Prof. Asad Islam, PhD

Prof. Asad Islam, PhD


Prof. Asad Islam, PhD
ResearchGate: Asad ISLAM | Director | PhD in Economics | Monash University (Australia), Melbourne | Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability (CDES) | Research profile (

  1. Asad Islam is a professor of economics at Monash University, as well as the director of the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability (CDES). His recent research focuses on social networks, schooling and health, microfinance, gender, technology adoption, and risk-sharing mechanisms of households in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Uganda, Tanzania, and Cambodia. He is also the founder of the Global Development Research Initiative, which employs local researchers and field workers to help academics around the world to conduct surveys and field experiments, including large-scale randomized evaluations. He received his PhD in economics from Monash University.
    Research Interests
    • Development Economics
    • Health Economics
    • Labor Markets
    • Education
    • Migration
    • Experimental Economics
    • Social Networks
    • Women's Health
    • Rural Communities
    • Parenting
    • Mental Health
    • Microfinance
    • Policy Impact Analysis

    1. Diffusion in social networks: Experimental evidence on information sharing vs persuasion, with Marcel Fafchamps, Deb Pakrashi, and Denni Tommasi, Journal of Development Economics (Accepted, Pre-Results Review)

    2. Improving Women’s Mental Health During a Pandemic, with Michael Vlassopoulos, Abu Siddique, Tabassum Rahman, Deb Pakrashi, and Firoz Ahmed, American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, forthcoming

    3. Raising Health Awareness in Rural Communities: A Randomized Experiment in Bangladesh and India, with Abu Siddique, Tabassum Rahman, Deb Pakrashi, and Firoz Ahmed, Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming

    4. Parenting style and cognitive development: in the context of distance learning intervention during Covid-19 school closure, with Choon Wang and Hashibul Hasan, Economics of Education Review (for a special issue: In preparation)

    5. Emotional and Behavioral Impacts of Homeschooling Support on Children, with Hashibul Hassan, Abu Siddique, and Liang Choon Wang, American Economic Association: Papers & Proceedings 113 (2023), May, 498-502

    6. Long-term impact of exposure to violent conflict: Are there gender differences? Ratul Mahanta, Raju Mandal, Hiranya Nath, Chandarany Ouch and Dipanwita Sarkar, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 208 (2023), April, 120-139

    7. Fishermen’s Competitiveness and Labor Market Performance: Evidence from Shrimpers in Bangladesh, with Sakiba Tasneem and Liang Choon Wang, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 67:346–363, 2023

    8. COVID-19 and mental health in 8 low- and middle-income countries: A prospective cohort study, with N. Aksunger, C. Vernot, M. Voors, T. Rahman…, A. M. Mobarak, PLOS Medicine, 20(4): e1004081

    9. The Long-term Effects of Genocide on Antisocial Preferences, with Chandarany Ouch, Lata Gangadharan and Choon Wang, World Development, 160 (2022):106068

    10. Public Support in the United States for Global Equity in Vaccine Pricing, with Yee Chan, Gaurav Datt, Birendra Rai and Liang Choon Wang, Nature: Scientific Reports, 12, 8960:2022

    11. Heterogeneous Effects of Health Shocks in Developed Countries? Evidence from Australia, with Jaai Parasnis, Southern Economic Journal, 89:471–495, 2022.

    12. Parental Attitude and Investment in Children’s Health and Education, with Lutfunnahar Begum and Phil Grossman, Oxford Economic Papers, 74(4): 1045–1062, 2022

    13. Do children of immigrants outperform those of natives? Evidence from Australian nationwide standardized tests, with Dipanwita Sarkar and Russell Smyth, International Migration, 60:93–136: 2022

    14. Caste-based quotas and gender inequality? Field experimental evidence from India, with Deb Pakrashi, Soubhagya Sahoo, Choon Wang and Yves Zenou, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 190 (2021): 111–124, 2021

    15. Experimental Evidence on Adoption and Impact of the System of Rice Intensification, with Chris Barrett, M A Malek, Debayan Pakrashi and Ummul Ruthbah, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 104(1), 4-32, January 2022; BBC; Cornell University;; The Financial Express; Monash Impact

    16. Mobilizing P2P Diffusion for New Agricultural Practices: Experimental Evidence from Bangladesh, with Marcel Fafchamps, M A Malek and Debayan Pakrashi, World Bank Economic Review, 35 (4): 1076–1101: Nov 2021

    17. Stigma and Misconception in the time of COVID-19 Pandemic: A Field Experiment in India, with Choon Wang, Michael Vlassopoulos, and Deb Pakrashi, Social Science and Medicine, 278, 113966, June 2021

    18. Food insecurity and mental health of women during COVID-19: Evidence from a developing country, with Golam Hasnain and Tabassum Rahman, PLOS ONE, 16(7): e0255392, 2021.

