Researching the politics of development



Dr M. Niaz Asadullah


Dr M. Niaz Asadullah is Professor at the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya, and a Visiting Professorial Fellow (Hon) at The University of Manchester. He is working with Dr Antonio Savoia on ESID’s research project on poverty reduction, educational inequality and state capacity.


Niaz has a range of research interests, including gender and human development; poverty and inequality; labour market institutions; and the economics of education. His ESID research is focused on poverty, education and human development.

ESID publications

Asadullah, M. N., Savoia, A. and Sen, K. (2019). ‘Will South Asia achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030? Learning from the MDGs experience‘. ESID Working Paper No. 126.
Asadullah, M. N. and Savoia, A. (2017). ‘Poverty reduction during 1990-2013: Did Millennium Development Goals adoption and state capacity matter?’ ESID Working Paper No. 93.
Asadullah, N. and Savoia, A. (2015). ‘Paths to development: Is there a Bangladesh surprise?’ ESID blog, 15 January.

Other recent publications (selected)

M. Niaz Asadullah and Antonio Savoia (2018). ‘Poverty reduction during 1990–2013: Did millennium development goals adoption and state capacity matter?’  World Development 105: 70-82.
Asadullah, M. N. and Savoia, A. (2019). ‘How Africa can catch up with the world in the fight against poverty‘, The Conversation, February.
Savoia, A.  and Asadullah, M. N. (2019). ‘Bangladesh is booming but slide towards authoritarianism could burst the bubble‘, The Conversation, February.
Asadullah, M. N., Amin, S. and Chaudhury, N. l. (2018). ‘Support for gender stereotypes: Does madrasah education matter?’ Journal of Development Studies.
Asadullah, M. N., Alim, A. and Hossain, A. (2017). ‘Enrolling girls without learning: Evidence from public schools in Afghanistan’, Development Policy Review.
Asadullah, M. N. (2017). ‘Who trusts others? Community and individual determinants of social capital in a low income country’. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41(2): 515-544.
Asadullah, M. N. and Ara, J. (2016). ‘Evaluating the long-run impact of an innovative anti- poverty program: Evidence using household panel data’, Applied Economics, 48(2): 107-120.
Asadullah, M. N. (2016). ‘Trust, trustworthiness, and traditional Islamic education’, Oxford Development Studies, 44(2): 152-166.
Asadullah, M. N. (2016). ‘Do pro-poor schools reach out to the poor? Location choice of BRAC and ROSC schools in Bangladesh’, Australian Economic Review, 49(7): 432-452.
Asadullah, M. N. and Chaudhury, N. (2015). ‘The dissonance between schooling and learning’, Comparative Education Review, 59(3): 447-472.
Asadullah, M. N., Kambhampati , U. and Lopez Boo, F. (2014). ‘Social divisions in school participation and attainment in India: 1983-2004’, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 38(4): 869-893.
Asadullah, M. Niaz (2012).‘Intergenerational wealth mobility in rural Bangladesh’, The Journal of Development Studies, 48(9): 1193-1208.
Asadullah, M. Niaz and Yalonetzky, G. (2012). ‘Inequality of educational opportunity in India: Changes over time and across states’, World Development, 40(6): 1151-1163.
Asadullah, M. N. and Chaudhury, N. (2012).‘Subjective well-being and relative poverty in rural Bangladesh’, Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(5): 940-950.

Academic commentaries (selected)

Amin, S., Asadullah, N., Hossain, S. and Wahhaj, Z. (2017). ‘Can conditional transfers eradicate child marriage?’ Economic and Political Weekly, 52(6).
Amin, S., Asadullah, M. N., Hossain, S. and Wahhaj, Z. (2017). ‘Eradicating child marriage in the Commonwealth: Is investment in girls’ education sufficient?’ The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 106(2): 221-223.
Asadullah, M. N. (2017). ‘Comments on “China’s growth slowdown and prospects for becoming a high-income developed economy”’, Asian Economic Papers Winter/Spring, 16(1): 16.

International media commentaries (selected)

Asadullah, M. N. and Maliki, S. M. S. (2017) ‘Bottling Indonesia’s gini’, Project Syndicate, 1 September.
Asadullah, M. N. and Wahhaj, Z. (2017). ‘Mending Bangladesh’s garment industry’, Project Syndicate, 1 May.
Amin, S., Asadullah, M. N., Hossain, S. and Wahhaj, Z. (2017). ‘A blueprint for ending child marriage’, Project Syndicate, 7 March.
Asadullah, M. N. (2016). ‘Terrorism: Look beyond private schools’,  D+C Development and Cooperation, 28 July.
Wahhaj, Z. and Asadullah, M. N. (2016). ‘What is driving the increase in child marriage in Bangladesh?’ Open Democracy, 7 April.
Asadullah, M N. and Wahhaj, Z. (2016). ‘Minimum wage attracts girls to factories’, D+C Development and Cooperation, 3 January.
Asadullah, M. N. and Wahhaj, Z. (2016). ‘Saving Grameen Bank, sustaining the Bangladesh Paradox’, The Diplomat, 6 December.

Other roles

Niaz is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Oxford (Department of  Education); Global Labor Organization (GLO) Cluster Head for  South-East Asia; and a Research Fellow at IZA Institute of Labor Economics. His work has been supported by the Social Security Research Centre (SSRC) and HIR schemes of the University of Malaya, as well as  international grants such as the Australian Development Research Award  Scheme, Leverhulme Trust (UK), International Growth Centre (IGC), DFID (UK), South Asian Network of Economic Research Institutes and the World Bank. Niaz has also consulted for the World Bank, Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and the OIC.

Further information

View Professor M. Niaz Asadullah’s University of Malaya profile.