Research

My areas of research interest include economic development, political economy of development and state fragility, state capacity, and social protection. My work often involves setting up long term collaborations with policy actors to study real-world questions through field experiments conducted at scale.

Publications

Making Moves Matter: Experimental Evidence on Incentivizing Bureaucrats through Performance-Based Postings (with Benjamin Olken, MIT, and Asim Khwaja, Harvard). American Economic Review, January 2019.

Tax Farming Redux: Experimental Evidence on Incentive Pay for Tax Collectors (with Benjamin Olken, MIT, and Asim Khwaja, Harvard) Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2016.

The Impact of Social Networks on Labour Market Outcomes: New Evidence from Cape Breton (with Steven Lehrer, Queen’s) NBER Working Paper, Canadian Public Policy 2013. NBER Working Paper

Capacity Development for Education Service Delivery in Pakistan: Top Down Devolution (with David Watson) in Public Administration and Development 2010.

Decentralization in Pakistan: Context, Content and Causes (with Asim Khwaja, Harvard and Ali Cheema, LUMS), for Pranab Bardhan and Dilip Mookherjee’s ‘Decentralization and Local Governance in Developing Countries, MIT Press, USA 2006.

Working Papers and Current Projects

The Allocation of Authority in Organizations: A Field Experiment with Bureaucrats (with Oriana Bandiera, LSE, Andrea Prat, Columbia, and Michael Best, Columbia).

Political Connections and Vote Choice: Evidence from Pakistan (with Jake Shapiro, Princeton, Michael Callen, UCSD, Asad Liaqat, HKS, Ali Cheema, LUMS, and Farooq Naseer, LUMS).

The Design of Social Protection Programs for the Ultra-Poor: Asset Transfers versus Unconditional Cash Transfers (with Robin Burgess, LSE, Oriana Bandiera, LSE, Imran Rasul, UCL).

Rebuilding the Social Compact: Urban Service Delivery and Property Taxes in Pakistan (with Benjamin Olken, MIT, Asim Khwaja, Harvard, and Mahvish Shaukat, MIT).

Transforming the Public Sector by Improving Bureaucratic Performance: Mission Match and Slack in Bangladesh (with Timothy Besley, LSE, and Dan Honig, John Hopkins)

Evaluating the Take-up, Usage, and Impact of Mobile Money Accounts (with Greg Fischer, LSE, Joshua Blumenstock, Washington).

Precision versus Proximity: Evidence from Survey Experiments with Civil Servants in India and Pakistan (with Michael Callen, UCSD, Asim Khwaja, Harvard, and Asad Liaqat, HKS).

Effect of Capacity in Delivery of Urban Services (with Gharad Bryan, LSE, Gerard Padro i Miquel, Yale, Asad Liaqat, HKS, and Ali Cheema, LUMS).

Graduating out of Poverty: Testing the impact of Cash Transfers vs. Lump-sum Grants (with Benjamin Olken, MIT, and Rema Hanna, HKS).

Technology Adoption and Mobile-phone based Agricultural Advice (with Shawn Cole, HBS).

Tax and Political Connections (with Monica Singhal, Brandeis, and Asim Khwaja, Harvard).

Effect of Employment on Volunteering and Health Outcomes: Evidence from a Community Employment Project in Canada (with Steven Lehrer, Queens).

Identifying the Impact of Decentralization: Evidence from Pakistan (with Ali Cheema, LUMS, and Asim Khwaja, Harvard).