    19. Determinants and Dynamics of Food Insecurity During COVID-19, with Firoz Ahmed, Deb Pakrashi, Tabassum Rahman, and Abu Siddique, Food Policy, 101 (May): 102066, 2021

    20. Income loss and wellbeing during COVID-19 lockdown in rural Bangladesh: Evidence from large household surveys, with Tabassum Rahman, Firoz Ahmed, Deb Pakrashi, and Abu Siddique, Bangladesh Development Studies (Invited Article), forthcoming

    21. The Effects of Chess Instruction on Academic and Non-Cognitive Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from a Developing Country, with Wang-Sheng Lee and Aaron Nicholas, Journal of Development Economics, 150 (May):102615, 2021 write up on chess website; Channel 9 News; Monash Impact; Hearld Sun

    22. Impact of sexually transmitted infections testing on sexually transmitted infection prevalence and sex work behavior of female brothel sex workers in Bangladesh: a randomized controlled trial, with Claire Bristow, Golam Hasnain, Russell Smyth, Alexis Tan and Choon Wang, American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, 104(6): 1991-1999, 2021

    23. Natural Disaster and Risk-Sharing Behavior: Evidence from a field experiment, with Matthew Leister, Minhaj Mahmud and Paul Raschky, Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 61: 67–99, 2020

    24. Distributional Effects of Corruption When Enforcement is Biased: Theory and Evidence from Bribery in Schools in Bangladesh, with Shahe Emran and Forhad Shilpi, Economica, 87(348, October): 985-1015, 2020 World Bank Blog

    25. Price Elasticities of residential Electricity Demand: Estimates from Bangladesh, with Hema Balarama, Jun Sung Kim and Choon Wang, Energy Economics, 92 (October): 104937, 2020

    26. Can Referral Improve Targeting? Evidence from an Agricultural Training Experiment, with Marcel Fafchamps, M A Malek, Debayan Pakrashi, Journal of Development Economics, 144(May): 102436, 2020 J-PAL column, B-Hub article

    27. Labour market participation of women in rural Bangladesh: the role of microfinance, with Debayan Pakrashi, Journal of Development Studies, 56 (10): 1927-1946, 2020

    28. Friendship and Female Education: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Bangladeshi Primary Schools, with Youjin Hahn, Eleonora Patacchini and Yves Zenou, Economic Journal, 130 (April): 740–764, 2020

    29. Whose voice matters? An experimental examination of women empowerment in microfinance, with Klaus Abbink and Chau Nguyen, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 176: 337-352, 2020

    30. Labour Market and Human Capital Behavior of Imm igrant Couples: Evidence from Australia, with Sarah-Jane Derby and Russell Smyth, International Migration, 58(2): 118-42, 2020

    31. Survey Measures versus Incentivized Measures of Risk Preferences: Evidence from Sex Workers’ Risky Sexual Transactions, with Alexis Tan, Choon Wang and Russell Smyth, Social Science and Medicine, 238 (2019):112497, October

    32. Roommate effects in Health Outcomes, with Paul Frijters, Chitwan Lalji, and Debayan Pakrashi, Health Economics 28:998–1034, 2019

    33. Heterogeneity in Peer Effects in Random Dormitory Assignment in a Developing country, with Debayan Pakrashi and Paul Frijters, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 163(2019): 117-134.

    34. Parent-Teacher Meetings and Student Outcomes: Evidence from a developing Country, European Economic Review, 111 (2019), 273–304.

    35. Do networks matter after a natural disaster? A study on resource sharing within informal network after cyclone AILA, with Chau Nguyen, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, 90: 249-268, 2018

    36. Gender Bias in Parental Attitude: An Experimental Approach, with Lutfunnahar Begum and Phil Grossman, Demography, 55(5):1641–1662, 2018, Monash Impact

    37. Education, Marriage, and Fertility: Long-Term Evidence from a Female Stipend Program in Bangladesh, with Youjin Hahn, Kanti Nuzhat, Hee-Seung Yang and Russell Smyth, Economic Development and Cultural Change, 66(2): 383-415, 2018

    38. Can Immigrants Insure Against Shocks as well as the Native-born? with Steve Stillman and Chris Worswick, Applied Economics, 50 (49):5302-5315, 2018

    39. Immigration, Innovation and Wages of Native-born American, with Chau Nguyen and Farid Islam, Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, 56(3):459–488, 2017

    40. The Intergenerational Effect of Cambodia’s Genocide on Children’s Education and Health, with Chandrany Ouch, Russell Smyth and Choon Wang, Population and Development Review, 4 (2): 331-353, 2017.

