Zaakhir Asmal

Senior Researcher

Expertise: Labour Economics, Development Economics, Competition and Regulatory Economics, Poverty and Inequality, Education and Skills Development

Zaakhir holds a Master of Economic Science degree (with Distinction) from the University of the Witwatersrand. Prior to joining the DPRU in May 2016, Zaakhir was a Researcher for the Human Sciences Research Council’s Economic Performance and Development programme. Before that, he was employed as an Analyst in the Competition and Regulatory Economics practice of the economics consulting firm Genesis Analytics.  During his time at the University of the Witwatersrand, Zaakhir was also a tutor for a number of courses as well as Head Tutor for the courses Economics I and Economics II. His research interests include Labour Economics, Development Economics, Competition and Regulatory Economics, Poverty and Inequality & Education and Skills Development.

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Latest Research projects and reports:

  1. Asmal, Zaakhir; Bhorat, Haroon Ismail; Kanbur, Ravi; Ranzani, Marco; Paci, Pierella. 2018. Minimum Wages and Labor Supply in an Emerging Market: The Case of Mauritius. Policy Research working paper; no. WPS 8681. Washington, D.C.: World Bank Group.
  2. Bhorat, H., Asmal, Z., Lilenstein, K. and van der Zee, K. (2018). “SMMEs in South Africa: Understanding the Constraints on Growth and Performance”. Development Policy Research Unit Working Paper 201802. Development Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

(Selected projects)

  1. A report prepared for a South African public body assessing the effectiveness of a particular poverty alleviation intervention (contributing author)
  2. A report and template prepared for the South African Department of Energy on the appropriate margins to set for various activities which form part of the fuel value chain in South Africa (contributing author)
  3. A number of reports prepared on behalf of clients for submission to the South African competition authorities to allay any possible concerns and obtain merger approval in various sectors (contributing author)
  4. A report prepared for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa on how best to harmonise differing regulatory assessment methodologies for the energy industries of electricity, piped gas and petroleum pipelines with specific reference to the treatment of the Market Risk Premium and taxation within those methodologies (contributing author)
  5. A report prepared for the South African Department of Labour focusing on the economic rationale for the existence and continued influence of bargaining councils in the setting of wages and other working conditions in many sectors in South Africa (contributing author)
  6. A report prepared for a body representing organised business in South Africa on best practice for setting user fees for infrastructure (contributing author)
  7. Masters research report: Decomposing the Gender Wage Gap in South Africa (2001 – 2010): A Matching Comparisons Approach (supervisor: Prof. Miracle Benhura)
  8. Honours long paper: How do the NSC Mathematics marks predict academic performance in the second year of Economics in comparison to the old SC Mathematics marks? (supervisor: Mr Volker Schöer)