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Personal profile


Professor Asadullah received his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Economics from Oxford University. Previously he taught economics at the University of Malaya (2014-2022) and Reading University (UK) (2006-2013). At the University of Malaya, he additionally served as the Deputy Director of the Centre for Poverty and Development Studies (CPDS) (2014-2016). He also held visiting positions at Harvard, OxfordManchester, Kent, Dhaka, BRAC, Chulalongkorn and Mindanao State Universities. Other active affiliations include: Permanent member of the National Agricultural Advisory Council (MPPN), Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MAFI), Government of Malaysia; Visiting Professorial Fellow (University of Manchester); Fellow of the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Peer Review College; Research Fellow of the IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Global Labor Organization (GLO) Lead for Malaysia & South-East Asia; Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA); Co-founder of the Initiative on Education, Gender and Growth in Asia.

Among his other academic responsibiities, Professor Niaz Asadullah is an Associate Editor of several WoS journals: Singapore Economic Review (World Scientific), Journal of Human Development and Capabilities (Taylor & Francis),  PLOS One,  International Journal of Educational Development  (Elsevier) & Asia Pacific Education Review (Springer) and Co-Editor of the Handbook of Labor, Human Resources and Population Economics (Springer Nature). He is also on the editorial advisory board of Journal of Poverty and Public Policy (Willey), Journal of Public Affairs (Willey), COMPARE: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (Taylor & Francis), Journal of Demography (Thailand) and  Malaysian Journal of Economics.

His research focuses on poverty, education, labor market, skills formation and gender issues with a focus on South/East Asia countries. His work has been supported by the Social Security Research Centre (SSRC) and HIR schemes of the University of Malaya as well as international grants such as the Australian Development Research Award Scheme, Leverhulme Trust (UK), International Growth Centre (IGC), the DFID (UK), Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), South Asian Network of Economic Research Institutes, Global Education Commission, and the World Bank. He has also consulted for Asian Productivity Organization (APO), BRAC, Oxford Policy Management, BAPPENAS (Government of Indonesia), UN-ESCAP, UNESCO, the World Bank and the World Health Organization (WHO).

He has published 50+ WoS articles in economics, development studies and other multidisciplinary journals. In addition, Prof Asadullah has published 200+ media articles (opinion pieces) in newspapers/magazines including the Project Syndicatethe ConversationWorld Economic Forum, the Diplomat, the East Asia Forum,  D+C Development & Cooperation,  and World Education Forum (UNESCO). He has appeared on interviews with Al-jazeeraABC AustraliaAstro Awani TV (Malaysia)BBC World ServiceBusiness FM Malaysiathe Economistthe Star (Malaysia)the Edge Financial Daily. His ongoing research on home learning & schooling in Malaysia under the government's flagship PdPR scheme has also received extensive media coverage - the Star (1 2 3) & Astro TV (1 2)). 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Economics, PhD, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Jun 2005

Development Economics, MSc, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Sep 2000

Economics, BA (Minor in mathematics and statistics), Aligarh Muslim University

Award Date: 1 Sep 1996

External positions

Editorial Advisory Board, Feminist Economics

2022 → …

Associate Editor, Singapore Economic Review

2021 → …

Associate Editor, International Journal of Educational Development

2020 → …

Academic Editor, PLOS One

2020 → …

Editorial Advisory Board, Poverty and Public Policy

2020 → …

Editorial Advisory Board, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education

2019 → …

Editorial Advisory Board, Journal of Public Affairs

2019 → …

Editorial Advisory Board, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (National University of Malaysia)

2019 → …

Southeast Asia Lead, Global Labor Organization

1 Jan 2018 → …

Associate Editor, Journal of Human Development and Capabilities

2018 → …

Research Fellow, IZA - Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (Institute of Labor Economics)

1 Jan 2008 → …

Research area keywords

  • Applied Microeconomics
  • Labor Economics
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Education Research
  • Gender Economics


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