Text Box: Due to its size, resources, and geopolitical position, Iran is an important player in the world economy and politics, especially through its role in the Middle East. The country's economic performance is important not only for the livelihood of Iranians, but also for other nations that directly or indirectly interact with Iran in economic, political, and other spheres.
Despite the significance of the issues involved and the need for understanding the trends in the Iranian economy, careful economic research on Iran has been relatively scarce in the past few decades. Fortunately, in recent years, increased data availability and the training of new generations of Iranian economists have improved the expanded the research potentials. To accelerate this process, there is a clear need for forums that enable the scholars in the area to meet, exchange views on their research work, and form stronger and more extensive networks. 
 The Conference on Iran's Economy planned by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is intended to make a number of different contributions in this regard. First, it provides a visible venue for the best of current economics research on Iran to be presented and encouraged. Second, the opportunity to build networks and exchange views on research, data, and sources of funding are likely to enhance future research. Third, the conference and the publication of its proceedings should attract the attention of the research community and motivate a broader set of economists to become involved in the studies of Iran's economy. Finally, special efforts are made to involve economics PhD students in the conference and, thereby, enable them to interact with senior scholars. This should facilitate more high-quality dissertation research on Iran and provide an avenue for the senior faculty to learn about potential graduate student interest in the field.