Who Owns Iran? Trajectories of Ownership and Managerial Power in Public and Parastatal Sectors of the Islamic Republic
I ask two questions in the paper. First, how has the ownership structure of Iran's largest 250 firms changed over the past five years (2012-16), including acquisitions of shares in public companies by domestic pension funds, military and religious foundations, private domestic actors, and foreign direct investment from Europe and Asia? Second, what are the sociological backgrounds of Iran's corporate managerial class, and how does variation in managers' backgrounds differ across economic sectors? Overall, the paper assesses patterns as ownership and managerial control moves from public hands into more opaque, semi-state and grey market zones in order to compare with previous experiences of public sector liberalization in the Middle East, Latin America, East Asia, and Eastern Europe.