    41. Girl Power: Stipend Programs and their Effects on the Education of Younger Siblings, with Lutfunnahar Begum and Russell Smyth, Journal of Development Studies, 53(11): 1882-98, 2017

    42. The Long-term Health Effects of Mass Political Violence: Evidence from China’s Cultural Revolution, with Paul Raschky and Russell Smyth, Social Indicator Research, 132(1), 257-272, 2017

    43. The long-term effects of civil conflicts on education, earnings, and fertility: Evidence from Cambodia, with Chandrany Ouch, Russell Smyth and Choon Wang, Journal of Comparative Economics, 44: 800-820, 2016

    44. Bureaucratic Corruption and Income Inequality: Micro-Level Evidence from Bangladesh, with Wang-Sheng Lee, Journal of Development Studies, 52(10): 1499-1516, 2016

    45. Microcredit Program Participation and Household Food Security in Rural Bangladesh, with Chandana Maitra, Debayan Pakrashi and Russell Smyth, Journal of Agricultural Economics, 67(2): 448–470, 2016, Ideas for India article

    46. Native- Migrant Wage Differential across Occupations: Evidence from Australia, with Jaai Parasnis, International Migration, 54 (3): 89–109, 2016

    47. Age at migration, English language skills and Adult Outcomes for Australian Immigrants, with Cahit Guven, Demography, 52:513–542, 2015

    48. Does Microfinance change the informal lending in village economies, With Chau Nguyen and Russell Smyth, Journal of Banking and Finance, 50: 141-156, 2015

    49. Do fertility control policies affect health in old age? Evidence from china’s one child experiment, with Russel Smyth, Health Economics, 24: 601–616, 2015

    50. Genetic distance, Immigrants’ Identity and labour market outcome, with Paul Raschky, Journal of Population Economics, 28 (3): 845-868, 2015

    51. Heterogeneous Effects of Microcredit: Evidence from Large Scale Programs in Bangladesh, Journal of Asian Economics, 37:48-58, 2015 (Invited Article)

    52. Child Labour and Schooling Responses to Access to Microcredit in Rural Bangladesh, with Chongwoo Choe, Economic Inquiry, 51 (1): 46-61, 2013

    53. The Effect of Informal Networks on Corruption in Education: Evidence from the Household Survey Data in Bangladesh, with Chongwoo Choe, Ratbek Dzhumashev, and Zakir Khan, Journal of Development Studies, 49(2): 238–250, 2013

    54. Do Immigrants Save Less than Natives? Immigrant and Native Saving Behavior in Australia, with Jaai Parasnis and Dietrich Fausten, Economic Record, 89(284): 52–71, 2013.

    55. Health Shocks and Consumption Smoothing in Rural Households: Does Microcredit have a Role to Play? with Pushkar Maitra, Journal of Development Economics, 97 (2): 232-243, 2012

    56. The Economic Returns to Good Looks and Risky Sex in the Bangladesh Commercial Sex Market, with Russel Smyth, B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (Contributions), 12 (1): 1635-1682, 2012

    57. Medium and Long-term Participation in Microfinance: Evaluation Using Large Panel Data Set from Bangladesh, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 93(3): 843–862, 2011

    58. The Substitutability of Labor between Immigrants and Natives in the Canadian Labor Market: circa 1995, Journal of Population Economics, 22(1): 199-217, 2009

    59. Skilled Immigration and Wages in Australia, with Dietrich Fausten, Economic Record, 84(s1): S66-S82, 2008

    60. Immigration and Unemployment Relationship: Evidence from Canada, Australian Economic Papers, 46(1): 52-66, 2007
    Book Chapter
    1. Height and Health among Older Chinese, S. Awaworyi Churchill et al. (eds.), Measuring, Understanding and Improving Wellbeing Among Older People, Palgrave Mcmillan, 2020, pp.149-60, with Paul Raschky and Russell Smyth.
    2. Economics of Sex Work in Bangladesh, The Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Prostitution (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) chapter 10 pp. 210-228, with Russell Smyth.

    · Ph.D. in Economics, Monash University.
    · M.A in Economics, University of Saskatchewan; M.S.S and B.S.S. (Honors) in Economics, University of Dhaka.


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