Dr. Usman W. Chohan

Advisor

Dr Usman Chohan

Dr. Usman W. Chohan

Professional Experience

Dr. Usman W. Chohan is an international economist and academic who was one of the founding Directors of CASS, now serving as Advisor to President CASS on Economic Affairs & National Development. He is among the Top 100 Authors across all subjects & disciplines (out of 1.2 million authors) on the Social Science Research Network (SSRN), which is the largest open repository of knowledge in the world. At CASS, he has authored six books in the past five years,  all published with Routledge (see below). In the academic realm, his research has been cited widely, and Dr. Chohan has testified before various authorities based on his technical expertise. He has been published in prestigious journals such as Policy & Society, The International Journal of Public Administration, and Parliamentary Affairs.

Dr. Chohan has a PhD in economics from UNSW Australia, where his doctoral work led to the world’s first multidisciplinary synthesis of independent legislative fiscal institutions, and an MBA from McGill University (Canada), with coursework at MIT-Tsinghua. His previous practitioner experience includes working at the National Bank of Canada and the World Bank. Dr. Chohan has been a speaker at major national conferences such as GSTAR and the Margalla Dialogue. He is also the President of the International Association of Hyperpolyglots (HYPIA), the leading organization worldwide for hyperpolyglotism and whose membership consists of the speakers of six or more languages. He appears frequently on domestic and international television, podcasts, and lecture series in various languages. He is also trained in South Asian musicology and plays the sitar. In addition, Dr. Chohan has maintained an annual reading challenge of 100 books every year since 2011.

List of Books at CASS

1. Public Value & Budgeting: International Perspectives

2.  Reimagining Public Managers: Delivering Public Value

3. Public Value and the Digital Economy,

4. Pandemics and Public Value Management,

5. Activist Retail Investors and the Future of Financial Markets (co-edited)

6. Public Value and the Post-Pandemic Society

Forthcoming books

7. Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs): Multidisciplinary Perspectives (edited),

8. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs): Innovation and Vulnerability in the Digital Economy (co-edited).

 

Events

Publications

3 Skills for the Future

The youth of today exhibit a constant worry about the future of the labor market and the digital workforce that they will be entering, and with good reason, for we are witnessing stark changes brought about by AI, robotics, and other technologies advancing at breakneck speed. The economy of the future is one that leaves bewildering permutations open, and so as an economist, I am asked by the youth about what skills they should invest in to “future-proof” themselves and be ready for the decades ahead.
  106 views

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Knowledge: Its Supply and Demand

As with any commodity, or commoditised corpus, knowledge too can be squeezed into the neoliberal matrix of microeconomic analysis, where knowledge is framed as a function of supply and demand. If one proceeds from this constraining prism, then one might surmise that the developing world as a whole, and a country such as Pakistan more specifically, suffers from a supply of knowledge. One may deduce this from the low literacy and numeracy rates, from low rankings of universities on international tables, from the percentage of GDP accorded to public and private education or R&D.
  45 views

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Vote for the Future

The 2024 election in Pakistan deserves praise for three reasons: the spirited participation of the people, including women and young voters; the largely secure environment in which voters gathered; and the confirmation of the people’s commitment to a democratic process. What is also worth noting, however, is the technologically primitive nature of the electoral process, as if we were voting in 1924 rather than in 2024.
  495 views

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Redesign

At a recent conference, I took the opportunity during my remarks to posit the term ‘redesign’ as a discursive element that should inform our engagement with society. This differs from the standard refrain of ‘reform’ that many economists and policy pundits employ. Reform is a standard-issue term that is useful insofar as it points to reshaping or remedying existing deficiencies, and it is also a term that duly denotes criticism of existing failures. However, there are five shortcomings of reform that are instead better captured by ‘redesign’ and can thus be framed as the ‘advantages of a redesign approach.’
1104 views

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Starry-Eyed Youth

A recent large-scale space-related tournament known as the NASA 2023 Space Apps Challenge took place amid great fanfare around the world, and what was most exciting about the space-technology competition was the significant contingent of youth teams from Pakistan. Their enthusiasm for participating in the global tournament, and for solving complex spatial challenges set out by NASA, brimmed with promise and gave a unique insight into the vast potential for scientific engagement by Pakistan’s youth.
800 views

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Homeward to Afghanistan

If one were to take a look at social media such as Twitter (X), one might get the impression that Pakistanis are somewhat opposed to the repatriation of the Afghan migrants, but is this really true? A snap poll conducted by Gallup, an independent survey body, gives much weight to the contrary, with more than 84% of Pakistanis polled stating that they are vigorously in favor of the repatriation of Afghans back to their country.
399 views

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India’s Turn At the FATF

The saga of Pakistan and the FATF is one that I have written about extensively, having been an ardent contributor and advocate for the strategy that led to the country’s ultimately successful exit from the dreaded gray-list. The crux of that strategy involved a twofold approach: (1) improving financial oversight, legal frameworks, and institutional coordination for the intrinsic benefit to the financial regime, but also (2) calling out the deeply-politicized and corrupt agenda of the FATF as a transboundary body run amok. This dual-approach yielded excellent results for Pakistan, and incidentally, the agent-provocateur of that tussle with the FATF is now up for a similar review.
938 views

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How Much Do We Export?

The question of our overall trade balance, how much we export and import, is one that has always been of significant concern, and one that has bedeviled many successive administrations, particularly those of recent times. It is generally ideal for a country to have a high level of both exports and imports, with roughly an equal amount of both. If exports are too great, there are negative effects such as strong appreciation of the currency, the need to reinvest surplus forex, and inflation.
1201 views

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On the Expulsion of Afghan Migrants

There was a time when Peshawar, City of Flowers, really was a beautiful floral abode. The same is true for Karachi, the City of Lights, which was once a great beacon of the East. Today, both cities are characterized by ghettoism, crime, a drug problem, and squalor. There are many factors underpinning that advanced degradation, but one thing that local residents point to without equivocation is the “Afghan problem,”
1168 views

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