Research Assistant- Political Centralization in the Punjab Canal Colonies

Deadline to apply: 17-03-2023

Project Description:

Dr. Ali Cheema (LUMS) and Cory Smith (University of Maryland) are looking to hire a research assistant for help with their work on Pakistan’s economic history. A central component of this work will be “Political Centralization in the Punjab Canal Colonies”. The project aims to test whether and how political centralization affects long-run economic development, using a policy-based natural experiment in colonial Punjab. When creating new “canal colony” villages in the late 1800s, the number of headmen (lambardar/numberdar) was set according to thresholds based on village area, allowing for quasi-random variation via the regression discontinuity technique. The project is thus an excellent fit for those with an interest in development, political economy, Pakistan’s economic history, or applied economics in general.

Main Responsibilities and Eligibility Criteria:

Any RA on this project will be able to oversee the development of this project from its early stages to completion. The initial phase of work will involve field visits to collect archival, i.e. physical, data which will then be sent for digitization. Subsequent phases will involve cleaning and analyzing the data to verify the existence of the threshold rule and the effects on public goods provision and development.

We are looking for candidates who are able to travel to districts outside Lahore in Punjab and are interested in being part of original scholarship on Punjab’s historical political economy and/or strengthening their quantitative research skills for graduate degrees in social sciences. The position is based at the Mahbub ul Haq Research Centre at LUMS.

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