Ajit Zacharias is a senior scholar and director of the Institute's Distribution of Income and Wealth program. His research interests include concepts and measurement of economic well-being, effects of taxes and government spending on well-being, valuation of noncash transfers, and time use.
Along with other Levy scholars, Zacharias has developed alternative measures of economic welfare and deprivation. The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being (LIMEW) offers a framework that accounts for how changes in labor markets, wealth accumulation, government spending and taxes, and household production shape the economic determinants of standard of living. Levy scholars have utilized the LIMEW to track trends in economic inequality and well-being in the United States. The Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty is aimed at revealing the nexus between income poverty and unpaid work. This measure has been applied to the study of poverty in several Latin American countries, and international collaborative research efforts are being planned to use the measure in examining similar issues elsewhere.
His recent publications include:
- "Trends in American Living Standards and Inequality" (with T. Masterson and E. N. Wolff), Review of Income and Wealth, June 2012;
- "Caste Stratification and Wealth Inequality in India" (with V. Vakulabharanam), World Development, October 2011; and
- “Do Gender Disparities in Employment Increase Profitability? Evidence from the United States” (with M. Mahoney), Feminist Economics, July 2009.
Zacharias holds an MA from the University of Bombay and a Ph.D. from The New School for Social Research.