Award recipients of the 1st International Conference on Economics
and Sustainable Development

Technical papers

1st Prize

Paper Title: Do Reward and Reprimand Policies Work in Reducing Electricity Distribution Losses?
Authors:   Ayesha Ali, Khusrav Gaibulloev and Javed Younas
Affiliation: American University of Sharjah
Paper summary: Using monthly electricity feeder level data, the paper studies the effect of a unique reward and reprimand policy in curbing losses, implemented by the utility serving the city of Karachi in Pakistan. Under this policy, feeders were assigned to very high, high, medium, or low outages, based on average losses in the past twelve months using fixed thresholds to separate the categories. To incentivize loss reduction, the distribution company periodically updated the outage category at the feeder level. The study uses an instrumental variable and fuzzy regression discontinuity design in which it instruments for actual outages by outages predicted by the policy, to study the effect on within feeder change in losses. The IV estimates imply that an additional hour of outages reduces average monthly losses and within feeder change in losses by 6.6%. The RD estimates show that within feeder losses declined by 3.1% to 4.8%, but the effect is smaller for feeders in high and very high loss areas.

2nd Prize
Paper Title: Raising capital under economic uncertainty: an empirical investigation
Author: Mohsin Khuwaja
Affiliation: La Trobe University, Australia
Paper summary: This paper addresses a timely question, 'how does economic uncertainty affect the decisions of firms to raise capital?' it uses a three-step sequential framework to investigate the binary decision of firms to raise capital, their choice of financing instrument, and the subsequent decision about the volume of financing. The simultaneous equation model helped to remove endogenous selection bias and showed that firms implement the three decisions sequentially. Using a sample of 45,635 firm-year records from 6,834 publicly listed US non-financial firms beginning 2000 to 2018, the results find that during periods of high economic and political uncertainty, firms raise capital more frequently with a preference toward debt-based instruments. The result of this study provides empirical evidence that economic policy uncertainty stirs demand for capital, particularly for securities with lower ownership dilution risk. In addition, the study also finds that ownership by institutional investors is associated with a tendency to avoid equity financing, supporting ownership control hypothesis

3rd prize

Paper Title: How Public Transport Modes Availability Affects the Commuting Cost and House Rent of Tenant's Households in Rawalpindi and Islamabad?
Authors: Abid Rehman, Faisal Jamil, Elisabete A. Silva
Affiliation: NUST Islamabad
Paper summary: Public Transport (PT) modes' availability is a key factor in the decision making of peoples' residential location choice, which derives the mobility decisions and associated cost for commuting and housing. Availability of several public transport modes ensures smooth commuting for the household with greater affordability. However, the access to the urban amenities in term of access to the PT also effect the rent profile of tenants household. Keeping in view this trade-off, this study analyses the influence of availability of several public transport modes on commuting cost and house rent for tenant's households in Rawalpindi and Islamabad. We collect data from the tenants of twin cities using a structured questionnaire survey. We particularly focus on the tenants' households because the decision-making process of tenants and owners varies, as the tenants do not take into account the future aspects of property value. We have applied the Tobit model to analyze the effect of availability of many public transport modes on commuting cost and house rent for overall sample and city level for tenants of twin cities. Results show that, due to the availability of transport, in the form of the diverse choice of frequent and affordable public transport, the commuting cost is significantly reduced for both cities. Moreover, rent positively associated with the accessibility of more frequent and affordable transport modes. Furthermore, on city level, in Rawalpindi rent is more influenced by the public transport choices available in the areas as compare to Islamabad.

3rd prize
Paper Title: Political Economy of Resources Distribution: Theory and Evidence from Balochistan, Pakistan
Author: Dr. Manzoor Ahmed
Affiliation: Lasbela University, Balochistan
Paper summary: The paper aims to critically evaluate the political economy of resources (public sector budgetary resources) distribution in Balochistan province, Pakistan. The paper examines the overarching influence of "elite capture" – the influences of the chief minister, the senior cabinet members of provincial government, and senior bureaucrats – in resources distribution during the period of fiscal years 2008-09 to 2018-19. The paper builds a plausible theory and, through robust empirical techniques to examine the evidence and prevalence of elite capture in resources distribution in the province. From empirical investigation a [un]balanced panel approach is applied using data for districts from provincial level sources. The theoretical predictions and the preliminary empirical results suggest a strong elite capture and biased interventions in the process of budget making and the allocations of resources/projects to districts/constituencies, The evidence further suggest that districts, which are represented neither in political nor senior officials' incumbency, receive far lesser budgetary allocations than their proportionate share despite prevailing poor social and economic indicators. Such an "unbalanced" and politically or otherwise motivated resources allocation is bound to create an inter-regions and inter-districts/constituencies disparity in terms of economic and social development within the province.


