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Mariam Khawar PhD

Professor of Economics, Division of Business and Economics at Elmira College
Professor of Economics. In my third decade as a college professor and still enjoying introducing students to the principles of economics by combining theory with 'expernomics' (experiments in economics), such as auctioning dollar bills to illustrate the ideas of sunk and marginal cost. (Yes, $1 bills have sold for $4.50!). I have been dabbling in the flipped classroom model and added a partially flipped component to my courses. I especially enjoy teaching upper-level electives where I get to combine my own interests in development economics with students' interest and enthusiasm on the subject. My research is concentrated in this area as well, and recent publications include a book which explores the links between geography, culture, institutions and economic growth.
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Johns Hopkins University
Knox College
Karachi Grammar School

Professor of Economics at Elmira College
September 1997 - Present
The Geography of Underdevelopment: Institutions and the Impact of Culture
This book examines why the differences in comparative economic development across the world have a geographical pattern. It argues that there is a missing component in the geography versus institutions debate, namely the role of culture and its impact either directly on development or indirectly through the establishment of institutions. The impact of geographical features such as climate and natural resources is studied both across countries and within political boundaries and is supplemented by the work of social scientists in other disciplines on culture and cultural evolution. By examining the direct effects of geography on standards of living as well as its indirect effects via culture and institutions, a case is made to tie all three factors into a cohesive explanation for underdevelopment. This book will appeal to readers interested in wider perspectives on under-development that go beyond explanations resting on standard neo-classical economic theory.
Publications
Being Relevant: Ideas for Teaching Microeconomics and International Trade
Discusses two student-centered projects that aim to highlight the application of economic theory to ‘real-life’ issues and provide an alternative means of reinforcing the economic theory and principles that are traditionally covered via textbooks and class lectures.
Publications
Climate and Economic Development: Further Evidence in Support of “The Tropical Effect”
Focuses on the effects of climate, as it pertains to temperature and rainfall, on economic growth using ground station data from the Global Historical Climatology Network over a period of 30 years. The study finds empirical evidence suggesting that higher temperatures are negatively associated with the level of GDP per capita of a country. In addition, countries that have larger ranges of temperature extremes also have higher incomes. Discusses evidence that points to the importance of rainfall and stresses the need for further verification to pinpoint the relationship.
Publications
Foreign Direct Investment and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Analysis
Conduct an empirical cross-country growth analysis to investigate the impact over two decades, of foreign direct investment at the aggregate level, and finds that it has a significant and positive relationship with real income per capita, irrespective of any human capital requirements.
Publications
Productivity and foreign direct investment – evidence from Mexico
Identifies the mechanisms by which foreign investment affects productivity in recipient countries. Conducts a firm‐level study of manufacturing plants in Mexico and tests for performance differences embodied in factor productivity between domestic and foreign (majority and minority) owned plants. Checks for the existence of spillovers at the industry level due to the presence of multinational corporations. In contrast to earlier studies, finds no evidence of spillovers but does find a strong direct effect in the form of higher levels of productivity in firms with foreign ownership.
Publications
The impact of multinational corporations on a developing country: a trade off in the long run?
Investigates the ‘long-run’ effects of multinational firms on unemployment and welfare of the host country. Findings indicate that a trade-off between unemployment reduction and national welfare exists for the host country which is contrary to the view that foreign investment via multinational firms is immiserizing in the ‘short run’. This may also help to explain the continuing efforts on the part of developing country governments to attract foreign investment. Furthermore, in the absence of a subsidy, increased investment by multinational firms does not have any adverse effect on the welfare of the host country, while still reducing unemployment.
Publications
The Impact of Culture on Economic Growth and Development
Uses the Standard Cross Cultural Sample (SCCS), to separate the effects of culture vs. institutions and empirically investigate the effects of each on the economy. Controls for geography to test whether physical characteristics such as climate, disease burden, soil quality etc. can directly influence output or whether they are indirectly linked via culture and institutions. Findings indicate that cultural traits have geographical origins and that culture influences economic development, even after controlling for institutions.
Publications
Dr. Khawar Featured in Article on Job Market Trends

Dr. Mariam Khawar, Elmira College professor of economics, was recently featured in an article titled, "Professors Weigh in on Current Job Market Trends" on zippia.com. Khawar was one of nine professors weighing in on "what skills will be more importan...

October, 16 2020 - Verified by Elmira College
Khawar and Imai Co-Author Political Economy Paper

Associate Professor of International Relations, Dr. Kunihiko Imai, and Professor of Economics, Dr. Mariam Khawar, recently co-authored a paper titled "Geography, Culture, Institutions and Economy." Additionally, the paper was published in the Internati...

November, 14 2019 - Verified by Elmira College
Term III Class Visits Thailand and Cambodia to Study Globalization

Dr. Martha Easton, associate professor of sociology, and Dr. Mariam Khawar, professor of economics, recently traveled with students to Thailand and Cambodia for the Term III course titled, "Thailand and Cambodia: Globalization and Change." Throughou...

May, 23 2019 - Verified by Elmira College
Khawar Published in Journal of Applied Business and Economics

Professor of Economics, Dr. Mariam Khawar, has recently been published in the Journal of Applied Business and Economics for her manuscript, "The Story Behind Economics: Providing Context by Using Story-telling to Illustrate Economic Theory." "Using ...

March, 12 2019 - Verified by Elmira College
Khawar Joins Pakistan Development Review Advisory Board

Professor of Economics, Dr. Mariam Khawar, recently accepted an invitation to become an advisory board member for the Pakistan Development Review (PDR). As a board member, Khawar will be responsible for providing advice on improving the quality of the ...

December, 13 2018 - Verified by Elmira College
Dr. Khawar Presents at International Economics Conference

Dr. Mariam Khawar, professor of economics, recently presented her paper, "The story behind the economics: Providing context by using story-telling to illustrate economic theory," on mathematical modeling at the 86th International Atlantic Economic Conf...

October, 31 2018 - Verified by Elmira College
Mariam Khawar PhD was recognized for earning an academic award
Catherine Rock McGraw Award for Excellence in Service, Elmira College.
Added by Mariam
Mariam Khawar PhD was recognized for earning an academic award
Malcom and Virginia Marsden Endowed Fund for Faculty Scholarship, Elmira College.
Added by Mariam
Mariam Khawar PhD was recognized for earning a scholarship
Teaching Assistantship, Johns Hopkins University
Added by Mariam
Mariam Khawar PhD was recognized for earning a scholarship
Louise Cooley Scholarship, Knox College
Added by Mariam
Mariam Khawar PhD was recognized for earning an academic award
Josef Stein Award for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service, Elmira College.
Added by Mariam
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