Ph.D Economics

Poverty, Governance, Design and Policy Specialist, Trade, Environment


PhD Economics, PIDE, Islamabad, Pakistan (2013)
MA Economics, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan (2005)
Bachelors, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan (2003)


  • Evaluating Social Programs, J-PAL Executive Education, MIT, Cambridge, USA, June 11, 2018 to June 15, 2018
  • Poverty Mapping, USAID, Islamabad, 2015
    Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) System, ILO, Bangkok, Thailand, 2015
  • Trade Flows and Trade Policy Analysis, WTO/ESCAP Ninth ARTNeT Capacity Building Workshop for Trade Research, Bangkok, Thailand, 2013
  • Managing Global Governance, (Six months training course) German Development Institute, Bonn, Germany, 2012
    Macroeconomic Modelling and Forecasting, (Four months training course) Kingston University, London, UK, 2012


Spatial Differences and Socio-Economic Determinants of Health Poverty:
Winner of PIDE CPHSP Competitive Research Grant on Understanding and Managing Health in Pakistan, at PIDE, 2014

Pak-India Trade and MFN: Short Run vs. Long Run Impact:
Winner of 15th Round of Regional Research Competition by South Asia Network of Economic Research Institute (SANEI) 2013

Strengthening Intra-Regional Trade and Investment among ECO Region:
Best paper award at 1st International Conference on Energy, Regional Integration and Socio-Economic Development, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2013

Strengthening Intra-Regional Trade and Investment among ECO Region:
3rd Best Presentation Award at 1st International Conference on Energy, Regional Integration and Socio-Economic Development, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2013

Electricity Demand and Policy Framework in Pakistan:
Winner of PIDE Annual Research Competitive Grant on Energy at PIDE, 2013

Determinants of the Expansion of Micro and Small Firm and the State of Entrepreneurship in Pakistan:
Winner of 2nd Annual PSSP Competitive Grants Program by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), 2013

My Articles

December 16, 2021
Employment policy
The Covid-19 pandemic caused a significant decrease in economic activities, leading to loss of income and unemployment. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), despite various […]
December 16, 2021
Protection of Parsi cemetery from land mafia demanded
Rawalpindi : President of Parsi Union of Rawalpindi Isphanyar Bhandara has demanded of the government to protect Parsi cemetery, tucked between the shops of the New […]
October 5, 2021
Education is key
Since independence, numerous educational policies have been implemented to improve the education system of the country and achieve universal education. However, despite these reforms, the state […]


Current Research Activities
  • Cash Transfers, Child Labour and Education: Theory and Evidence, Under review, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization
  • Evaluating the short run and long run impacts of unconditional cash transfers on food seeking behavior: New insights from BISP, Pakistan, Journal of Development Effectiveness (2019), under review
  • Nawaz, S. Anwar, S, & Iqbal, N. (2020) The impact of road infrastructure on employment, The Pakistan Development Review, under review
  • Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfer Program (UCT) in reshaping the preference of marginalized segment of society over the choice of Justice System in Pakistan (in progress)
  • The local government in Federal Capital of Pakistan and public perception on service delivery (in progress)


  • Nawaz, S. & Iqbal, N. (2020) How cash transfers program affects environmental poverty among ultra-poor? Insights from the BISP in Pakistan, Energy Policy, 148(2021),
  • Iqbal, N. & Nawaz, S. (2020) Cash transfers and residential demand for electricity: Insights from BISP, Pakistan, Environmental Science and Pollution Research,
  • Azam, M. Nawaz, S., Rafiq, Z., & Iqbal, N. (2020) A Spatial-Temporal Decomposition of Carbon Emission Intensity: A Sectoral Level Analysis in Pakistan, Environmental Science and Pollution Research
  • Nawaz, S. & Iqbal, N. (2020) The impact of unconditional cash transfer on fuel choices among ultra-poor in Pakistan: Quasi-experimental evidence from the Benazir Income Support Program, Energy Policy, 42(2020),


  • Rasul, F., & Iqbal, N. (2019) What Determines the Global Terrorism? An Empirical Investigation for Developed and Developing Countries. Pakistan Vision, 20(2), 297-316
  • Ullah, I., Khawaja, M. I., & Iqbal, N. (2019). Sustainability, market conditions and outreach: the vicious misconception of the win-win proposition in the microfinance industry. Economic Research-Ekonomska Istraživanja, 32(1), 2122-2137
  • Mustafa, G., Ali, A., & Iqbal, N. (2019) Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfer on Child Nutrition in Pakistan: Evidence from Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Global Economic Review, 4(4), 71-88


