Professor Zaki Wahhaj

Professor of Economics
+44 (0)1227 824713
Professor Zaki Wahhaj


Zaki Wahhaj is a Professor of Economics. He obtained his BSc in Economics with Mathematics from Yale University, and a PhD in Economics from MIT. Following his PhD, he spent two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Research in Economic Development (CRED) at the University of Namur, Belgium, and three years as lecturer in development economics at the Department of International Development (ODID), University of Oxford. He joined the University of Kent in 2012 and became a Professor of Economics in 2022. He is Co-Director of the Development Economics Research Centre at Kent (DeReCK) and Associate Editor of the academic journal 'Economica'.

Research interests

Zaki's main fields of research are in economic development and applied theory. His current research deals, broadly, with the themes of social norms and household decision-making in developing countries, including work on: 

  • marriage markets in developing countries
  • household decision-making in developing countries  
  • access to finance for marginalised groups  
  • evolution of social norms and informal institutions  

Zaki is Co-Director of the Development Economics Research Group at Kent (DeReCK).  

His RePEc page is



Zaki is presently looking to supervise PhD students in the following research areas:

  • intra-household decision-making
  • social and cultural norms
  • financial access  
  • informal and formal insurance
  • social networks
  • health and education in developing countries.

Current students

  • Benjamin Loba (registered 2022)  
  • Maliha Rahanaz (registered 2019)

Past students


Administrative roles

  • HSS Divisional Impact and Engagement Lead  
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