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Screening Peers Softly: Inferring the Quality of Small Borrowers, (with R. Iver, MIT, E. Luttmer, Dartmouth, and K. Shue, Chicago GSB) Management Science, Vol. 62(6), June 2016.

Enterprising Psychometrics and Poverty Reduction (with B. Klinger, HBS and C. del Carpio). Springer Briefs Series 'Innovative Psychology for Poverty Reduction', Sharon Panulla & Stuard C. Carr (Eds.), May 2013. Available from springer.com.

Rent Seeking and Corruption in Financial Markets (with A. Mian, Princeton), Annual Review of Economics, 3(1): 579-600, 2011.

Tracing the Impact of Bank Liquidity Shocks: Evidence from an Emerging Market (with A. Mian, Princeton). American Economic Review, 98(4): 1413-1442, 2008.

Subcontractors for Tractors: Theory and Evidence on Flexible Specialization, Supplier Selection, and Contracting (with T. Andrabi, Pomona and M. Ghatak, LSE) Journal of Development Economics, 79(2): 273-302, 2006.

Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent provision in an Emerging Financial Market (with A. Mian, Princeton). Quarterly Journal of Economics, 120(4): 1371-1411, 2005.

Unchecked Intermediaries: Price Manipulation in an Emerging Stock Market (with A. Mian, Princeton). Journal of Financial Economics, 78(1): 203-241, 2005.

Dollars Dollars Everywhere, Nor Any Dime to Lend? (with A. Mian, Princeton and B. Zia, World Bank). Review of Financial Studies. Vol. 23(12): 4281-4323, 2008.


Delivering Education: A Pragmatic Framework for Improving Education in Low-Income Countries” (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J. Das, World Bank), Forthcoming Handbook of International Education.

Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow: Do Public Investments Alleviate Constraints on the Provision of Private Education? (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J.Das, DECRG World Bank). Journal of Public Economics. Vol. 100(1): 1-14, April 2013.

What Did You Do All Day? Mothers and Child Educational Outcomes (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J.Das, DECRG World Bank), Journal of Human Resources.Vol. 47(4): 873-912, 2012.

The Madrassa Controversy: The Story Does Not Fit the Facts (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J. Das, DECRG World Bank). Shahzad Bashir and Robert Crews, ed. Under the Drones: Modern Lives in Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands, Harvard University Press. June 2011.

Education Policy in Pakistan: A Framework for Reform (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J.Das, DECRG World Bank) Policy Brief: International Growth Center, Pakistan. December 2010.

Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J.Das, DECRG World Bank, and T. Zajonc, Harvard), American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(3): 29-54, 2011.

Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools (LEAPS): Insights to inform the education policy debate (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J. Das, T. Vishwanath, World Bank, T. Zajonc, Harvard), Forthcoming, Oxford University Press.

Test Feasibility Survey - PAKISTAN: Education Sector
Main Text & Bibliography of the Report. Other appendices available upon request

The Madrasa Myth (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J. Das, World Bank, C. Fair, Georgetown). Foreign Policy, June 2009.

A Dime a Day: The Possibilities and Limits of Private Schooling in Pakistan (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J.Das, DECRG World Bank). Comparative Education Review, 52(3): 329-355, 2008.

Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J.Das, DECRG World Bank and T. Zajonc, Harvard). Comparative Education Review, 50(3): 446-477, 2006.

Winner of the George Bereday Award for outstanding article published in the CER for the year 2006 Review. Click here to see Media Coverage.


Tax Farming Redux: Experimental Evidence on Performance Pay for Tax Collectors (with A. Khan, LSE, and B. Olken, MIT), Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 131, No. 1, February 2016.

The Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam's Global Gathering (with D. Clingingsmith, Case Western, and M. Kremer, Harvard). Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(3): 1133-1170, 2009.

Awarded Carnegie Fellowship (2009-2011, $100K) by the Carnegie Corporation to pursue research on how religious institutions impact beliefs.

The Partition of India: Demographic Consequences (with P. Bharadwaj, UCSD and A. Mian, Princeton). International Migration. June 2009.

Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities? Journal of Public Economics. 93(7): 899-916, 2008.

Field Questionnaires for "Can Good Projects Succeed in Bad Communities?"

The Big March: Migratory Flows After the Partition of India (with P. Bharadwaj, UCSD and A. Mian, Princeton, GSB). Economic and Political Weekly, 43(35): 39-49, 2008.

Mecca and Moderation (with D. Clingingsmith, Case Western, and M. Kremer, Harvard). The New York Times & The International Herald Tribune, May 20, 2008.

