Lahore School of Economics

A distinguished seat of learning, teaching and research

A turning point

Dr Rashid Amjad

Economic history is a fascinating subject, and at its exciting best when one tries to explain to graduate students why Britain was the first country to have undergone the Industrial Revolution, or why Japan was the first non-Western country to do so — or more recently, the unparalleled high growth rates achieved by the East Asian ‘tiger’ countries and their rapid transition to industrialised economies.

In the case of Japan, it was the fear of foreign domination after being threatened by US naval power in 1868 that triggered a sharp turning point towards rapid industrialisation, technological change and modernising the education system.

In contrast, given its impressive start as a galvanised new nation, Pakistan is taught as a country that was considered a leading candidate to achieve a similar breakthrough, well before the East Asian economies or even China and India and, indeed, many times after that — but unfortunately never fully realised its true economic potential.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9/11/2019 02:20:00 PM,

Lahore School 2nd International Applied Development Economics Conference

4-5 September 2019

The Lahore School of Economics in partnership with International Growth Centre hosted its Second International Conference on Applied Development Economics, at its Burki Campus on 4-5th September 2019. Similar to the first edition of the conference last year which was a great success, the two-day event this year, was once again devoted to bringing together policy makers, renowned researchers, academics and practitioners from within Pakistan and abroad to discuss relevant themes for developing countries such as, poverty, social protection, gender, public finance, firms and political economy. The thought-provoking research presented at the conference was hoped to disseminate and invite interesting feedback, stimulate further research in this domain and be instrumental in improving research capabilities of young researchers within the country.

The conference started off with welcome remarks by Dr. Shahid Amjad Chaudhry (Rector, Lahore School of Economics). He extended a warm welcome to a distinguished and impressive galaxy of academics, researchers and other honorable guests. He highlighted that it is a sensitive time for Pakistan with the brunt being borne by the poor and vulnerable segments of society especially with regards to food poverty. He emphasized the dire need for researchers to collaborate globally, so as to understand and address the complexities of the developing world. He highlighted on how this conference sets the stage for further deliberation on core developmental issues. The plenary address was delivered by Dr. Ghazala Mansuri (Lead Economist, World Bank) who took on a more policy-oriented approach towards issues in her insightful research focusing on water, sanitation and child health. She pondered over that it is puzzling that even though poverty has been on a declining trend in Pakistan, improvement in sanitation and access to safe drinking water - focal areas of MDGs - have been limited. She stressed on how stunting and wastage in children caused due to poor sanitation facilities, has an adverse impact on their motor skills and immunity, regardless of the household’s income level. She highlighted that these effects were more strongly felt in Sindh, and more so in rural than urban areas, due to inefficient human fecal waste management relative to Punjab, KP and Baluchistan. She also noted that only urban areas have access to piped water whereas hand and mechanized pumps are more commonly found in rural areas, with sporadic testing for water quality and contamination. This contamination, she explained, arises from effluent seeping into water ways and ground water used for drinking and irrigation of agricultural production which is highly detrimental to health. She concluded her address by proposing that there is a need to strengthen regulatory guidelines and enforcement mechanisms in this sphere as well as provision safe water and sanitation by the public sector.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9/06/2019 09:21:00 AM,

Symposium on Behavioral Economics in Policy Making

Lahore School of Economics in collaboration with B4Development (formerly Qatar Behavioral Insights Unit, created by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy in 2016 hosted a symposium on Behavioral Economics in Policy Making on 3 September 2019 at Pearl Continental Hotel, Lahore.This symposium is the first ever initiative that will engage policy-makers and researchers alike to discuss the role that behavioral interventions can play in matters of compliance, public finance and accountability in Pakistan.

“Hosting the Middle East’s first mega event has inspired us to ensure that we serve as a catalyst for socio-economic progress and development. Integrating behavioral insight experiments within our vast array of programs is an integral part of that mission. We are pleased that the Government of Pakistan and other national stakeholders are considering applications of behavioral economics concepts and tools in various areas of public policy including public finance management, education and healthy lifestyle. We are glad to support as well as share lessons learned from our own experience in setting up such initiatives and conducting behavioral experiments.” said H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.
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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 9/04/2019 02:52:00 PM,

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