Tahir R. Andrabi

Stedman-Sumner Professor of Economics
  • Expertise


    Tahir Andrabi is Professor of Economics at Pomona College. Professor Andrabi is a graduate of Swarthmore College and holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

    He teaches classes in principles, economic development, game theory and international economics. He has been a visiting scholar at MIT, an economic research associate at LSE and a consultant for the World Bank. He was a member of the tax and macroeconomic committees of the economic advisory board of the government of Pakistan in 1999-2000.

    He is the principal investigator on Leaps Project, which received a grant to study the quality of primary education in rural Punjab.

    In 2007, his work on religious education in Pakistan received the George Bereday Award for the best paper published in Comparative Education Review in 2006 from the Comparative and International Education Society. A website he co-founded to help coordinate relief in the aftermath of the October 2005 earthquake was awarded the Stockholm Challenge Award (2006) for the best ICT project in the public administration category.

    His economic research has been covered by The Financial Times, Toronto Globe and Mail, USA Today, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, The Economist, Foreign Policy and news media around the world.

    Research Interests

    • Professor Andrabi conducts studies on religious and private schooling, as well as school choice and its effect on learning.
    • He is the principal investigator on a National Academy of Sciences/Higher Education Commission, Pakistan, grant on evaluating the recovery from the 2005 northern Pakistan earthquake.

    Areas of Expertise

    • Economic Development
    • Applied Econometrics
    • International Economics
    • Politics, Economics and Education in Pakistan
    • Religious and Private Education
  • Work


    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja, "Report Cards: the Impact of Providing School and Child Test Scores on Educational Markets," July 2013

    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja, "Students Today, Teachers Tomorrow? Identifying constraints on the provision of education," Journal of Public Economics, 100: 1-14, April 2013 

    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja, "What Did You Do All Day? Maternal Education and Child Outcomes,"Journal of Human Resources, vol. 47, No. 4, pp. 873-912, Fall 2012 

    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Tristan Zajonc '02, "Do Value Added Estimates Add Value? Accounting for Learning Dynamics," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 3(3): 29-54, July 2011 

    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja, "The Madrassa Controversy: The Story Does Not Fit the Facts" in Under the Drones: Modern Lives in Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands (S. Bashir and R. Crews, eds., Harvard University Press, 2011)

    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja, "Are Bad Public Schools Public 'Bads'? Test Scores and Civic Values in Public and Private Schools, April 2011 

    With Asim Ajaz Khwaja, "Responding to Disasters - Can We Act in Time?," The Boston Globe, January 20, 2010

    With M. Kuehlwein, "Railways and Price Dispersion in British India," Journal of Economic History, forthcoming

    With J. Das, C.C. Fair and A.I. Khwaja, "The Madrassa Myth," Foreign Policy, June 2009

    With Jishnu Das and Asim Ijaz Khwaja, "A Dime A Day: The Possibilities and Limits of Private Schooling in Pakistan," Comparative Education Review, Vol. 52, No. 3, August 2008, Pages 329-356

    With Jishnu Das, Asim Ijaz Khwaja and Tristan Zajonc '02, “Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data,” Comparative Education Review, Vol. 50, No. 3, August 2006, Pages 446-477

    Featured Work

  • Education


    Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    B.A., Swarthmore College
    Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

    Recent Courses Taught

    • Game Theory for Economics
    • International Economics
    • Principles: Macroeconomics
    • Senior Seminar in Economics
    • Senior Thesis
  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Winner of the George Bereday Award for best paper, “Religious School Enrollment in Pakistan: A Look at the Data,” published in the Comparative Education Review, 2006

    Winner of the Stockholm International award for best application in information technology in aid of public administration for RISEPAK, an information coordination website developed for relief efforts in South Asia following 2005 Kashmir earthquake

    Named to the Economic Advisory Board Tax Committee by the Pakistan Ministry of Finance in 1999-00