Madrassa Metrics: The Statistics and Rhetoric of Religious Enrollment in Pakistan. (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J.Das, DECRG World Bank and T. Zajonc, Harvard). Beyond Crisis: A Critical Second Look at Pakistan, Naveeda Khan (Ed.), Routledge, May 2008.

Local Government Reforms in Pakistan: Context, Content and Causes (with A. Cheema, Lahore University of Management Sciences and A. Qadir, Pakistan Administrative Staff College). Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries: A Comparative Perspective, D. Mookherjee and P. Bardhan (Eds.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, July 2006.

Measuring Empowerment at the Community Level: An Economist’s Perspective. Measuring Empowerment: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives, Deepa Narayan (ed.,). Washington, DC : World Bank, 2005.

Is Increasing Community Participation Always a Good Thing? Journal of the European Economic Association, 2(2-3):427-436, 2004.


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Working Papers and Ongoing projects

Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Education Markets. (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J. Das, DECRG World Bank), revision requested at American Economic Review. June 2016.

Online Appendix for "Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Education Markets."

Making Moves Matter: Experimental Evidence on Incentivizing Bureaucrats through Performance-Based Transfers, (with Adnan Khan and Ben Olken), WP 2016.

Crossing Boundaries: Experimental Evidence on Skills Acquisition Access Constraints for Rural Women in Pakistan, (with A. Cheema, F. Naseer, and J. Shapiro).

Bank Credit and Business Networks (with A. Mian, Princeton and A. Qamar, State Bank of Pakistan), WP 2011.

Upping the Ante: The Equilibrium Effects of Unconditional Grants to Private Schools, (with T. Andrabi, J. Das, N. Singh and S. Ozyurt), WP 2016.

Bad Public Schools are Public Bads: Test Scores and Civic Values in Public and Private Schools (with T. Andrabi, N. Bau, and J. Das), WP 2010.

Partition of India: Demographic Consequences (with P. Bharadwaj, UCSD and A. Mian, Princeton) WP 2008.

Identifying Business Networks in Emerging Economies (with A. Mian, Princeton and A. Qamar, State Bank of Pakistan), WP 2005.


Entrepreneurial Finance Lab

A key challenge in developing countries is to figure out how to get finance to the 'missing middle': those small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are too large for microcredit, but too small for banks and venture capitalists (VCs) yet show high rates of return. Our flagship project is to examine the role psychometric testing can play in selecting entrepreneurs for financing, with the aim of developing technology that allows the private sector to finance this segment in a profitable and sustainable way. Advances in psychometric testing and new research into the psychological, social, and cognitive characteristics of successful developing country entrepreneurs could provide ways to measure a potential borrower’s entrepreneurial ability directly, with low transaction costs and few information requirements. These tests can be automated, do not require a credit history, and are resistant to manipulation. When combined with the right financial contracts and other sources of information, they could represent a breakthrough in profitable lending to the missing middle. We have already developed and piloted a prototype in South Africa, which has shown significant promise.

See Entrepreneurial Finance Lab website.


Leaps Project

The LEAPS (Learning and Achievement in Punjab Schools) education project is an ongoing study of public and private primary education in Pakistan. The study is designed to survey the educational universe in over a hundred randomly selected rural villages in Punjab, the largest state in Pakistan. As of 2007, LEAPS includes four rounds of detailed school, household, and teacher surveys for 800 schools, 2,000 households and over 5,000 teachers. We also developed tests in Mathematics, Urdu and English that have been administered to the same 12,000 children over a four year period. This data is unique in that it provides a complete picture of the education system by linking information on the universe of public and private schools with detailed surveys of teachers, parents and children tracked between third and sixth grade. In 2006-2007 a new sample of 13,000 third graders was added to the project. The LEAPS project also includes two program evaluations based on randomly allocated treatments. The two treatments are (i) the provision of child and school-level information regarding learning achievement to parents and schools and (ii) increasing local control of schools through parent-teacher school councils working with an NGO. The evaluation of these treatments is currently in progress.

See LEAPS Project Website.

The first year of all the LEAPS data is now available publicly on the website. 


Other Ongoing Projects

Rebuilding the Social Compact: Urban Service Delivery and Property Taxes in Pakistan (with A. Khan, M. Shaukat and B. Olken).

Investing in the Education Market: Strengthening Private Schools for the Rural Poor (with T. Andrabi and J. Das)

Grants Intervention Report (with T. Andrabi, J. Das, and N. Singh). February 2016. 

