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Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 482929
10 MSc Students (supervision completed at Oxford and Oxford Brookes)
2 Phd Students (Oxford Brookes), ongoing.
Advisory Board Member, Verite Research Asia
Applied Economics, Finance and Development Cluster, Oxford Brookes Business School
Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford University
Research Associate, Centre for the Study of African Economies, Economics Department, Oxford (2014-2017)
2017 Oxford Brookes Internal Small Grant, round 13.
2011 US$ 16000 (approx), World Bank to support research on returns to education over time based on pseudo-panel data
2010 US $ 9000 (approx), World Bank to support the writing of a technical paper
2002-2003 £5000 Montague Burton Award, Faculty of Economics and Politics, Cambridge
2002-2004 £5000 Cambridge Political Economy Trust Award
2003 £600 Smuts Fund Scholarship, University of Cambridge
2000 £500 Luca D'Agliano Award, University of Cambridge
2001/2004 £1300 Jesus College travel grant/St. John's College travel and conference grant
2000/2001 £6000 London School of Economics merit scholarship towards tuition fees
2000 US $ 3000, International Labour Organisation to write a paper on the national poverty alleviation programme Samurdhi in Sri Lanka
1998 US $ 10000, World Bank to write a technical paper on public policies to support the private sector in Sri Lanka
1993-1996 £50000 AUSAid John Crawford Merit Full Scholarship, University of Sydney.
Austerity (together with Christopher Hood, Oxford)
Child Poverty using Young Lives data http://www.younglives.org.uk/
Girls in Engineering? (together with Pradeep Kumar Choudhury, JNU India).
Research on Privatisation and labour issues used and cited in the Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF), World Bank and the Netherlands Consultant Trust Fund funded interactive CD-ROM Labour Issues in Infrastructure Reform Toolkit that provides practical tools and information to help policymakers and practitioners design, implement, and monitor labour programs in infrastructure reforms.
Work on Andhra Pradesh, India cited and used in House of Commons: International Development Committee (2011), 'The Future of DFID's Programme in India: Eighth Report of Session 2010-12, Volume 1: Ev115-116.
Hood, Heald, Himaz (2014) cited in Scottish Parliament Finance Committee Meeting 5 November 2014, session 4.
Conceptual framework developed in Himaz and Hood (2014) adopted in the Cambridge University Philomathia fund project on Austerity.
Research on Microfinance (under maiden name Salih) used in the Sri Lankan debate surrounding the Micro Finance Act. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/101114/BusinessTimes/bt10.html
Archived data in public domain: Himaz, R (2015) Fiscal Squeeze: UK Public Finance and Political Variables Data 1900-2015 UK Data Service, Reshare. As part of a ESRC funded grant end of project report
Politics, Oxford University; https://www.politics.ox.ac.uk/research-staff/rozana-himaz.html
IDEAS/RepEc link https://ideas.repec.org/e/phi82.html
Verite Research, Asia http://www.veriteresearch.org/
The politics of cutting public spending or raising taxes (or both) has dominated politics in many democracies in recent years. A new era of conflict has developed with old political alignments and new battles emerging over whose expectations are disappointed and who should be blamed for fiscal squeeze. This books uses a mixed methods analysis and an interdesciplinary approach (economics and political science) to define episodes of squeeze and introduces an innovative methodological way of contextualising fiscal squeeze across time and space. The book also looks at 9 case studies including USA in the 1840s, UK in the 1920s, Argentina in the 2000s, Canada in the 1990s, New Zealand 1990s, Sweden 1990s, The Netherlands 1980s, Iremland in the 1980s-2000 and Germany 1990s and 2000s.
Economic trade theory suggests that the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) can lead to more trade and increases in welfare. However, this can also lead to various challenges. In this paper, we use recent literature in economics to identify three such challenges. The first is that there is increasing evidence of malinvestment in previous Chinese infrastructure investments, rising corporate debt and corruption. If the BRI worsens this phenomena, the consequent financial and economic crisis in China is likely to have serious contagion effects with global ramifications. Second, trade brings about winners and losers within a country and unless there is adequate redistribution of the gains within an economy it can lead to increased inequality, poverty and structural unemployment. Finally, there are negative consequences to the environment that trade expansion may bring about unless effective legal, political and economic institutions are in place addressing the issue.
