The Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre (MHRC) is the flagship centre of social science research at LUMS. It supports interdisciplinary research, scholarship and teaching on issues of human development, social exclusion and inequality across South Asia. Its vision is to co-construct knowledge on critical challenges with a community of scholars, students, practitioners and social actors to bring about transformative change for an inclusive and equitable society.

Evidence-based Interventions to Prevent Childhood Undernutrition in Pakistan’s Punjab

Abid Aman Burki

Pakistan’s Punjab province has access to rich district-representative household survey data from the Multiple Indicators Cluster Survey (MICS). Five…

Blog: Pakistan Dialogues #Inequality

Inequality, Trust and Taxation in Punjab

Principal Investigators: Dr. Ali Cheema (LUMS, IDEAS, IGC), Dr. Ali Abbas (IMF), Dr. Michael Best (Columbia, IGC), Dr. Michael Callen (LSE, IGC), Dr. Adnan Qadir Khan (LSE, IGC), Dr. Shandana Khan Mohmand (IDS Sussex)

This project aims to assess the degree of horizontal and vertical tax inequity in property tax in metropolitan Punjab. It aims to disentangle the factors responsible for inequity and underutilization of property taxation in Lahore and understand the political economy barriers to introducing an equitable property tax code.

Research Political Economy

Analysis on Agriculture Productivity and Climate Change in Pakistan

Researchers: Dr. Abid Aman Burki (LUMS) Dr. Mushtaq A. Khan (LUMS), Muhammad Raza Mustafa Khan (LUMS), Verda Arif (LUMS), Muhammad Abubakar Memon (LUMS), Dr. Shabbir Ahmad (University of Queensland).

The aim of this project is to produce two research papers on “Analysis on Agriculture Productivity and Climate Change in Pakistan,” which will serve as background papers to the World Bank’s Pakistan Country Economic Memorandum 2.0 report to be published in 2022.

Research Climate


In-Group Bias in Indian Judiciary

Panelists: Bilal Siddiqi (The Life You Can Save), Ali Hasanain (LUMS) and Rabia Malik (Essex)

The panelists discuss the research project of judicial in-group bias in Indian criminal courts using a newly collected dataset on over 5 million criminal case records from 2010–2018. After detecting gender and religious identity using a neural-net classifier applied to judge and defendant names, the research exploits quasi-random assignment of cases to judges to examine whether defendant outcomes are affected by assignment to a judge with a similar identity. In the aggregate, the project estimates tight zero effects of in-group bias based on shared gender, religion, and last name (a proxy for caste). The researchers do find limited in-group bias in some (but not all) settings where identity is salient – in particular, they find a small religious in-group bias during Ramadan, and they find shared-name in-group bias when judge and defendant match on a rare last name.

Mahbub ul Haq Distinguished Lecture

State and Subject Formation in South Asia

Edited by Amen Jaffer and Mashal Saif

The extraordinarily visible and ubiquitous presence of the state in most of South Asia points to its overarching power. The state’s unbridled reach also suggests its importance as a locus for societal hopes, frustrations, and aspirations. However, scholarship on Pakistan (and to a lesser degree, South Asia more broadly), has offered few systematic attempts to address the complexity of these state-society relations. This edited volume is an attempt in this direction. A defining feature of this volume is its focus on the state and society through a critical engagement with the theoretical openings offered by Michel Foucault. Prime among these lenses is the replacement of the concept of citizens with subjects, i.e. individuals whose modes of thinking and acting are shaped and governed by the intrusive arms of the state-apparatus.