Asad Liaqat | Ideas for India

Asad Liaqat
Harvard University
Asad Liaqat is a Ph.D. candidate in public policy at Harvard University. His fields of study are political economy and behavioural economics in developing countries. The common theme in his research is how underlying societal structures, norms and psychological processes affect interactions among citizens, and between citizens and the State. His two broad areas of research are empathy and tolerance towards otherised groups, and interactions between citizens and political actors. He uses a combination of field experiments, lab-in-the-field experiments and observational data using original surveys. He is conducting a randomised evaluation of an intervention aimed at fostering empathy and tolerance among school children in Pakistan. In this project, he is using a combination of standard and novel experimental measures of cognitive and affective empathy as well as behavioural measures to gauge the short- and long-term impact of the five-week long intervention in middle schools in Karachi. His political economy research, being conducted with a number of collaborators, focusses on the importance of political connections for local government elections, political broker responsiveness to voter preferences at a local level, and how civil servants update their beliefs in the face of new evidence.

Asad is currently a Ph.D. Student Affiliate at Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School and a Graduate Student Associate at the South Asia Institute at Harvard University. Before starting his Ph.D., Asad was a Research Associate at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP). He holds a B.A. in political economy and philosophy from Williams College.

Articles By Asad Liaqat
Three barriers that make it hard for policymakers to use the evidence that development researchers produce
Posted On: 20 Sep 2017

Topics:   Political Economy

There has been a surge in policy research globally over the past two decades that is geared to promote evidence-based policymaking. But can policymakers put this evidence to use? Based on a survey of civil servants in India and Pakistan, this column finds that simply presenting evidence to policymakers doesn’t necessarily improve their decision-making.
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