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Syed Ahsan, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Economics

Syed Ahsan, PhD


PhD (McMaster)

Fields of specialization

Public Finance, Economics of Uncertainty, Micro-insurance and Economic Development.

Research interests

Tax Policy and Reform under Uncertainty; Microinsurance, Poverty and Vulnerability; Institutions and Growth; Corruption and Governance; Environmental Health and Poverty

Professional experience

Previously taught at U. of Western Ontario and held a variety of research fellowships and visiting professorships at the University of Bergen, University of Bergamo, BIDS (Dhaka, Bangladesh), University of Bonn, Central European University (Prague), University of Chittagong (Bangladesh), Copenhagen Business School, Universite Catholique de Louvain, Institute for the Study of Labour (IZA, Bonn), Universita Cattolica del Sacro Coure (Milano), University of Munich, Norwegian School of Economics (Bergen), Seikei University (Tokyo) and University of Tokyo. Recently held the position of World Bank Institute Resident Advisor in the Bangladesh Central Bank (2005-7).

Selected publications


Agricultural Insurance: A New Policy for Developing Countries (284 pp), Gower Publishing Co/Edward Elgar, UK) 1985.

Refereed articles

“Understanding Unemployment in the Arab Countries: Towards a Policy Framework” (with X-F Liu), Journal of Development and Economic Policies, Vol 10, No. 2, July 2008, 119-176.

“Governance, Corruption and Democracy in Bangladesh: An Institutional Perspective”, in S. Ahmed, ed., Transforming Bangladesh into a Middle Income Economy, MacMillan, 2005, 373-412.

“Choice of Tax Base Revisited: Cash Flow vs. Prepayment Approaches to Consumption Taxation”, in M. Ahlheim, H. Wenzel and W. Wiegard, eds, Steurpolitik-Von der Theorie zur Praxis: Festschrift fuer Manfred Rose,  [Tax Policy- Theory and Practice], Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 2003, 237-95.

“Institutional Capital and Poverty: A Transition Perspective”, in A. Shorrocks and R. van der Hoeven, Eds. Perspectives on Poverty and Growth, United Nations University Press, Tokyo, 2003, 41-92.  

"The Design of a Consumption Tax under capital Risk" (with Peter Tsigaris), Journal of Economics / Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie, 68(1), 1998, 53-78.

"Tax Evasion: The Developing Country Perspective", Asian Development Review, vol. 13(1), 1995, 78-126.

"Public Expenditure and National Income Causality: Further Evidence on the Role of Omitted Variables" (with A. Kwan and B. Sahni), Southern Economic Journal, 58(3), January 1992, 623-634.

"Risk-Taking, Savings and Taxation: A Re-examination of Theory and Policy", Canadian Journal of Economics, 23 (2), 1990, 408-33.

"Choice of Tax Base under Uncertainty: Consumption or Income?", Journal of Public Economics, 40 (1), 1989, 99-134.

"Towards a Theory of Agricultural Insurance" (with A. Ali and N. John Kurian), American Journal of Agricultural Economics, August 1982, 64 (3), 620-629 [Translated into Spanish and published in: Desarrollo Rural En Los Americas, 1983].

"The Marglin-McFadden-Mishan Debate on Public Investment Criteria", European Economic Review, 1980, 133-144.

"A Comment on Consumption Decisions under Uncertainty", Econometrica, 1977, 1289-1290.

"Relative Risk-Aversion and the Demand for Cash Balances", Journal of Finance, 1977, 769-774.

"A Note on Capital Gains Exemption and Risk-Taking", Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1975, 151-153.

"Progression and Risk-Taking", Oxford Economic Papers, 1974, 318-328.

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