  • Ahmed, A. Iqbal, N., & Siddiqui, R. (2018). Determinants of Housing Demand in Urban Areas of Pakistan: Evidence from PSLM. The Pakistan Development Review, 57(1), 1-25.
  • Khan, K., Ali, M., & Iqbal, N. (2018). Volatile Discretionary Public Spending and Economic Growth: A Comparative Evidence of Developed and Developing Countries. Pakistan Business Review, 20(2), 403-416


  • Iqbal, N., & Nawaz, S. (2017). Pakistan’s Bilateral Trade under MFN and SAFTA: Do Institutional and Non-Institutional Arrangements Matter? The Pakistan Development Review, 56(1), 59-78
  • Khan, Z., Hussain, A., & Iqbal, N. (2017). Institutions and Innovation: Evidence from Countries at Different Stages of Development. The Pakistan Development Review, 56(4), 297-317
  • Iqbal, N., Din, M & Ghani, E., (2017). The Fiscal Deficit and Economic Growth in Pakistan: New Evidence. The Lahore Journal of Economics, 22: SE (September 2017), 53-72
  • Iqbal, N., & Nawaz, S. (2017). Spatial Differences and Socio-economic Determinants of Health Poverty. The Pakistan Development Review 56 (3), 221-248


  • Nawaz, S., & Iqbal, N. (2016). Education Poverty in Pakistan: A Spatial Analysis at District Level. Indian Journal of Human Development, 10(2), 270-287


  •  Iqbal, N., & Awan, M. S. (2015). Determinants of urban poverty: the case of medium sized city in Pakistan. The Pakistan Development Review, 54(4), 719-738.


  • Nawaz, S., Iqbal, N., & Khan, M. (2014). The impact of institutional quality on economic growth: panel evidence. The Pakistan Development Review, 53(1), 15.
  • Nawaz, S., Iqbal, N., & Anwar, S. (2014). Modelling electricity demand using the STAR (Smooth Transition Auto-Regressive) model in Pakistan. Energy, 78, 535-542
  • Iqbal, N., & Daly, V. (2014). Rent seeking opportunities and economic growth in transitional economies. Economic Modelling, 37(0), 16-22
  • Iqbal, N., Ghani, E., & Din, M. (2014). Pakistan’s Dependency on Imports and Regional Integration. The Lahore Journal of Economics, 19SE, 395-409.
  •  Azam, M., Iqbal, N., & Tayyab, M. (2014). Zakat and Economic Development: Micro and Macro Level Evidence from Pakistan. Bulletin of Business and Economics (BBE), 3(2), 85-95.


  • Nawaz, S., Iqbal, N., & Anwar, S. (2013). Electricity Demand in Pakistan: A Nonlinear Estimation. The Pakistan Development Review, 52(4), 479-492.
  • Iqbal, N. (2013). Fiscal decentralization, democratic institutions and inflation. The Pakistan Development Review, 52 (3), 207-220


  • Azam, M., Khan, M., & Iqbal, N. (2012). Impact of political risk and uncertainty on FDI in South Asia. Transition Studies Review, 19(1), 59-77.
  • Iqbal, N., Din, M., & Ghani, E. (2012). Fiscal Decentralization and Economic Growth: Role of Democratic Institutions. The Pakistan Development Review, 51(3), 173-195.
  • Awan, M. S., Iqbal, N., & Waqas, M. (2011). The impact of human capital on urban poverty: The case of Sargodha city. Journal of Sustainable Development, 4(1), 143.
  • Iqbal, N., & Nawaz, S. (2009). Investment, inflation and economic growth nexus. The Pakistan Development Review, 48(4), 863-874.
  • Nasir, Z. M., & Iqbal, N. (2009). Employers Size Wage Differential: Does Investment in Human Capital Matter? The Pakistan Development Review48(4), 509-521.
  • Iqbal, N., Khan, S. J. I., & Chani, M. I. (2008). Democracy Autocracy and Macroeconomic Performance in Pakistan. Kashmir Economic Review, XVII(1), 61-88.