This study employes a psuedo anel approach to estimate the returns to schooling among income earners in Sri Lanka. Pseudo panel data are constructed from nine repeated cross sections of Labour Force Survey data from 1998-2008 for males born between 1954-1973. The results show that an extra year of education increases monthly earnings by about 5 per cent using pseudo panel estimation rather than 9 per cent using OLS estimation. This shows that unpbservables such as ability and motivation, bias OLS returns upwards by about 4 per cent on average driven mainly by what happens in rural areas. It also suggests that males with higher abilities acquire more education in rural areas, in contrast to studies such as Warunsri and McNown (2010) for Thailand where the opportunity costs for education are high such that the more able seem to leave formal education for the job market.
This paper asks whether an exgenous increase in household income in the context of a poverty alleviation program can have an impact on child anthropometric outcomes. The study evaluates the Samurdhi program for Sri Lanka and uses household data for 1999/2000. Using propensity score matching to account for selectivity bias the paper finds that the cash grant improves child height for age z-scored by 0.4 standard deviations driven mainly by those in the six to thirty six month category, compared to those children who didn't receive the grant. The grant also increases child weight for height z-scores by 0.45 standard deviations, driven mainly by those in the thirty six to sixty month category. The results are important for Sri Lanka where child nutrition is a cause for concern.
This chapter looks at the triggers, processes and consequences of the sharp cuts in public expenditure recommended by the Geddes Committee and implemented in the 1920s in the UK, set in the context of the fiscal squeeze framwork.
The UK ‘Geddes Axe’ initiated under the Lloyd George coalition government in the 1920s became a byword for spending cuts in a slump. It comprised the largest expenditure squeeze in the UK between 1900 and 2013 except for demobilisation periods after the two World Wars. This chapter shows that the immediate trigger for the fiscal squeeze was a tax revolt by middle-class voters which panicked the government into cutting public spending and income tax rates. The cuts were made all at once rather than being phased, and the biggest falls came in social security spending, defence and education rather than ‘equal misery’ across all policy areas. The chapter argues that the most obvious long-term effect of the Geddes Axe was economic (exacerbating the sluggish economic performance and unemployment it was intended to mitigate), but that it also contributed to electoral realignment as between the Liberal and Labour parties after 1922.
This chapter develops an innovative way of contextualising fiscal squeezes across space and time, using a mixed methods interdisciplinary approach.
This chapter examines what nine cases of fiscal squeeze in different democracies can reveal about the politics of austerity, combining overall quantitative comparisons with a set of qualitative accounts of those nine cases. It argues that fiscal squeeze in democracies is not invariably prompted by economic force majeure, contrary to the view that public spending growth in democracies can only be checked by exogenous forces or constitutional entrenchment. It further argues that there is no standard set of economic and financial preconditions for fiscal adjustment or consolidation, and that while fiscal squeeze often presents blame-avoidance challenges for incumbents, such squeezes do not necessarily produce deep political crisis or political violence. Nor are they invariably marked by major political turning-points or political cross-dressing in the form of ‘Nixon goes to China’ moments. The chapter concludes by reflecting on what policymakers in the next set of fiscal squeezes can and cannot learn from comparative experience.
Advsory Board Member, Verite Research Asia (2017 onwards)
Committee Member, National Committee on Social Development (NCSD), Ministry of Social Services, Sri Lanka (2000)
Committee Member, Social Development Management Information System (SOMIS), Ministry of Social Services, Sri Lanka (2000)
External Consultant for the World Bank D. C. 1998, 2010, 2011.
Exernal Consultant for the International Labour Organisation (ILO) 2000.
External Consultant, Department of Politics, Oxford University, 2014-2015.
University of Oxford (2007-2014), various roles: Researcher, Young Lives Project, Department of International Development, Lecturer in Economics, Queens College, Oxford; Economics Department sub-faculty, Research Fellow at the Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford; MSc Economics for Development (Supervisor, examiner).
University of Cambridge (2001-2004): Research Assistant Department of Applied Economics
Institute of Policy Studies, Sri Lanka (1997-2000), Research Economist