The Lahore School of Economics hosted its first International Conference on Applied Development Economics on 12-13 September 2018 at the Lahore School’s Burki Campus.
The aim of the conference was to expose researchers and policy makers in Pakistan to on-going research on key issues of relevance to economic development and poverty alleviation in Pakistan and contribute to improving research capabilities of young researchers in the country.
The conference highlighted frontier research that is being conducted in Pakistan with the aim of economic development and poverty alleviation. The first day of the conference started with welcome remarks by Dr Shahid Amjad Chaudhry, rector of Lahore School of Economics.
Professor Imran Rasul, Professor of Economics at the University College London delivered the plenary address.
His talk focused on new research on Bangladesh and Pakistan that aims to broaden the agenda on understanding how to optimally design social protection programs for the poor and whether such programs should entail providing transfers in kind or in cash. He showed that asset transfers reduced engagement in casual wage labour, increased work in capital-intensive sectors as well as labour supply hours.
In the long run, asset transfers increased the likelihood of households to own land. Once poor households graduated from poverty they were able to borrow and lend more, suggesting the birth of a credit market. The rest of the day progressed with sessions on microfinance and enterprise, chaired by Professor Imran Rasul (University College London), political economy, chaired by Dr Azam Chaudhry (Lahore School of Economics) and gender, chaired by Fauzia Viqar (Punjab Commission for the Status of Women; PCSW).