Souq Economics aims to create a platform where researchers from across the world can come together to disseminate their research as well as collaborate with one another to create new research. SE also envisions itself as a bridge between researchers in economics and policy-makers, resulting in the betterment of society.

Souq Economics hopes to bring together research and researchers from across the world for the advancement of economics as a discipline. The research that will be of particular interest to the SE will be evidence-based research in a variety of areas including, but not limited to, the problems which stare the world in its face currently. Some of this research will be carried out in-house but SE will also provide a platform for researchers anywhere in the world.

The Souq will also bring on board policy makers and policy researchers to create a dialogue which will enhance policy effectiveness. Economics has always been open to collaborations across disciplines, be it politics, sociology or history, to name but a few. The SE hopes to carry this tradition forward and create a platform where various disciplines intersect. Apart from being a catalyst for generating research, it hopes to bring cutting edge research in economic and allied disciplines within easy grasp of all those who are interested in the subject.

Souq Economics proposes to develop and disseminate research in economics among the community in which it is located and also beyond. It intends to be an interface between researchers, policy makers and the public at large. Among the public, it will focus particular attention on those entering or hoping to enter the field of economics. New and existing students of economics will be a significant part of the intended audience. The SE hopes that it will be able to kindle a passion for economics among these new entrants to the field, a passion that has motivated researchers in economics around the world.

Head of Souq Economics    
Professor Ajit Karnik 

[email protected]

The Background

Souq in Arabic means marketplace. Souq Economics (SE) views itself as a marketplace for the exchange of ideas in economics. The subject of economics has been evolving in response to challenges faced by countries of the world. The previous century saw the evolution of Keynesian economics as a way of managing floundering economies, an approach that gave way to more market-oriented approaches a few decades later. Two episodes of this century have similarly challenged economics. The first, the Great Recession of 2008, was sufficiently widespread and devastating to invite comparison with the Great Depression of the previous century. The discipline responded to this challenge with deep introspection at the way economics was taught and researched. The second episode, namely, the ravages wrought by the COVID pandemic, has upended most economies of the world and many are still struggling to recover from it. In response to this second challenge, economics has focused on policy prescriptions to alleviate the suffering faced by millions of individuals across the world. Research in economics, however, does not emerge only in response to specific events. Contemporary as well as long-standing problems continue to guide research in areas such as political economy, inequality, climate change, poverty, globalization, economic history, gender economics, institutional economics and public policy among others. 


Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie
Professor Sheilagh Ogilvie
Chichele Professor of Economic History, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
Professor Errol D’Souza
Professor Errol D’Souza
Professor of Economics and Director, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India
Dr Jeremy Edwards
Dr Jeremy Edwards
Emeritus Reader in Economics, Faculty of Economics, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK
Dr Shubhada Rao
Dr Shubhada Rao
Founder Quanteco, Mumbai, India
Chandrahas Deshpande
Chandrahas Deshpande
Professor of Economics, Welingkar Institute of Management, Mumbai, India



Research areas that are of interest to the Souq are listed below but this list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Climate change
  • Covid and its impact
  • Economic history
  • Economics of development
  • Financial economics
  • Gender economics
  • Globalization
  • Inequality
  • Institutional economics
  • Political economy
  • Political economy
  • Poverty
  • Public policy

Economic Insights

This section will publish occasional notes/short articles on topics which are of interest to Souq Economics. This will include articles on topics of current interest or topics relevant to the UAE or topics of general economic interest.

Power And Progress – Ringing the Alarm-Bells for the Future?

Author: Dr Chandrahas Deshpande

Abstract: Dr Chandrahas Deshpande reviews the latest book by the prolific economist Daron Acemoglu and co-author Simon Johnson. Like previous books by Acemoglu, this monumental work constitutes a thoroughly engaging narrative interspersed with illuminating historical references. The book raises issues of fundamental importance on ‘the shape of things to come’ and simultaneously, suggests some remedial measures through which the Modern Digital Technologies can be redirected for greater human welfare. Deshpande gives a guided tour of this 550 pages+ massive tome highlighting the major issues tackled by Acemoglu and Johnson.

Click here to access the article

The FDI Formula: Secrets to Attracting Investment

Author: Dr Pallavi Kishore

Abstract: Global FDI has increased significantly in the last few decades surging by over 9800% from 1970 to 2020 . The substantial increase in FDI stands as a testament to the benefits it offers. Beyond fostering economic development and facilitating international trade, FDI asserts its potential to enhance employment, and bolster productivity. Furthermore, countries tend to welcome FDI as they allow for technology transfer, contribute to human capital development, and increase the host country’s income. A key question in this context is what strategies should countries employ to attract FDI? Apart from economic and regulatory factors, institutional factors are also important. Further, this research extends its purview to examine the importance of financial factors in attracting FDI. The relevance of all these factors is examined using a large panel of 179 countries over 27 years (1991-2017). The study drills down further to micro-level dynamics within a developing country. This part of the study includes both listed and unlisted firms within India for the period 2010 to 2018, representing a total of 50,268 firms. Firm-level factors that attract FDI include the size of the firm and performance of the firm as well as non-financial factors such as the firm’s age, industry, technological investments, and R&D spending.