 Book Chapters

  • Iqbal, N., & Nawaz, S. (2020) Targeting efficiency and effectiveness of national cash transfers program: Lessons from BISP, Pakistan. in Economic Challenges Facing Pakistan in the Regional and Global Environment 2017-19 (pp. 357-370). Lahore Scholl of Economics, Pakistan
  • Arif, G. M., Farooq, S., & Iqbal, N. (2019). Labour Migration from Pakistan to the Gulf Countries: An Investigation of Regional Disparities in Outflows of Workers, Remittances and Poverty. In Asianization of Migrant Workers in the Gulf Countries (pp. 189-217). Springer, Singapore.
  • Amjad, R., Arif, G. M., & Iqbal, N (2017). The cost of migration from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In THE PAKISTANI DIASPORA, 137-145, Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan
  • Arif, G. M., Iqbal, N., & Farooq, S. (2015). Poverty and Pakistan’s 2010 Flood, The Environments of the Poor in South Asia: Simultaneously Reducing Poverty, Protecting the Environment, and Adapting to Climate Change (pp. 169-190): Oxford University Press.
  • Arif, G. M., & Iqbal, N. (2009). Infrastructure and Poverty Nexus: the Case of Rural Pakistan, Socio-Economic Challenges Faces by Pakistan: Islamic International University, Islamabad.
Edit Publications
Policy Relevant Outputs
  • Created Design Document for Updating of NSER, the largest survey in Pakistan covering more than 27 million households.
  • Created Policy Document on Approaches of Data Collection, namely Desk Based (Self Registration) and Door-to-Door Survey
  • Created Policy Document in the Choice of Districts for Pilot Phase and National Roll out. 
  • Created Policy Document for updating of targeting formula: NEW PMT formula
  • Created a design document on graduation framework for ultra-poor BISP families
  • Created an operations review plan for sample based spot checks and process evaluation of different mechanisms used to transfer payments to 5.4 million beneficiaries of BISP
  • Technical review of operation review reports on Waseela-e-Taleem program of BISP
  • Technical review of the reports on impact evaluation of CCT and UCT programs of BISP
  • Policy briefs on women empowerment and population dynamics
  • Prepared a demographic directory of BISP Beneficiaries at district level
  • Prepared policy briefs for different ministries on BISP performance
  • Hold meetings and discussions on policy issues with development partners including World Bank, DFID, and ADB
  • Evaluation of Wasela e Rogzar Program using survey data
  • Evaluation of Wasela e Haq Program using survey data
  • Evaluation of Pendency Issues using survey data
  • Organize high‐end seminars chaired by the dignitaries including President of Pakistan and other for the launch of Impact Evaluation Reports, Annual Progress Reports, and Demographic Directories
  • Drafted the evaluation report of the pilot model of Waseela-e-Taleem program of BISP
  • Created an operations review plan for sample based spot checks and process evaluation of BSIP’s National Socio-economic Registry (NSER) Update Phase-I (desk-based registration in four districts).
  • Created a framework for online monitoring (sample based) of BISP’s conditional and unconditional programs.
  • Developed BISP’s Annual Reports for 2014‐2016, and 2017.
Research Projects and Working Papers
  1. The cost of migration: What low-skilled migrant workers from Pakistan pay to work in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, ILO, 2016
  2. Labour migration from Pakistan: 2015 status report, ILO, 2016
  3. Socio-Economic Losses of Flood and Household’s Coping Strategies: Evidence from Flood Prone District of Pakistan, PIDE Working Papers 2016: 142
  4. Migration and Health Outcomes: The Case of a High Migration District in South Punjab, PIDE-CPHSP-4, 2015
  5. Economic and Social Impact of Global Financial Crisis: Implications for Macroeconomic and Development Policies in South Asia, Asian Development Bank
  6. The Persistence and Transition of Rural Poverty in Pakistan: 1998-2004, PIDE Working Papers 2011: 74
  7. Strengthening Intra-regional trade and investment in ECO region, 2013
  8. ECO-PIDE Study: A Trading Pattern, Economic Cooperation Organization, 2011
  9. The flood 2010 and poverty in Pakistan: A preliminary district level analysis, presented in conference held in India by Asian Development Bank (ADB), (2010)
  10. Regional Economic Integration and Foreign Direct Investment in SAARC: The Role, Bottlenecks, and Future Prospects, presented in conference “Korea-South Asia Cooperation in an Era of Rising South Asia, by Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, Korea, (2010)
  11. Fiscal Decentralization and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Evidence from Pakistan, presented in PSDE conference, (2010)
  12. Dynamics of Migration and Remittances in Pakistan and Global Financial Crisis, completed and submitted for publication as a book chapter, (2009)
  13. Poverty Assessment in Sargodha Region, A research report submitted at PIDE, (2009)
  14. Growth, Poverty and Social Outcomes in Pakistan, A Report Prepared for Department for International Development, UK, PIDE, (2006)
  15. Doing Business in Pakistan, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) Islamabad, (2007)
Papers Presented at International and National Conferences

