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:
- "The Emergence and Development of Official Measurements of Economic Well-Being," in S. Payson, ed., Public Economics in the United States: How the Federal Government Analyzes and Influences the Economy (Praeger, 2014);
- "Living Standards in the United States in a Historical and Comparative Perspective: Some Results from the LIMEW Project" (with S. Eren, T. Masterson, and E. Wolff), in D. Greenwood and R. Holt, eds., A Brighter Future: Improving the Standard of Living Now and for the Next Generation (M. E. Sharpe, 2014);
- "Class Structure and Economic Inequality" (with E. N. Wolff), Cambridge Journal of Economics, Vol. 37, No. 6 (November 2013);
- "Household Wealth and the Measurement of Economic Well-Being in the United States" (with E. N. Wolff), in J. B. Davies, ed., The Economics of Wealth Distribution, International Library of Critical Writings in Economics (Edward Elgar, 2013); and
Zacharias holds an MA from the University of Bombay and a Ph.D. from The New School for Social Research.