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Ahmed Mobarak, PhD

Professor of Management and of Economics

Contact Information

Ahmed Mobarak, PhD


Education & Training

  • PhD
    University of Maryland, Economics (2002)
  • MA
    University of Maryland, Economics (1999)
  • BA
    Macalester College, Math & Economics (1997)


  • Stoves - Addressing Discordance between Husbands’ and Wives’ Preferences and Risk Aversion as Barriers to Improved Stove Adoption
    India 2013
    Our research addresses the low uptake of improved cookstoves with positive health and environmental impacts in developing countries. We focus on the role of differences in preferences for cookstoves by gender.
  •  Impact of Vocational Training on the Employability, Earning Potential, and Sexual Behavior of Youth in Malawi
    Malawi 2013
    A randomized evaluation is used to test the effectiveness of a vocational training program in reducing unemployment and HIV incidence among vulnerable youth. URL: A randomized evaluation is used to test the effectiveness of a vocational training program in reducing unemployment and HIV incidence among vulnerable youth.
  • Savings and Informal Risk Sharing
    Rwanda 2013
    new project
  • Integrated Agriculture Productivity Program
    Bangladesh (2012-2015)
    Our research addresses the low uptake of improved cookstoves with positive health and environmental impacts in developing countries. We focus on the role of differences in preferences for cookstoves by gender.
  • Decentralization and the Political Economy of Water Pollution
    Brazil 2012
    In this study we examine the effect of political decentralization on pollution spillovers across jurisdictional boundaries. We found that the greatest polluting activity appears very close to the exiting border into another county, demonstrating evidence of strategic enforcement of water pollution regulations. URL:
  • Communal Sanitation Solutions for Urban Slums in Orissa, India
    India 2012
    This program seeks to improve the physical infrastructure of community and public toilets, while simultaneously testing new communal management systems, to identify a solution that will produce the most attractive, sustainable and hygienic alternatives to open defecation for slum residents.
  • Encouraging Seasonal Migration Away from a Famine
    Bangladesh 2011
    Each year, millions of people in agrarian areas of Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are subject to seasonal famines. This project randomly assigned an $8.50 incentive to households in Bangladesh to out-migrate during the famine. We found an increased migration rate and increased household consumption with the incentive. URL:
  • Marketing Stoves to Combat Indoor Air Pollution
    Bangladesh 2011
    Our research addresses the low uptake of improved cookstoves with positive health and environmental impacts in developing countries. Through a randomized controlled trial conducted with 3000 households in rural Bangladesh, we investigate the effectiveness of subsidies, information about health benefits, gendered marketing campaigns, and social networks to overcome aversions to changes in traditional behavior and promote improved cookstove adoption. URL:
  • Causes and Consequences of Consanguinity
    Bangladesh; Pakistan 2011
    This project studied the causes of consanguineous marriages and casual effects of consanguinity on pregnancy and child health outcomes using a retrospective survey of 5,208 pregnancies reported by 306 first cousin and 305 non-consanguineous marriages. URL:
  • The Garments Sector and Schooling Subsidies for Women
    Bangladesh 2011
    This project examines the expansion of the ready-made garments export industry and a subsidy of secondary schooling for girls.  The project examines the short-run effects of a holding a job and being able to control resources within the household and the long-run impacts of a job in the garment industry on the woman’s timing of marriage, choice of partner, fertility timing, and number of children.  The project also examined the role of referrals in the hiring of garment workers in order to design policies that ensure that garment jobs are fairly accessible to all qualified workers. URL:
  • Investigating Group-Level investment decisions in Fish Feed
    Bangladesh 2011
    This project studies collectively run fisheries in order to understand why some are better managed than others, and where improved fish feed would have the greatest potential impact. We expect this to be broadly applicable to collectively provided and maintained public goods in the absence of government provision or enforcement. It will also shed light on the potential impacts of improved fish feed, to be used in a follow-up study. URL:
  • Using Social Networks to Improve Tax Compliance
    Bangladesh 2011
    This project uses a randomized controlled trial to evaluate social recognition of firms or groups of firms with the highest tax payment rates as a mechanism to increase tax compliance. By comparing compliance and tax payment rates between those market areas with and without the recognition component, we will be able to determine whether taxpayer recognition can shift social norms and increase compliance. URL:
  • Development Effects of Electrification
    Brazil 2011
    This project uses exogenous variation in electric grid expansions to estimate electricity’s effect on a broad range of development outcomes. We find numerous beneficial effects of the electrification of a county, including increases in employment, incomes and the UNDP Human Development Index. We find negligible effects of electricity on population density, in-migration and mortality. We thus interpret the positive effects as indications of a true causal effect of electricity on some aspect of productivity. URL:
  • Marketing Rainfall Insurance to the Informally Insured
    India 2011
    This IGC-funded research project seeks to understand why Indian farmers exposed to rainfall risk are reluctant to purchase formal insurance products that mitigate those risks. Our approach combines exogenous natural variation in informal insurance among Indian farmers (based on their membership in a sub-caste-based risk-sharing network), with designed (randomized) variation in the insurance contract offered. 
  •  Demand for Rainwater Storage Devices
    Uganda 2010
    This project studies the effect of rainwater storage devices on women and children’s time use, labor force participation and schooling and incidence of diseases associated with consuming contaminated water.
  • Air Pollution Indoors: A Randomized Intervention Study of Causes
    Bangladesh 2010
    Acute respiratory illnesses related to indoor air pollution (IAP) are the leading killer of children under 5 worldwide. This research program assembles an international multi-disciplinary team to conduct field experiments investigating the behavioral underpinnings of IAP in the developing world and to estimate its impacts on human health and other socio-economic outcomes. Over half of the world's population and over 75% of South Asians use unimproved cookstoves and biomass fuels for cooking. Biomass combustion within the household is the main cause of IAP, so women who cook and the infants and children they care for are particularly affected. If the health consequences of biomass combustion are so severe and inexpensive local alternatives exist, why don't households use alternative fuels or stoves to protect themselves? And given the confounding forces present in epidemiological studies to date, how far-reaching are the true health consequences of indoor air pollution? Answering these questions is critical for establishing environmental and health policy priorities and for identifying effective and sustainable interventions to combat indoor smoke. In partnership with a leading NGO in Bangladesh (BRAC), this collaborative initiative draws upon expertise in economics, engineering and public health and "local knowledge" to conduct an intervention study that randomly assigns a variety of incentives to adopt improved cook-stoves to rural Bangladeshi households. This innovative approach will both identify the important constraints to new technology adoption and will also create randomized variation in IAP that can subsequently be used for studying its impact on health and socio-economic outcomes. More broadly, this initiative has the dual objective of establishing a lasting relationship between BRAC and Yale that will create rich new research and training opportunities for both Yale faculty and students alike.
  • Agricultural Technology Diffusion through Social Networks
    Malawi 2009
    This project is intended to support the efforts of the Malawi Ministry of Agriculture to achieve sustainable productivity growth in smallholder maize production systems.  We will evaluate farming technologies and methods for disseminating information about the technologies, with particular attention to farmer communication patterns across gender lines. URL:
  • Corrupt Protection for Sale to Firms
    Indonesia 2008
    This research program identifies the benefits that firms connected to the Suharto family received during the Suharto regime and studies the behavior of foreign multi-nationals doing business in Indonesia with respect to such politically connected firms.
  • Pollution Spillovers Across Borders
    Brazil 2008
    This research program is aimed at understanding the politics of water pollution spillovers across counties in Brazil. The project begins by demonstrating that decentralization is associated with counties polluting close to a river's exit point out of its jurisdiction, and in subsequent work examine whether certain political conditions are useful in mitigating such strategic behavior through upstream-downstream negotiations.
  • Socio-Economic and Biological Tradeoffs of Consanguinity
    Bangladesh 2008
    Consanguineous marriages remain common practice in much of the developing world despite their well-documented genetic risks. This research program aims to theoretically account for and empirically document the socio-economic benefits of consanguineous unions that help to sustain these types of marriages.

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