The Applied Economics Research Centre was established in 1973, with funding from the Ford Foundation and the Provincial Government of Sindh. Later, AERC was recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Government of Pakistan as an â€œInstitution of National Capability in Applied Economicsâ€. The AERC has its own Board of Governors, with representation from federal and provincial governments, State Bank of Pakistan, FPCCI, Representatives of Syndicate, Academic Council of the University and members from other institutions. All appointments at the AERC are governed by its Service Rules. From its inception, the Centre has undertaken research on issues in applied economics, with special interest being focused in the areas of agriculture, human resources, urban and regional economics, and public finance. The major functions of the AERC are policy-oriented core/academic research, contract research for national and international clients, post-graduate teaching, and to provide advisory services to various government agencies. The AERC undertakes research on issues in applied economics, with focus on urban and regional economics, agriculture economics, human resource development, public finance, poverty, health and nutrition, industrial economics, international trade, environment and gender issues. The research is based on primary data collection carried out by the AERC itself through surveys and analyses of secondary data from published national and international sources.
Advisory services are being provided to federal, provincial and local governments through participation of AERC staff in various Advisory Bodies, Working Groups and Tasks Forces. To name a few, like State Bank of Pakistan, and other banks; financial institutions like Asian Development Bank, The World Bank, USAID, United Nations Organization, International Food Policy Research Institute, and many other private organizations have been the clients of the AERC from time to time. Being a public sector institution, the AERC is exempted from Income Tax.
The Centre is also undertaking thematic research on specific issues and current problems. The Centreâ€™s research work is disseminated to policy-makers and interested audience through its publications, in the shape of Research Report and Discussion Papers Series. Moreover an internationally-refereed bi-annual journal, viz. â€œPakistan Journal of Applied Economicsâ€, is being published regularly.