Click here to access the article

Identifying Drivers and Hindrances to Smartphones Disposal: A Study of User Behaviour in the UAE

Authors: Gayle Patrao and Professor Ajit Karnik

Abstract: A key environmental problem in the usage of mobile phones is the low rates of recycling of used phones. This study investigates the reasons behind the low rates of recycling of mobile phones in the United Arab Emirates, one of the heaviest users of mobile phones and one with very high e-waste generation. Our results show that environmental awareness about recycling and knowledge of the environmental consequences of improperly disposed of phones encourage recycling. However, personal, and external barriers prevent responsible disposal. We recommend strong government intervention, especially in school education, to enhance awareness about recycling. Further, the infrastructure for recycling needs to be made more user friendly and incentives should be offered to overcome personal barriers to recycling.

Click here to access the article

UAE: The preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investments

Authors: Dr Pallavi Kishore and Prof. Ajit Karnik

Abstract: The recent UNCTAD World Investment Report shows that the UAE has emerged as a global magnet for foreign direct investment (FDI). This performance of the UAE is especially commendable given its small size in terms of its population and its aggregate GDP. This note identifies the factors that have led to the UAE’s success in attracting FDI. Some of these factors are its location, political stability, infrastructure, economic diversification and quality of life. The large inflows of FDI clearly represent a vote of confidence in the UAE as a favourable destination for foreign investments.

Click here to access the article

Doubling of Dubai’s Economy in a Decade: D33 provides a Realistic Blueprint

Authors: Prof. Cedwyn Fernandes, Economist, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Middlesex University and Director of Middlesex University Dubai

Abstract: The ambitious Dubai Economic Agenda ‘D33’, which aims to double the size of Dubai’s economy over the next decade, is a bold target. It is planned that this target will be achieved through an extensive range of strategic initiatives and policies that collectively aim to cement the emirate’s position as a global business and financial hub. In the words of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum: “One must take advantage of available opportunities, and opportunities will only be well seized by those who are waiting for them. If you challenge a goal you will be able to achieve it.” 

Click here to access the article


Papers in refereed Journals
  • Majumdar, S. and Paris, C.M., 2022. Environmental Impact of Urbanization, Bank Credits, and Energy Use in the UAE—A Tourism-Induced EKC Model. Sustainability, [online] 14(13), p.7834.
  • Malal Lalvani and Ajit Karnik (2022) “Macroeconomic Challenges and the Social Sector”, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 57 (13), 2022, pp. 52-58.
  • Sherika Antao and Ajit Karnik (2022)“Bank Performance and Noninterest Income: Evidence from Countries in the Asian Region”, Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Vol. 29, pp. 477-505
Research in Progress:
  • Ajit Karnik and Sudipa Majumdar: Profitability of Indian Banks: Examining the Impact of Income Diversification
  • Ajit Karnik and Mala Lalvani:Fiscal Policy at the Sub-national Level: A Study of Indian States
  • Anita Kashi, Lynda Hyland and Ajit Karnik: Psychological outcomes of objective and subjective perceptions of division of labour in household work (to be submitted latest by April 2023)
  • Ajit Karnik and Mariam Aslam: Impact of mergers on the Banking Sector in the UAE
  • Gayle Patrao and Ajit Karnik: Identifying Drivers and Hindrances to the Disposal of Used Mobile Phones: A Study of User Behaviour in the UAE. Resubmitted after revision.
Conference Presentations
  • Ajit Karnik and Sudipa Mujumdar (2022) Profitability of Indian Banks: Examining the Impact of Income Diversification, Sixth International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences (ERPBSS 2022), February 24-26 2022
  • Ajit Karnik and Mariam Aslam (2022) Impact of mergers on the Banking Sector in the UAE, Sixth International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences (ERPBSS 2022), February 24-26 2022
  • Anita Kashi,Lynda Hyland and Ajit Karnik (2022) Psychological outcomes of objective and subjective perceptions of division of labour in household work, Sixth International Conference on Emerging Research Paradigms in Business and Social Sciences (ERPBSS 2022), February 24-26 2022
Articles in Popular Press
  • GCC Countries: Emerging from the COVID-19 induced shocks,, 5 December 2021, (
  • Revival of travel and tourism will boost GCC economies,, 23 September 2021 (
  • “Is mandatory vaccination the need of the hour?”, Arabian Business, 29 July 2021 (


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