1st Prize
Paper Title: Road Traffic Injuries in Karachi: In search of important lessons and feasible solution
Author: Lucky Bizenjo
Affiliation: Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi
Paper summary:This study uses systematic review approach in order to illuminate the major causes behind Road Traffic Injuries (RTI) and deaths in Karachi. The objective is to find out practically feasible solutions to minimize such losses. Unlike the other causes of illness and deaths, the case of RTI is quite different and relatively under more direct control of the policy makers. The study carries important implications from research and policy making standpoint since, this study highlights the areas which can be addressed without increasing financial allocations on the part of government.

2nd Prize
Paper Title: Regression Based Decomposition of Income Inequality in Sindh
Author: Shujaat Hussain
Affiliation: Institute of Business Administration Karachi
Paper summary: The present study has estimated the regression-based inequality decomposition methodology developed by Field (2003) to determine factors driving income inequality at household level in Sindh. Study has used Gini coefficient and data of Household Integrated Economic Survey HIES for the years 2010-11 and 2018-19. The variables are household size, gender of household head, age of household head, education of household head, marital status of household head, employment status of household head and region. The results have confirmed the high concentration of income inequality in urban areas as compared to rural areas. While within group, inequality is higher as compared to inequality between the groups. The variables which contributed more to inequality is region, followed by education of household head, household size and employment status.

3rd Prize
Paper Title: The Impact of Remittances on Total Factor Productivity in Pakistan
Author: Muhammad Shafiq ur Rehman
Affiliation: Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi
Paper summary: This paper examines the impact of remittances on total factor productivity (TFP) in Pakistan. Johansen Co-integration technique has been employed to explore the long run relationship of remittances together with other determinants of TFP. The findings of the study show a long run, non-linear and U-shaped relationship between TFP and remittances. Moreover, FDI, Government Expenditure, Trade and Energy Consumption have a positive and significant impact on TFP in Pakistan.

Poster Presentation

1st Prize
Rs. 20,000
Title: An Economical Profile Study of Machar Colony
Author: Mahnoor Atif
Summary:The focus of the research was to study the economic profile of Machar Colony – a 'katchi abadi' famous for fishing and shrimp peeling activities along with having mangroves plantations within its ecosystem. Insights provided through on-site surveys and interviews with the locals revealed that this ecosystem has been under a constant threat due to numerous reasons such as use of traditional fishing methods by the residents (resulting in overfishing), lack of basic knowledge, pollution which is affecting the catch as well as working conditions deployed in the area. To address these problems, it is essential that basic education should be provided to those who are associated with this profession along with providing humane working conditions as well as there should be strong focus on the healthcare system in this area.

2nd Prize
Rs. 15,000
Title: Pakistan's Ordeal Against Climate Change
Author: Fasih Zulfiqar
Summary:This poster takes a detour through the main contributors to anthropogenic climate change in Pakistan, namely vehicle emissions, coal, and agriculture, and the progress so far, or lack thereof, in mitigating these anthropogenic sources. Based on the peculiar political and cultural climate of Pakistan, the study makes some pragmatic policy recommendations centered on the incentive principle and nudge theory.

3rd Prize
Rs. 10,000
Title: Impact of Celebrity-Endorsed Products on Consumer's Purchase Intention.
Author: Hiba Badar
Summary: The present study aims to gauge the impact of celebrity endorsement on the Consumer Buying Behaviour to determine Brand Credibility. Study has used Primary data collected via questionnaire embedded with 5 point liker scale which measured the level of agreement from 1 to 5 where one was lowest level of agreement and 5 being the highest level of agreement. The causal variables are Consumer Perception, Consumer Trust, Consumer Skepticism, Brand Awareness, Following Celebrity Endorser. The results have verified that Celebrities have the power to influence perceptions about product leading to purchase. Consumers Trust on the Celebrity Endorser also have positive impact on Buying Intention. However, if there is a doubt whether the celebrity used the product themselves which they are endorsing or have a negative publicity, it does not influence the purchase intention. People tend to purchase the brand if they see their favorite influencer using it - Just to Follow Them!