I am Professor of Development Economics in the Faculty of Economics at Malaya University where until recently I additionally held the post of Deputy Director at the Centre for Poverty and Development Studies (CPDS). I am also a visiting researcher at SKOPE (Dept of Education, University of Oxford), visiting Fellow in Economics at Reading University, visiting Professorial Fellow in the University of Manchester, Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), Fellow at the Global Labor Organization (GLO), and RSA connector for Bangladesh. Previously I have worked at Reading University as an assistant professor of Economics, BRAC (research and evaluation division) as a Distinguished Fellow, BRAC University (Institute of Governance Studies) as a Senior Fellow and have held visiting positions at Harvard University (Centre for International development) and Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS). Currently I am also a Fellow of the ESRC Peer Review Collegeadviser to the Conversation Globalan honorary research adviser to BRAC International and on the editorial advisory board of three academic journals - COMPARE (Journal of International and Comparative Education), Institution and Economies and Malaysian Economic Journal

My research interests include development economics, economics of education and labor economics. Current research draws upon data from South and South-East Asia and focuses on issues such as inter-generational economic mobility, subjective well-being, causes and consequence of extreme poverty, inequality of opportunity, quality of secondary schools and the rise of Islamic schools (aka madrasahs), and the low level of student learning in schools. I am collaborating with Dr Zaki Wahhaj of Kent University to study the long-run impact of secondary education on female labor force participation, beliefs and attitudes, financial literacy, intra-household and marriage outcomes. The project is funded by AUSAID. Other current projects include research on well-being, skills and aspirations of workers in Bangladesh's apparel industry (in collaboration with Macquarie University), NGO led interventions to tackle the problem of early marriage and girls's education in Bangladesh and Afghanistan (in collaboration with BRAC) and private provision of public services (in collaboration with the World Bank).

My country experience includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Malaysia and Pakistan. 

I have recently completed a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship (UK) on the rise of Islamic schools in Bangladesh. This is based on arguably the largest field survey on state-aided secondary schools and madrasas in the country. The study was sponsored by the World Bank. I continue to work on this topic. Issues covered include causes of madrasa attendance, reasons for female enrolment in registered madrasas, learning disadvantage associated with madrassa attendance, impact on gender attitudes, location choice of madrasas, their share in the market for secondary school going children and worldview of madrasa teachers. This research has recently featured on Al Jazeera.

For further details on these works, please click on "publications"
For further details on externally funded projects, please visit "funded research projects"
For further details on "research work in progress", please visit "ongoing research work"  Getting in touch

You can contact me using any of the following email addresses:

University of Malaya email id: m.niaz at um.edu.my
University of Reading email id: m.asadullah at reading.ac.uk
University of Oxford email id: mohammad.asadullah at education.ox.ac.uk