Portrait of Ragui Assaad
252 Humphrey School
Currently reviewing Ph.D. applicants
Global Policy Area
Areas of Expertise
International economic development; labor market analysis; politics and economics of the Middle East and North Africa; poverty in developing countries; quantitative methods; urban planning; women's work in developing countries


Ragui Assaad, professor, researches education, labor policy, and labor market analysis in developing countries with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa. His current work focuses on inequality of opportunity in education, labor markets, transitions from school-to-work, employment and unemployment dynamics, family formation, informality, labor market responses to economic shocks, international migration, including the effects of forced migration.

Assaad is a Research Fellow of the Economic Research Forum in Cairo, Egypt and serves on its board of trustees. He is also Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany. He served as Regional Director for West Asia and North Africa for the Population Council, based in Cairo, Egypt, from 2005 to 2008.

Assaad has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the International Labor Organization, the Ford Foundation, UNICEF and UNDP.


PhD in City & Regional Planning (Cornell University, 1991)

BS in Physics (Stanford University, 1981)

MS in Mechanical Engineering (Stanford University, 1981)

Alhawarin, I., Assaad, R. A. & Elsayed, A. (in press). Migration Shocks and Housing: Short-Run Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Jordan, Journal of Housing Economics,

Assaad, R. (in press). The impact of marriage on women’s employment in the Middle East and North Africa, Feminist Economics,

Sieverding, M., Hesham, M., Ramadan, R. & Assaad, R. (2020). The Care Economy in the Arab States. UN Women:

Krafft, C. & Assaad, R. (2020). Employment’s Role in Enabling and Constraining Marriage in the Middle East and North Africa, Demography, 57(6), 2297-2325

Krafft, C., Assaad, R., Rahman, K. W. & Cumanzala, M. (2020). How Do Small Formal and Informal Firms in the Arab Republic of Egypt Compare?. World Bank, Washington, DC:

Assaad, R. A., Hendy, R., Lassassi, M. & Yassin, S. (2020). Explaining the MENA paradox: Rising educational attainment yet stagnant female labor force participation, Demographic Research, 43(28), 817-850

Assaad, R. (2020). Prospects for Egypt’s Population and Labor Force: 2000 to 2050. Economic Research Forum: Cairo Egypt

Pellicer, M., Assaad, R., Krafft, C. & Salemi, C. (2020). Grievances or skills? The effect of education on youth attitudes and political participation in Egypt and Tunisia, International Political Science Review,

Assaad, R. & Krafft, C. (2020). Excluded generation: the growing challenges of labor market insertion for Egyptian youth, Journal of Youth Studies, 1-27

Assaad, R. A., Krafft, C., Rahman, K. W. & Selwaness, I. (2019). Job Creation in Egypt: A Sectoral and Geographical Analysis Focusing on Private Establishments, 1996-2017. Economic Research Forum: Cairo Egypt

Krafft, C., Razzaz, S., Keo, C. & Assaad, R. (2019). The number and characteristics of Syrians in Jordan: A multi-source analysis. In The Jordanian Labor Market Between Fragility and Resilience.

Kabeer, N., Deshpande, A. & Assaad, R. A. (2019). Women's access to market opportunities in South Asia and the Middle East & North Africa. London School of Economics and Political Science: London United Kingdom

Assaad, R., Hendy, R. & Salehi-Isfahani, D. (2019). Inequality of Opportunity in Educational Attainment in the Middle East and North Africa: Evidence From Household Surveys, INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, 71,

Krafft, C., Assaad, R. A. & Rahman, K. W. (2019). Introducing the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey 2018. Economic Research Forum: Cairo Egypt

Assaad, R. A., Alsharawy, A. & Salemi, C. (2019). Is the Egyptian economy creating good jobs? Job creation and economic vulnerability from 1998 to 2018. Economic Research Forum: Cairo Egypt

Krafft, C., Assaad, R. & Keo, C. (2019). The evolution of labor supply in Egypt from 1988-2018: A gendered analysis. Economic Research Forum: Cairo Egypt

(2019). The Jordanian Labor Market Between Fragility and Resilience. Oxford University Press:

Assaad, R. & Barsoum, G. (2019). Public employment in the Middle East and North Africa, IZA World of Labor,

Assaad, R., Krafft, C. & Salehi-Isfahani, D. (2017). Does the Type of Higher Education Affect Labor Market Outcomes? Evidence from Egypt and Jordan, Higher Education,