Asim Ijaz Khwaja is Director of the Center for International Development at Harvard University, the Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, and co-founder of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP).

His areas of interest include economic development, finance, education, political economy, institutions, and contract theory/mechanism design. His research combines extensive fieldwork, rigorous empirical analysis, and microeconomic theory to answer questions that are motivated by and engage with policy.

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Recent Publications

Trust in State and Non-State Actors: Evidence from Dispute Resolution in Pakistan (with D. Acemoglu, A. Cheema and J. Robinson) forthcoming, Journal of Political Economy, 2019.

Making Moves Matter: Experimental Evidence on Incentivizing Bureaucrats through Performance-Based Postings (with A. Khan, LSE, and B. Olken, MIT), American Economic Review, Vol. 109, No. 1, January 2019. Link to Online Appendix.

Upping the Ante: The Equilibrium Effects of Unconditional Grants to Private Schools (with T. Andrabi, J. Das, S. Ozyurt, and N. Singh) WP July 2018. Link to Online Appendix.  

Report Cards: The Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Education Markets. (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J. Das), American Economic Review, Vol. 107, No. 6, June 2017.

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.

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.

Delivering Education: A Pragmatic Framework for Improving Education in Low-Income Countries (with T. Andrabi, Pomona, and J. Das, World Bank), Handbook of International Education, 2015.

Latest Media

These Three Barriers Make it Hard for Policymakers to use Evidence that Development Researchers Produce

August 13, 2017

The Washington Post


EPoD's Data-Driven Research on Education in Pakistan

August 4, 2017

American Pakistan Foundation


Better information to Improve Service Delivery: New Evidence

August 3, 2017

The World Bank: Let's Talk Development


An A+ Experiment: How report cards transformed Pakistan's educational market

July 12, 2017

American Economic Association


Religion and Economic Outcomes

June 9, 2017

The Edge Malaysia


Tax Collection and Civil Society

December 7, 2016

Harvard Magazine


How Personality Testing could Help Financial Inclusion

October 1, 2016

The Economist



  • aikhwaja
    aikhwaja @rglenner Thanks Rachel ! Thu driven by lots of brooding but glad it’s not as banal ;)
  • aikhwaja
    aikhwaja @fatemenajafi10 Thanks Fateme - indeed something I aspire to do thu u are far too generous. Eid Kareem!
  • aikhwaja
    aikhwaja It’s Eid today-usu one of the happiest of days for Muslims. But given the losses the world over it is hard to feel the usual joy. Yet we must if we are to renew. So let’s celebrate in the love & happiest memories of those lost & but not gone-who forever inspire us. Eid Kareem!
  • aikhwaja
    aikhwaja @davidmwessel @Cutler_econ Indeed very very sad - our community has lost a great colleague . I will really miss his amazing spirit, guidance, and full of life personality & (slightly naughty) smile - May he Rest In Peace and his loved ones & us all find peace and even joy in the happiest of his memories