Asad Liaqat

Profile: Asad Liaqat is a PhD Candidate in Public Policy at Harvard University. His fields of study are political economy and behavioral economics in developing countries. The common theme in his research is how underlying societal structures, norms and psychological processes affect interactions among citizens and between citizens and the state. His two broad areas of research are empathy and tolerance towards otherized groups, and interactions between citizens and political actors. He uses a combination of field experiments, lab-in-the-field experiments and observational data using original surveys. He is conducting a randomized evaluation of an intervention aimed at fostering empathy and tolerance among school children in Pakistan. In this project, he is using a combination of standard and novel experimental measures of cognitive and affective empathy as well as behavioral measures to gauge the short and long term impact of the five-week long intervention in middle schools in Karachi. His political economy research, being conducted with a number of collaborators, focuses on the importance of political connections for local government elections, political broker responsiveness to voter preferences at a local level and how civil servants update their beliefs in the face of new evidence. 

Asad is currently a PhD Student Affiliate at Evidence for Policy Design at Harvard Kennedy School and a Graduate Student Associate at the South Asia Institute at Harvard University. Before starting his PhD, Asad was a Research Associate at the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP). He holds a BA in Political Economy and Philosophy from Williams College.