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Dr. Naeem uz Zafar Guest Lecture on Causal Econometric Analysis

Dr. Naeem uz ZafarOn Thursday 9 March, interested students from Webster’s School of Business and Technology attended a talk by Dr. Naeem uz Zafar. Currently a Senior Advisor at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan, Dr. Naeem’s talk was titled ‘Causal Econometric Analysis When You Do Not Have Ideal Data’. The guest lecture took place at Webster’s Bangkok Academic Center.

To commence his presentation, Dr. Naeem outlined the general need by policy makers and business leaders to have access to applied research and evidence. This is required by governments and businesses alike to develop policy options and interventions that will achieve their desired outcomes. He noted, however, that as a result of the way that econometrics has historically been taught in business schools across the globe, there is often a fundamental shortcoming in the overall way that studies are designed.

Dr. Naeem uz ZafarIn this regard, he concluded that governments and business leaders often do not have the ‘ideal data’ required to make informed strategic decisions. As such, an element of improvisation is required to ensure that robust and well-considered decisions are made. Dr. Naeem concluded by discussing a range of strategies that are often utilized – using the book “Mostly Harmless Econometric” by Angrist and Pischke as a core point of reference.

Dr. Naeem is currently a member of Pakistan’s Planning Commission and is responsible for reviewing public sector development projects in health, education, skills development, population, and family planning. Additionally, as a current Senior Advisor to the UNDP, Dr. Naeem also provides advice to both the federal and provincial governments on Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) localization in Pakistan.

Before joining the Planning Commission in 2014, Dr. Naeem was an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Business Administration in Karachi, Pakistan. Here he taught a range of undergraduate and graduate courses including Econometric Analysis, Microeconometrics and Labor Economics. Dr. Naeem holds a PhD in Economics from Northern Illinois University in the United States of America and published his doctoral thesis titled "Is The Whole Representative of The Parts? Analyzing The Effects of Disaggregated Aid on Growth."

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