Asad Zaman

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Asad Zaman (born 1953) is a Pakistani Professor, Economist and social scientist. He is currently Vice Chancellor of the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad.[1] Previously he was Director General of International Institute of Islamic Economics, International Islamic University, Islamabad. He earned his PhD in Economics from Stanford University in 1978, MS Statistics from Stanford University in 1976 and BS in Mathematics from MIT in 1974. He is also a member of Monetary Policy Committee of State Bank of Pakistan and Editor of International Econometric Review.[2] He has been appointed as member of Economic Advisory Council formulated by Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan.


Zaman finished high school in Karachi, Pakistan in 1971, and moved to MIT, Boston for higher Education. He finished his BS in Math in 1974. He finished his Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University in another three years from 1974 to 1977, picking up a Masters in Statistics along the way. He was unique in taking first year graduate sequences at Economics, Mathematics, and Statistics simultaneously. This was because he planned a doctorate in Econometrics, which required knowledge of all three fields.[citation needed]

Zaman did a post-Doctoral year at the Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE), at the Universite Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium from 1977 to 78.


Roberto Mariano helped Zaman in getting a Tenure Track offer from the Economics Department at University of Pennsylvania. He has colleagues like Lawrence Klein, Richard Easterlin, Robert Shiller, Karl Shell, Robert Cass, Robert Summers (brother of Paul Samuelson, and father of Larry Summers), and many others, who have become famous in their own fields. During his stay at University of Pennsylvania, he was invited to spend a year as a Visiting Professor at California Institute of Technology. Later, Hafeez Pasha offered him a post of National Visiting Professor at Applied Economics Research Center in Karachi, where he stayed for another year.

After six years (1978–84) at University of Pennsylvania, he received an offer from Columbia University, where he was promoted to Associate Professor. In 1991, Zaman got an offer from Johns Hopkins, where he stayed from 1991 to 1993. In 1993 moved to Bilkent University in Ankara and taught at the economics department from 1993 to 1999. While in Bilkent, he wrote a book 'Statistical Foundations for Econometric Techniques'. In 1999, Zaman moved to Lahore University of Management Sciences. Zaman joined International Institute of Islamic Economics, International Islamic University in 2002, where he served till 2014. In 2014, he Joined PIDE as Vice Chancellor[3]


Zaman has contributed extensively to various fields of social sciences including Econometrics, Economics and Islamic Economics. His early writing were mainly in Econometrics and was published to the top journals including Annals of Statistics, Journal of Econometrics and Journal of Multivariate Analysis. Gradually, his interests turned toward Islamic Economics and his writings are published in Journal of King Abdul Aziz University, Journal of Islamic Economics, Banking and Finance and Islamic Studies. He has written a book titled 'Statistical Foundations of Econometric Techniques' which has earned high repute in academic circles. See for complete list of his writing.


Zaman has radical views on Econometrics and Islamic Economics. For a long time, Zaman has been praising David F. Hendry's methodology of econometric modeling known as general to simple methodology. His recent[when?] writings criticise Hendry for being 'nominalist' as opposed to his own views which he names as 'realist' econometrics.[citation needed] The Hendry's general to simple methodology advocates data based decision making in econometrics starting from a general methodology as a solution to problem of mismatch between an estimated model and reality. Zaman says that when there is conflict in data and reality, one should go into the field to find the reasons for the mismatch.

Zaman is a vocal critique of western methodology of social sciences. He says that the western social sciences pretend to be positive but in fact there is a normative background behind every theory an concept of social sciences.[citation needed] For example, utility maximization provides the basis for development of economics and it is believed that the utility maximization has nothing to do with norms. But Zaman argues that the utility maximization is also a norm.[citation needed]

Zaman is of the view that social sciences should be built around Islamic principals.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Asad Zaman". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Asad Zaman". Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "About me". Dr. Asad Zaman. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2017-03-14.

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