Mazhar Waseem on long-run impacts of in-utero Ramadan exposure: evidence from administrative tax records

WIDER Seminar Series

Long-run impacts of in-utero Ramadan exposure: evidence from administrative tax records

Mazhar Waseem presents at the WIDER Seminar Series on 15 September.


Using Ramadan fasting as a natural experiment, we estimate the long-run impacts of in-utero environment on labor market outcomes. We exploit administrative tax return data comprising the universe of tax filers containing 66 birth cohorts. We document that in-utero Ramadan shock experienced in the middle period of pregnancy depresses earnings of the exposed individuals by at least 3 percent. Exposed individuals are more likely to be self-employed and are systematically under-represented at the top of the income distribution. Using nationally representative survey data we show that our results are unlikely to be driven by selective timing of conception or birth seasonality.

Authors: Timotej Cejka and Mazhar Waseem

About the speaker

Mazhar Waseem is a Reader (Associate Professor) of Economics at the University of Manchester. His research primarily focuses on Public Finance issues of emerging economies, especially on the behavior of economic agents to tax and transfer policies with a view to learn how the design of these policies, especially in weak enforcement environments, can be improved. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics. He is a Research Associate at the Institute of Fiscal Studies, Research Affiliate at the Centre of Economic Policy Research (CEPR) and an editor of International Tax and Public Finance.

WIDER Seminar Series

The WIDER Seminar Series showcases the latest research on key topics in development economics. It provides a forum for senior and early-career researchers, both inhouse and external, to present recent and ongoing work related to UNU-WIDER’s current work programme.

In addition to providing a forum for both academic debate and training, the series presents an opportunity for policy makers and others interested in development to learn about the latest research methods and findings.

In autumn 2021, the Seminar Series events take place on Wednesdays from 16:00–17:00. All those interested are invited to register and attend via Zoom.