon October 1992, p.35. This work analyzes the nature of information and statistics from different sources and discusses their usability for planning and policy. Economic Cooperation Among the Continuous Muslim States in Asia: Theoretical and Policy Issues”, Working Paper, Center for Middle East Studies, University of California, 1996, p.37. Different versions of this paper were presented at lectures at, University of California, Berkeley, and Monterey Institute of International Studies. The conclusion is reached that the EU type of economic and political relations are not feasible, but, that increased trade and access to each other’s markets will bring growth to these countries.

20) “Economy in Modern Afghanistan”, Encyclopedia Iranica, Columbia University, Mizan Press, 1996/97, p. 163-169. This invited work reviews the Afghan economy from the 1930s to the id 1990s. It establishes the fact that for the recorded period the years 1971-1977 experienced a high rate of growth of GDP at  4.5% in constant prices before the onset of the civil war in 1978 and the Soviet invasion in 1979. This publication also contains estimates of the losses from the wars in different areas such as agriculture, housing, and animal stock among other things. A brief review of different sectors of the Afghan economy including international trade is also discussed.

21) The Financial Sector and Its Reforms”, manuscript, 1999/2000, p.65. The history, structure, and performance of the Afghan banking sector from its inception I 1932 is discussed. International comparisons are drawn on financial institutions and monetary policy. Money and capital bazaars are discussed, issues on monetary reform, the role of the financial sector in reconstruction, and long-term development are analyzed. Policy recommendations are made for monetary reforms, especially for the Afghan currency which for the past decade its unlimited and uncontrolled supplies have brought hyperinflation and large-scale income redistribution in the country, and a breakdown of the banking system. Suggestions are also made for the establishment of a stock market to increase the role of private finance. Due to the recent developments, this work is under revision.


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