Reshaping thinking: IMF names Pakistani among most influential economists


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Reshaping thinking: IMF names Pakistani among most influential economists


Atif Mian. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has named a Pakistani-American as one of 25 young economists who are expected to be most influential in the decades to come.

In its September edition of Finance and Development, a quarterly publication of the IMF, the Washington-based lender has named 39-year-old Atif Mian, professor of economics at Princeton University, among 25 economists under 45 “who are shaping the way we think about the global economy”.

Mian recently co-authored a book titled House of Debt, which has received critical acclaim from academia, policymakers and the general public. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, arguably the most influential economist alive, has called Mian a leading expert on the subject of debt.
Commenting on the state of Pakistan’s economy, Mian said the foremost challenge it faces is boosting domestic productive capacity. “The low export numbers tell us that Pakistanis have trouble producing good quality products that they can then sell to the outside world (and themselves),” he told The Express Tribune.

The most important factor for long-term growth, Mian says, is the development of ‘sound institutions’ that protect an individual’s personal, contractual and property rights. Explaining that the systematic erosion of space for tolerance, plurality and peaceful coexistence is Pakistan’s core problem, Mian says the ‘rule of just law’ has been replaced by religious extremism and violence. “It is this core issue that separates Pakistan from Bangladesh and India, and restricts Pakistan’s growth potential,” he noted.

But why are militancy and extremism so dominant in Pakistan, as opposed to a country like Bangladesh that shares a common historical bond? To a large extent, the fault lies with the policies of successive Pakistani governments, starting from Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Mian says.
“Bhutto legitimised the entry of sectarian clerics in politics by accepting the deeply flawed principle that a person’s religious belief ought to determine the extent of his or her rights as a citizen,” he said, noting that the flawed logic paved the way for sectarian politics that Ziaul Haq exploited.

In House of Debt, Mian has investigated the role of private debt – rather than the debt of the government and financial institutions – in precipitating the economic crisis of 2008. Mian and his co-author University of Chicago professor Amir Sufi argue in the book that severe economic downturns have typically been preceded by a sudden and excessive increase in household debt.

Data from the US and European economies suggest that people in the lower half of the income distribution tend to have a disproportionately higher marginal propensity to spend. Mian concludes that a shock to the wealth of subprime borrowers, like crashing home prices, results in massive cuts in their household spending. This sends the economy into a tailspin and causes foreclosures, unemployment and reduced output – a perfect recipe for an economic disaster.

Mian is one of the few public intellectuals who identify the current siege of the Pakistani state by religious extremists as a joint legacy of Bhutto and Zia. “Today’s unstable macro environment is a direct result of the Bhutto-Zia legacy, and it needs to be reversed if Pakistan is serious about growth. Doing so is not easy. But there is no other choice,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 13[SUP]th[/SUP], 2014
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Minister (2k+ posts)

Atif Mian is Theodore A. Wells '29 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, and Director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at the Woodrow Wilson School. He holds a bachelors degree in Mathematics with Computer Science and Ph.D. in Economics from MIT. Prior to joining Princeton in 2012 he taught at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Chicago Booth School of business. Professor Mian's work studies the connections between finance and the macro economy. His latest book, House of Debt, with Amir Sufi builds upon powerful new data to describe how debt precipitated the Great Recession. The book explains why debt continues to threaten the global economy, and what needs to be done to fix the financial system. House of Debt is critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal,The Economist, and The Atlantic among others. Professor Mian's research has appeared in top academic journals, including theAmerican Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies and Journal of Financial Economics.
"likely to be the most important economics book of 2014 ... the most important book to come out of the 2008 financial crisis ... in many ways a model for what economists should do"
- Larry Summer, Financial Times"the leading experts on this subject are the economists Atif Mian and Amir Sufi"
Paul Krugman, The New York Times "a concise and powerful account of how the great recession happened and what should be done to avoid another one"
- The Wall Street Journal
"distills lessons about the crisis from their recent research into one easily digestible package"
- The Economist
magnificent book"
- Wofgang Munchau, Financial Times"brilliant new book"
- National Review"a profoundly important book"
- Ken Rogoff, Harvard University​


Stock Exchange and Bank has never worked for common man.

and world leaders have been there gate keepers.



Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, arguably the most influential economist alive, has called Mian a leading expert on the subject of debt.

Pakistani economists are very well known in the world due to their skills and their high level of knowledge of global economy.


Minister (2k+ posts)
Yeh "Mian" ..........BUT.................hain................ya.......................Pakkay..........................Sheikh


Senator (1k+ posts)
Expect him to be PM of Pakistan in next 10 years or so like Moeen Qureshi, if the current false democracy prevails.