Research Papers

Human Capital Accumulation and Disasters: Evidence from the Pakistan Earthquake of 2005 (with Benjamin Daniels and Jishnu Das) Journal of Human Resources, 2021, 0520-10887R1

Upping the Ante: The Equilibrium Effects of Unconditional Grants to Private Schools (with Jishnu Das, Asim Khwaja, Selcuk Ozyurt, Niharika Singh) American Economic Review, 2020, 110(10): 3315–3349

Post Offices and British Indian Grain Price Convergence (with Michael Kuehlwein and Sheetal Bharat) Economic History of Developing Regions, 2019, 35:1, 23-49

In Aid We Trust: Heart and Minds and Pakistan Earthquake of 2005 (with Jishnu Das) The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2017, Volume 99, No.2: 371-386

  • The paper has been the basis of feature stories in Toronto Globe and Mail, The Washington Post, Financial Times, Newsweek, Christian Science Monitor, Dawn, USA Today, Daily Times

Report Cards: The Impact of Providing Test-score information on Educational Markets (with Asim Khwaja and Jishnu Das), American Economic Review, 2017, Volume 107, No.6: 1535-63

  • The paper’s findings have been featured in a major CNN story in October 2015 and the Economist Magazine Cover Story Learning Unleashed in August 2015. Highlighted by the American Economic Association Policy Highlights

Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow? The Rise of Affordable Private Schools (with Asim Khwaja and Jishnu Das), Journal of Public Economics, 2013, Volume 100: 1–14.

What Did You do All day? Maternal Education and Child Outcomes (with Asim Khwaja and Jishnu Das), Journal of Human Resources, 2012, Volume 47, Number 4: 873-912.

Do Value-Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics (with Jishnu Das, Asim Khwaja, and Tristan Zajonc) American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2011, 3(3): 29–54.

Railways and Price Convergence in British India (with Michael Kuehlwein), 2010, The Journal of Economic History: 351-377

A Dime  A Day: The  Possibilities and  Limits of  Private  Schooling in Pakistan (with  Jishnu  Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja) Comparative Education Review, 2008, Vol. 52, No. 3: 329-356.

The LEAPS Report, Learning and Educational Achievement in Punjab Schools: Insights to Inform the Policy Debate (with Jishnu Das, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Tara Vishwanath and Tristan Zajonc) 2008

Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data  (with  Jishnu Das, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, and Tristan Zajonc) Comparative Education Review, 2006, vol. 50, no. 3: 446-477.

  • Reprinted in Wadad Kadi and Victor Billeh, edited, Islam and Education: Myths and Truths, University of Chicago Press, 2007
  • The paper’s findings have been featured in full stories in The Economist, Foreign Policy, Los Angeles Times, Al-Jazeerah, international wire services and all major Pakistan newspapers and media.
  • Winner of George Bereday Award for best paper published in the Comparative Education Review, 2006

Subcontractors for tractors: Theory and evidence on flexible specialization, supplier selection, and contracting. (with Maitreesh Ghatak and Asim Ijaz Khwaja), Journal of Development Economics, Volume 79, Issue 2, April 2006, Pages 273-302 (Lead Article)

Learning and Achievement in Pakistani Education, Education Sector Feasibility Report, World Bank, 2003, (with A. Khwaja and J. Das)

Private Schooling in Pakistan: Educating the Urban Elite or Catering to the Rural  Poor?, World  Bank Working Paper 2002, (Background paper for WB-Pakistan, Pakistan Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper)

Female education in Rural Pakistan: A supply-side failure, LSE, STICERD, Development Economics Research Programme Research Report, 1996

Seigniorage, Taxation and Weak Government, Journal of  Money, Credit and Banking, February 1997, vol. 29(1), pages 106-26

Bank Regulation and Debt Overhang (with A. Ripa di Meana), Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, 26 (1994) Pages: 460-78.


Delivering Education: a pragmatic framework for improving education in low-income countries (joint with J. Das and A.Khwaja) in Dixon, Pauline, Steve Humble and Chris Counihan, eds., Handbook of International Development and Education, (Edward Elgar, 2015).

The Madrassa Controversy: The Story Does Not Fit The Facts (Joint with A. Khwaja and J. Das), Shahzad Bashir and Robert D. Crews, eds., Under the Drones: Af-Pak and the Politics of a Contested Borderland (Harvard University Press, 2012).

Education Policy in Pakistan: A Framework for Reform, (Joint with A. Khwaja and J. Das), December 2010, IGC Policy Brief, International Growth Center, London School of Economics

Madrassa Metrics: The Statistics and Rhetoric of Religious Enrollment in Pakistan. (with A.Khwaja, J.Das, and T. Zajonc) in Naveeda Khan, ed. Beyond Crisis: Reevaluating Pakistan, Routledge, 2010.

Pakistan  in David Arase, ed. Japanese ODA in the New Millennium: Continuities and Change (Routledge, 2005)

Media Articles

The Analytical Angle: Hidden cost of COVID-19: Long-term effects of disasters and related school closures, June 11 2020, (with Jishnu Das and Benjamin Daniels)

The Analytical Angle: Why haven’t past education reforms had more effect, May 8 2019, (with Isabel Macdonald)

Education is becoming an extremist battleground in Pakistan, January 29 2016, Washington Post, Grade Point, an-extremist-battleground-in-pakistan/ (with Asim Ijaz Khwaja)

The Promise of Pakistan’s Private Schools, Dec 11, 2014,  The Wall Street Journal,

Responding to disasters – can we act in time? January 20, 2010, The Boston Globe (joint with Asim Ijaz Khwaja)

The Madrasa Myth, Foreign Policy, June 2009, Web exclusive, (Joint with Jishnu Das, C. Christine Fair, and Asim Ijaz Khwaja).

Unsung Villains, The News, Islamabad, April 15, 2000 

Creative Destruction, Pakistan Calling, Lahore, April 2000 

Taxing Times, Pakistan Calling, Lahore, February 2000

Pomona College