Dr. Ali Cheema

Senior Research Fellow

Ph.D. Economics: University of Cambridge M.Phil. Economics and Politics: University of Cambridge B.A. (Honors) Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE): University of Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) B.A. Mathematics and Statistics: Government College
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Dr. Ali Cheema is a Senior Research Fellow at IDEAS Pakistan. He is also an Associate Professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and serves as the Faculty Director of the Mahbub Ul Haq Research Centre at LUMS. He is a co-founder of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP), and a co-lead academic of the International Growth Center’s Pakistan programme. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Development Studies, Sussex and was the Chair of the Economics Department at LUMS from 2004-2010. He was also a founding member of the Stockholm Challenge Award winning portal, Relief Information System for Earthquakes, Pakistan (RISEPAK).

His areas of research include economic development with a focus on human capital, inclusion and economic mobility, gender, public economics, comparative politics, economic history and the economics of crime. His research combines extensive mixed-methods fieldwork, historical archival research, rigorous empirical analysis and theory to offer insights into how political economy and historical foundations shape economic and political development. Part of his recent work focuses on how political and wealth inequality shape accountability, representation and development, analyzing the barrier’s to women’s political participation and representation and evaluating the potential of skills and human capital as instruments for inclusive development. He is particularly interested in how local governance and taxation institutions can be designed to makes states more accountable to citizens. He is also interested in understanding the role of citizen-state trust in building effective and accountable state capacities for inclusive development.

He has been published in leading international journals, such as the Journal of Political Economy, the American Political Science Review and Science. He was a visiting Fulbright and SAI Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School in 2010-11. In addition, he has also served on high level provincial and federal government task forces and committees including the National Finance Commission and Punjab’s Provincial Finance Commission. Currently, he is a serving as Director of the State Bank of Pakistan.