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Economic Faculty Research

Economics Faculty Research Paper Presentations held on 25th October, 2018.

Impact of Prenatal Exposure to Fasting on Cognitive Development of Children

Beenish Amir


Evidence has shown that prenatal nutritional shocks have a long-lasting impact on health, cognitive ability and adult outcomes. This study looks at the impact of exposure to fasting on the academic achievement of children who are formally educated. The study uses exposure to Ramadan of pregnant Muslims as a natural experiment to analyze this impact. Relative to famines and wars, Ramadan is a milder shock and lasts for a shorter time period. This study uses LEAPS (Learning and Educational Achievements in Punjab Schools) panel data collected by World Bank for different regions of Punjab. As actual fasting behavior of pregnant Muslims cannot be observed, the study to uses “intention to treat” approach; this permits measurement of impact in presence of non-compliance. Results show that exposure to fasting in the first trimester has a negative effect on test scores of students.

Financial Development, Natural Resources, Endogenous Technology and Economic Growth: Transitional Dynamics and Closed-form Solutions

Nayab Kanwal


This paper presents a three-sector finance-extended endogenous growth model, with constant returns to scale in natural resource production in combination with physical capital and technological progress. In our model, natural capital can be allocated across two sectors: the production of the final consumption good and the production of technological capital (in the form of new ideas). We are considering both renewable and non-renewable natural resources, and taking endogenous technological progress. We will analyze the transitional dynamics of our model where financial intermediation affects physical capital, natural capital and technological progress.

Economics Faculty Research Paper Presentations held on 8th November, 2018.

Impact of Remoteness on Student Learning Outcomes in Pakistan

Ringchan Ali


This paper explores the relationship between school remoteness and the student learning outcomes. Existing literature focuses on the impact of remoteness on socio-economic conditions. However, evidence on the direct impact of remoteness on learning outcomes is rare. The paper investigates how distance of the school from district headquarters affects the quality of education provided in a school. This paper contributes to literatures by uniquely identifying two channels through which remoteness can impact student learning outcomes i.e. teacher’s attendance and school infrastructure that can be affected by weak state capacity over larger distances. Data on standardized test scores, school infrastructure and school location from Annual Status of Education Report (ASER 2016). In addition, the Punjab School Census 2016 for geo locating government schools and Programme Monitoring and Implementation Unit (PMIU) for data on teacher’s attendance in public schools is used. Results of this study can help inform policy decisions to reduce educational inequities arising from remoteness in rural areas.

Adverse Shocks to Education: The Case of Terrorism in Pakistan

Saniya Jilani


Adverse shocks are known to bring forth unrest in the most vulnerable communities. These negative stimuli have been associated with reducing the educational and health spending thus, restricting the development of a society. Over the course of many years, the long term impact of terrorism on a society can be gauged through the level of human capital. In the early 1970s, David A. Wise (1975) established that better educational outcomes result in a productive labor force and consequently, in economic progress. As the war against terrorism wages on in Pakistan, the cost of war has not curbed; the impact has spread into areas of trade, tourism and most noticeably, education. The evidence of grave loss can be found in the statistics compiled by the Pakistan Ministry of Finance where the accumulation of losses from 2016-18 are US $7543 million (Ministry of Finance, 2015). Furthermore, by infringing upon the right to education, extremists have stimulated the gender gap in this sector. Therefore, this thesis will provide an empirical insight into the influence of adverse shocks on the learning outcomes for children in Pakistan between 2013 till 2016 using GTD and ASER. Here, I will employ the Hurdle model to account for the selection bias that arises due to the type of students who are enrolled in schools. This paper adds to the existing literature firstly by looking at learning outcomes as the dependent variable of interest and secondly, by employing a new technique; the hurdle model.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ 11/29/2018 11:01:00 AM,

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