International Conferences

  1. Pak-India Trade and MFN: Short Run vs. Long Run Impacts, presented in a Conference “INDIA–PAKISTAN: Regional Economic Strategies” at EABER, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Australia, 2016
  2. Fiscal Decentralization: Macro Stability and Growth: A Theoretical Analysis” presented in International Conference on Policy Modeling: EcoMod (EcoMod2015), 15-17 Jul-2015, Boston, USA
  3. Pakistan’s Dependency on Imports and Regional Integration, presented at 15th Annual Global Development Conference on Structural Transformation in Africa and Beyond, Accra, Ghana, (18 – 20 June, 2014)
  4. Strengthening Intra-regional trade and investment in ECO region, presented at 1st International Conference on Energy, Regional Integration and Socio-Economic Development, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2013

National Conferences

  • Social Safety Net Program – the BISP in Pakistan: Effectiveness and Challenges and Future Agenda, presented at Fourteenth International Conference on the Management of the Pakistan Economy, Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan, 2018 (Co-Authors: Saima Nawaz)
  • Fiscal Deficit and Economic Growth in Pakistan: New Evidence, presented at Thirteenth International Conference on the Management of the Pakistan Economy, Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan, 2017 (Co-Authors: Musleh ud Din & Ejaz Ghani)
  • Transforming the Lives of Ultra Poor through Skill Development: the Case of BISP’s Waseela-eRozgar Program, presented in a Conference “Poverty and Social Inequalities in Pakistan: Inclusive Growth Perspective” at University of Sargodha, Pakistan, 2017 (Co-Authors: Saima Nawaz & Waqar Sherazi)
  • Pakistan’s Imports Dependency and Regional Integration, presented at Tenth International Conference on the Management of the Pakistan Economy, Lahore School of Economics, Pakistan, 2014 (Co-Authors: Ejaz Ghani & Musleh ud Din)
  • Electricity Demand in Pakistan: A Non-linear Estimation, presented in a conference “Energy Security and Economic Sustainability: The Way Forward” at Islamabad, Pakistan organized by PIDE, 2013 (Co-Authors: Saima Nawaz & Saba Anwar)
  • Fiscal Decentralization and Macroeconomic Stability: Theory and Evidence, presented in a conference “Fiscal Decentralization: Empowering the Provinces, Strengthening the Federation” at Islamabad, Pakistan organized by PIDE, 2010 (Co-Authors: Saima Nawaz)
Edit Paper Presented at International and National Conference


Professional Experience

Over the past fourteen years, Nasir Iqbal has extensively worked in the areas of trade, governance, development and design and implementation of social protection programs and other development projects. Currently, he is working as Associate Professor at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), the premier research institute in Pakistan. In past, he was heading the research wing of Pakistan’s largest social protection program, the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) as the Additional Director General. He has worked as Assistant Professor and Staff Economist at PIDE. He has led the design and implementation of macroeconomic models, graduation models, socioeconomic surveys, and data quality assurance, analysis, and reporting of the social protection programs, mainly BISP. The research literature he has produced so far include, 04 research articles on trade and policy, 08 research articles on governance, 12 research articles on socioeconomic issues, 05 book chapters on poverty, and 27 policy briefs. He has worked on 15 research projects / working papers. He has presented research articles in 04 international and 05 national conferences, and successfully secured research grant on 06 occasions. He has supervised 07 Ph.D. and 17 M. Phil students. Presently, he is supervising Ph.D. (05 students) and M. Phil students (07 students), and is working on 09 research projects. While contributing actively to the leading social protection, livelihood, education and health related programs, he has had the opportunity to work directly with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, DFID and ILO, and MIT, Harvard and LSE universities, to name a few. More specifically, he has produced numerous research articles, policy briefs, research projects and reports on trade, regional integration, FDI, competitiveness and governance. Research articles are published in well reputed national and international journals. He holds PhD degree in Economics and certificates in modelling and forecasting socioeconomic issues including macroeconomics, trade and poverty. He has participated in various national and international conferences, workshops and training events. He has natural tendency to experiment with the application of new ideas, the appetite for continuous learning, and the ability to manage multiple teams simultaneously.

Work Experience

Associate Professor of Economics at PIDE(BPS-20)August 2018 to till date
Additional Director General (R&D) at BISP(BPS-19)April 2015 to-August 2018
Assistant Professor of Economics at PIDE(BPS-19)April 2014 to April 2015
Staff Economist at PIDE(BPS-17)Nov 2006 to April 2014


Phone: +92 321 4119103