Origions : book review

I just went through an excellent book *Origions* on child pre birth time and its effects on her future life. This book shows research findings on how the time in womb makes the life after birth. The author in the book narrates results of several studies that found impact of what mother listens, eats, feels and faces during the time of pregnancy. Mother who drinks carrot juice during pregnancy, make the baby preferences for carrot flavored food items. Furthermore, baby listens in womb of mothers while being a fetus, but the only voice the fetus can listen to, is her mother’s voice. This is the reason why new born baby prefers to hear her mother’s voice over all the other voices. Even baby cries in their mother’s accent; French babies cry on rising notes while German babies cry on falling notes. Written by Ashar Awan


On My Wellbeing Philosophy

Wellbeing defined as objective or subjection evaluation of person’s life evaluation, is growing topic of concern among economists. The reason is; the prime objective of social arrangements, public policy and political regimes is to improve the general wellbeing level of the society’s’ members.

Subjective wellbeing unlike objective wellbeing has diversity in factors that effects each person, because, every individual in different from other individuals. The diversity in human being ranges from likes, choices, abilities to finger prints and retina. This diversity in abilities and choices may affect the set of factors that influence our subjective wellbeing. Therefore, diversity in determinants of subjective wellbeing exists across cultures.

My subjection wellbeing, in my own opinion depends on some factors that changes over time. In my early days of life, self confidence, power to express my feelings, communication skills and presentation skill heavily influence my wellbeing. But, a decade after, I transcend these achievements and I feel no more influence of these factors on my wellbeing. Nowadays, getting up early, taking exercise, doing brisk walk, having nice pair of joggers, having enough time for my friends, sustained livelihood and dutifulness in my job (I am teacher by profession) makes me happy and satisfied. I am less concerned about my appearance now, which was my prime concern in teenage, however, my inner self, issues like trickery, jealousy and lust are these days my major concerns, and these make my wellbeing.

STATA Kernel density function PSLM

Try to use the following command, if you have ‘wage’ variable that take income and gender variable ‘sbq04’ otherwise, change the names as per your data sets.

. kdensity wage, nograph generate(x fx)
. kdensity wage if sbq04==1, nograph generate(fx0) at(x)
. kdensity wage if sbq04==2, nograph generate(fx1) at(x)
. label var fx0 “Male”
. label var fx1 “Female”
. line fx0 fx1 x, sort ytitle(Density)

PSLM STATA – How to calcuate education of household head

Asalaam o Alaikum,

To calculate education of household head in a new variable lets say – hhedu

. egen hhedu = total(( s1aq02 == 1) * s2bq05) , by( hhcode)

/* I use PSLM 2011-12 data/variable names */

Create a new variable hhedu which stores information for each household member about his/her household head education.

. egen hhedu = total(( s1aq02 == 1) * s2bq05) , by( hhcode)

This command can ne edited to capture information about age of household head, income of household head etc. Your just need to replace s2bq05 with age variable or income variable.

Hope it helps.

PSLM STATA – How to calculate number of child less than 5 years

Asalam o Alikum,

As you know, Pakistan Social and Living Measure (PSLM) has published data set for 2014-15, which is available online at FBS website, its need emerges even more.

Today, I am going to share the method for calculating a variable which will be calculated after counting number of children in each family who are under 5 years age.

In SATA just type command

. egen nchild5=total (age<=5), by ( hhcode )

egen will generate a new variable
gives it value of total number of children who are less than 5 years, and give this value with in each house hold.

Good luck

PSLM – How to calculate household size


Go to Aggregate in Data
Click household size (HHcode) as break variable , click number of cases , click ok


If each row/observation in your data is a household. Find a variable that is always present if there is a household member and always missing if there is no household member, such as gender, and use the egen command with a function to count the non-missing values of that variable:

egen hhsize=rownomiss(gender1-gender20)

If instead each observation is a person in the household, then you can use egen with the count function by the household identifier to do the same thing:

bysort hhid: egen hhsize=count(gender)

This second application of egen (using “by”) will put the same value of hhsize on each member of the household.
Credit: http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2008-08/msg01247.html

Ethics and Economics

While i am teaching ethics and economics in Kashmir Institute of Economics, I will post useful stuff in this category.

Hope bigners in this field wil get benefit from this blog.

You will find links to books and useful stuff in this category.


Ashar Awan

Economics of Religion

Dear friends,

It is no doubt a big debate that in the presence of Chritian Economics and Islamic economics, do we need a separate economics of religion. The most common critics on economics of religion are;

1. What problem we actually want to solve by economic analysis of religion?

2. Do we need to test empirically the righteousness of any religion?

3. If unbiased research is conducted, are we waging a war against religions?

4. Do we have a appropriate framework to study role of religion in economics?

5. Is it right time to go for economics of religion before developing religion independent religiosity scales?

Dear readers in the presence of all these questions, people interested in economics of religion have to combat for the challenges.

Measuring Religiosity

Dear friends, Asalam o alikum!

Economist and sociologist interested in religious analysis, have to face the problem of measuring religiosity level of individuals. Measuring religiosity is a big issue in the way of researchers from last many years. We do not find any consensus in measuring social capital to date, then a complex matter of measuring religiosity will take huge time to get resolved.

My interest and experience is only related to Islamic side, and I am unable to comment on any other religion. Identifying the indicators of religiosity to develop scales for measuring religiosity is a whirlpool of different theories.

Muslims believe that Allah knows who is more religious and who is less. According to my point of view, Takwa is the standard criteria of religiosity. But Takwa is not measurable because of two reasons; no one know the intention of a person who perform religious prayers, second, Takwa is not only performing obligatory prayers, but it is to stay away from all wrong doings all the time, which are not measurable.

Coming back to the conventional method of counting prayer/mosque attendance (like church attendance), if it is a proxy used as measure of religiosity, it is able to give right results for macro studies with huge sample size. Mosque attendance is a good indicator for religiosity where as it also has some critical issues.

1. Male go for prayers but female don’t go, because it is not obligatory for them in Islamic jurisprudence.

2. Mosque attendance has an alternative of praying at home, in office or in car/vehicle in exceptional cases.

3. It is permissble in Islam to stay at home for prayer when it is raining outside or cold.

4. Shia Islam demands 3 times arrival at mosque for prayer.

5. Exceptions are there in mosque attendence scale also, for example, employee of mosque who works there are Moazzan, Qari have to pray as this is part of their job.

[see the article Issues on measuring religiosity by Hamdani, Syed Nisar Hussain (2007) conference paper, Iran]