Ali Cheema

  • Associate Professor of Economics
  • International Growth Centre


IGC Staff


Lead academics

Ali Cheema is a Lead Academic for IGC Pakistan.

Ali Cheema is a co-lead academic of the International Growth Centre’s Pakistan programme. He is an Associate Professor of Economics and 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 Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS). 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, political economy 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 institutions shape economic and political development. Part of his recent work focuses on how political and wealth inequality shape accountability and representation, analyzing the barriers to women’s political participation and evaluating the potential of skills and human capital as instruments for inclusive development. He is particularly interested in how local governance and fiscal institutions can be designed to make 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 holds a PhD in Economics from Cambridge, an MPhil in Economics and Politics from Cambridge, a BA (Hons.) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) from Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar, and a BA in Mathematics and Statistics from Government College, Lahore. He was a visiting Fulbright and SAI Scholar at Harvard Kennedy School in 2010-11.