Property Tax Experiment in Punjab, Pakistan: Testing the Role of Wages, Incentives and Audit on Tax Inspectors' Behavior (with B. Olken, MIT, and A. Qadir, IGC/LSE)

Financing for Firms: Experimental Innovations in South Africa (with B. Klinger, Harvard University)

Divided We Fall: Understanding Retail Clusters (with J. Das, DECRG World Bank, and A. Mian, U of Chicago, GSB)

How Effective are Parent-Teacher School Councils? Experimental Evidence from a Developing Country (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J.Das, DECRG World Bank)

Information and Choices: Examining Parental Investments Across Children (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, J.Das, DECRG World Bank, and J. Montalvo, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)

The Big March: Consequences of the 1947 Partition of India (with A. Mian, U of Chicago, GSB)

Identifying the Impact of Decentralization: Evidence from Pakistan (with A. Cheema, Lahore University of Management Sciences, and A. Qadir, Pakistan Administrative Staff College)

Skills, Beliefs, and Development: Examining skill-enhancing interventions in Pakistan (with A. Cheema, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), F. Naseer, LUMS, and Jacob Shapiro, Princeton)


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Media & Reports

"Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data"

Kennedy School Insight Series, Harvard Gazette, The Economist, Foreign Policy, Al-Jazeera, The NY Times, LA Times, Washington Times, HKS Press Release, World Peace Herald, BBC Urdu, Bloomberg Asia, Bassirat, Khaleej Times, The Jang, The Dawn, The Daily Times, Alert Net, Web India



RISEPAK (Relief Information System for Earthquakes - Pakistan)

Co-founded Earthquake relief web-portal - Winner of the Stockholm Challenge Award 2006 in the Public Administration Category.

RISEPAK is an information-sharing web that offers a coordination tool for disasters. RISE-PAK was developed very quickly by a consortium of experts from US and Pakistani Universities, the World Bank and the private sector with support from the Government of Pakistan. It provides up-to-date damage and relief information about affected villages based on data on population statistics, satellites, geographical systems, as well as from agencies, relief workers, local officials, and anyone with access to immediate village-level data that will critically support the current coordination of relief.

Stockholm Challenge, Harvard Gazette, Harvard President, Harvard Crimson, Center For International Development, Harvard, The World Bank - Press Release, The World Bank - Full, The United Nations, President of Pakistan, Relief Web, PhysOrg, GIS Development, Development Gateway, Kathryn Cramer's Blog, AIDG Blog, Pomona College, The News, Wikipedia, The Dawn, The Daily Times


"Estimating the Impact of the Hajj: Religion and Tolerance in Islam’s Global Gathering"

The Economist, CNN, Slate, International Herald Tribune, Harvard Kennedy School, HKS Impact, Islam Online, The National, Brookings

Dubai School of Government Policy Brief

ABC Radio, Australia

"Microcredit is not the Enemy"

Financial Times





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PED 101 (with Rohini Pande and Lant Pritchett)

PED 102 (with Rohini Pande and Lant Pritchett)

Economic Development: Using Analytical Frameworks for Smart Policy Design (Graduate): Spring 2013-2016.

Economic Development: Theory Evidence and Policy (Graduate): 2012-2015.

Advanced Microeconomic Policy Analysis (Graduate): Spring 2002, 2003, 204, 2006

New Approaches to Industrial Policy in Developing Countries (Graduate): Spring 2004, 2006

Rethinking Financial Inclusion: Smart Design for Policy and Practice (Co-Chaired by Rohini Pande, Asim Ijaz Khwaja)
Despite three decades of innovation in financial services for the poor and an unprecedented global expansion in access, the potential of finance to reduce poverty, foster entrepreneurship and improve well-being has yet to be fully realized. Harvard Kennedy School's newest Executive Education program will explore frontier issues in finance for the poor and address challenges faced by both low and high-income countries. Led by Harvard professors with years of experience in evaluating financial access initiatives, Rethinking Financial Inclusion will combine an evidence-based approach to understanding the market for finance and client needs with theoretical insights on how to design financial products to meet those needs. The executive program will convene strategic thinkers from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to provide a conceptual framework for policy and product design. The hands-on curriculum will include lectures from faculty and industry leaders as well as case studies and group work.




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Welcome to my personal page. The only serious stuff here onwards is the link to my wife Sehr Jalal's miniature paintings (a must-see), my son Amaan's page, and my daughter Nuriya's page.

Sehr's Miniature Paintings

Amaan Ijaz Khwaja's Page

Nuriya Zahida Khwaja's Page


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