Faculty Affiliate, Middle East Initiative
Asim Ijaz Khwaja is Associate Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. His areas of interest include economic development, corporate finance, education, political economy, industrial organization, contract theory, mechanism design, and computational economics. Combining fieldwork, micro-level empirical analysis, and theory, his recent work ranges from understanding political and informational constraints in emerging financial markets to examining the private education market in low-income countries. He received BS degrees in economics and in mathematics with computer science from MIT and a PhD in economics from Harvard. A Pakistani citizen, Khwaja was born in London, U.K., lived for eight years in Kano, Nigeria, the next eight in Lahore, Pakistan, and the last sixteen years in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He continues to enjoy interacting with people around the globe.
September 15, 2011
An Entrepreneurial Finance Lab Research Initiative Islamic Finance Whitepaper, made possible by the Kuwait Program at Harvard.
This working paper, co-authored by DI Faculty Affiliate Asim Khwaja, argues that the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca increases observance of global Islamic practices while decreasing participation in localized practices and beliefs. The authors' evidence suggests that these changes are more a result of exposure to and interaction with Hajjis from around the world, rather than religious instruction or a changed social role of pilgrims upon return.
Down the full text for free here.