Dr Niaz Asadullah is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Reading University, UK. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (Bonn), an Associate Research Fellow at ESRC Centre on SKOPE (Oxford University) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (UK). Previously he held teaching and research appointments at Oxford University (Mansfield College), Dhaka University (various departments), Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), and the World Bank (various departments). He received a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship in 2011. Dr Asadullah obtained his D.Phil in Economics from Oxford University in 2005. His research interests are in development economics, poverty, human development and governance. His current research focuses on the causes and consequences of low investment in human capital in developing countries and examines the factors responsible for the rise of Islamic schools (aka madrasas) in Bangladesh. He has several ongoing field research projects in rural Bangladesh. Selected publications: “Subjective Well-being and Relative Poverty in Rural Bangladesh” (with Nazmul Chaudhury), Journal of Economic Psychology (33, pp. 940–950, 2012). “Inequality of Educational Opportunity in India: Changes Over Time and Across States” (with Gaston Yalonetzky), World Development (40 (6), pp. 1151-1163, 2012). "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility in Rural Bangladesh," The Journal of Development Studies (forthcoming, 2012).
This study, conducted by Wahiduddin Mahmud (IGC and Economic Research Group), M. Niaz Asadullah (University of Reading) and Antonio Savoia (University of Manchester) attempts to answer why Bangladesh has achieved reasonably rapid economic growth, despite poor governance, resource impediments, natural calamities etc. Analysis shows that Bangladesh is indeed an outlier, having unexpectedly high GDP for a relatively low governance index. But, such institutional weaknesses may eventually constrain growth unless adequate measures are taken.
Bangladesh has achieved rapid and spectacular improvements in many social development indicators during the last two decades or so. Within South Asia, Bangladesh has improved its position ahead of India and the region as a whole in a number of human development indicators although its per capita income is still significantly below the regional average.