Social Development and Policy,
Interim Director of IDRAC
- Ph.D. in Economics and Social Science, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
- M.A. Economics, University of Missouri – Kansas City, Missouri, USA.
- M.A. in Political Science, Ohio State University, Ohio, USA.
- B.A. in Political Science and Economics, Ohio State University, Ohio, USA.
Awards & Honors
- Member Selection Committee, MS Economics, National University of Sciences and Technology, June 2018.
- Financial Award for Publication of Research, National University of Sciences and Technology, April 2018.
- Member Fulbright Selection Committee, United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), 2017.
- University of Missouri – Kansas City, Vice Chancellor Honor Recipient Award, May 2017.
- Journal of Interdisciplinary Research (JIDR) “Best Paper Award,” Kansas City, May 2016.
- University of Missouri – Kansas City, School of Graduate Studies Research Award, May 2016.
- University of Missouri – Kansas City, School of Graduate Studies, Three Minute Thesis Champion, February 2016.
- Member Executive Board, Doctoral Student Council, University of Missouri – Kansas City, 2015.
- Student Scholars Prize 2015, Association for Institutional Thought, Portland, April 2015.
- Fulbright Scholarship, 2012-2017.
- The Ohio State University, Research Assistantship, 2004-2006.
- Office of International Education Financial Award, the Ohio State University, 2002.
- Missouri Valley Economic Association (MVEA). Discussant, 2013 Annual Meeting, Kansas City.
- Association for Institutional Thought (AFIT), Western Social Science Association. Discussant and Presenter, 2014 Annual Meeting, Albuquerque.
- 2nd Annual UMKC Interdisciplinary Conference. Presenter, 2014, Kansas City.
- The 12th International Post Keynesian Conference. Participant, September 2014 Annual Meeting, Kansas City.
- Missouri Valley Economic Association (MVEA). Discussant and Presenter, 2014, Annual Meeting, St. Louis.
- Association for Institutional Thought (AFIT), Western Social Science Association. Presenter, 2015 Annual Meeting, Portland.
- 3rd Annual UMKC Interdisciplinary Conference. Presenter, 2015, Kansas City.
- Binzagr Institute for Sustainable Prosperity, Inaugural Conference, Denison University. Presenter, 2015, Granville, Ohio.
- Missouri Valley Economic Association (MVEA). Presenter, 2015 Annual Meeting, Kansas City.
- Western States Graduate Workshop in Economics, Department of Economics, Colorado State.
- University, October 31, 2015. Presenter and Discussant, Fort Collins, Colorado.
- American Economic Association (AEA), Allied Social Science Association. Participant, 2016, San Francisco.
- Eastern Economic Association. Discussant and Presenter, 2016, Washington, D.C.
- Young Scholars’ Initiative (YSI) Online Seminar in History of Economic Thought. Presenter, 2016 (Commentator: Geoffrey Hodgson).
- Debating “Development” – Economics Conference at The New School of Social Research. Participant, 2016, New York City.
- The 13th International Post Keynesian Conference. Presenter, 2016 Annual Meeting, Kansas City.
- International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics (ICAPE). Presenter and Panelist, 2017, Roosevelt University, Chicago.
- Association for Institutional Thought (AFIT), Western Social Science Association. Presenter, 2017 Annual Meeting, San Francisco.
- Festival of New Economic Thinking. Presenter, 2017, Edinburgh.
- Institute of New Economic Thinking Conference. Participant, 2017, Edinburgh.
- International Confederation of Associations for Pluralism in Economics (ICAPE) Presenter, 2018, Drexel University, Philadelphia.
- American Economic Association (AEA), Allied Social Science Association Presenter, 2018, Philadelphia.
- 14th Annual Fulbright and Humphrey Alumni Conference. Participant, 2018, Karachi.
- Two-Day International Conference on Threats to Security in the 21st Century: Finding a global way forward, Presenter, 2018, University of Lahore.
Dr. Afzal attended The Ohio State University, where he earned his bachelor’s in political science and economics with a minor in Farsi. In 2006, he completed his master’s in political science from The Ohio State University and returned to his native Pakistan. From 2006 through 2012, Dr. Afzal worked in the development sector in both Lahore and Islamabad. Additionally, he taught as an adjunct faculty member in the Economics Department at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and at the Government College University, Lahore.
In 2011, Dr. Afzal won the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to pursue a doctorate in economics at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. In 2013, Dr. Aqdas interned at the United Nations in New York City. In 2015, he won the Association of Institutional Thought’s (AFIT) prestigious “Student Scholars Prize” in economics. In 2016, Professor Afzal was the “Three-Minute Thesis” champion at his university. In the same year, he won the Journal of Interdisciplinary Research’s (JIDR) best paper prize, while also bagging the “Graduate Studies Dissertation Research Award.”
Professor Afzal’s doctoral dissertation investigates the relationship between economic growth and fossil fuel energy consumption. The first chapter shows that mainstream explanations for the Industrial Revolution, which generally assign a pride of place to institutional and technological innovations, are based on narrow empirics. More importantly, this chapter argues that switching from water to fossil fuel-based energy sources during the Industrial Revolution was not a function of economic considerations alone. The second chapter traces the linkages between economic growth and fossil fuel energy consumption in emerging economies, highlighting the role played by economic, structural and technological factors. This chapter points out that emerging economies—net energy importers, to be specific—face macroeconomic challenges in the shape of balance-of-payments crises and financial instability that stem directly from sudden and severe increases in energy import bills. The third chapter empirically examines the relationship between economic growth and fossil fuel energy consumption growth in a sample of 35 net energy-importing emerging economies. Results show that economic growth Granger causes fossil fuel energy consumption growth in the period 1981-2013, thereby raising a question mark about the existence of environmental Kuznets Curve in emerging economies.
While at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, Professor Afzal taught as an adjunct faculty member at the Rockhurst University in Kansas City for over a year. Professor Afzal has also participated in several seminars. These seminars include the “Minsky Summer School” at the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College and “Complexity in Social Systems and Economics” at the famous Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. Professor Afzal has also presented his research in several economics conferences in the United States. Professor Afzal has also published in the Kansas City Business Journal, Journal of Economic Issues and in the International Journal for Pluralism and Economics Education.
- Afzal, A. (2018). Review of the book Growth and Inequality in Pakistan, Volume I by Hafiz Pasha. NUST Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 4(1), 127–129.
- Afzal, A. (2017). Revisiting the Glorious Revolution: Property Rights, Economic Institutions and the Developing World. International Journal for Pluralism and Economics Education. 8(4), 378–388.
- Afzal, A. (2016, December 29). KC leaders should steer autonomous vehicle policy. Kansas City Business Journal.
- Afzal, A. (2016). Reimagining Adam Smith: Poverty, inequality and the state. Social Science and Policy Bulletin, 8(1), 8–12.
- Afzal, A. (2016). The Glorious Revolution, Economic Institutions and the Developing World. Journal of Interdisciplinary Research. 2016 edition.
- Afzal, Aqdas. (2015). Review of the book Environment and Development Economics: Essays in Honour of Sir Partha Dasgupta by Barret, S. Mäler, K & Maskin, E. (Eds.). Journal of Economic Issues, 49(4), 1147–1150.
- Afzal, Aqdas. (2014, December 15). Review of the book Arab development denied: dynamics of accumulation by wars of encroachment, by A. Kadri. Heterodox Economics Newsletter, 173.
- Afzal, Aqdas. (2013). PUPA: Bolstering Early Childhood Development. Business Call to Action. United Nations Development Programme