Ajit Zacharias is a senior scholar and director of the Institute's Distribution of Income and Wealth program. His research primarily focuses on the theory, measurement, and analysis of economic well-being and deprivation.
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, Turkey, South Korea, Tanzania, and Ghana.
His recent publications include:
- “The Impact of Investing in Social Care on Employment Generation, Time- and Income-Poverty by Gender: A Macro-Micro Simulation for Turkey” (with Ipek Ilkkaracan, Kijong Kim, Thomas Masterson, and Emel Memis), World Development, Vol. 144, Art. 105476 (August 2021);
- “The Great Recession and Racial Inequality: Evidence from Measures of Economic Well-Being” (with Edward N. Wolff, Thomas Masterson, and Fernando Rios-Avilla), Journal of Economic Issues, Vol. 53, No. 4 (December 2019; winner of the Editor’s Award for Best Paper published in 2019);
- “Time and Income Poverty in the City of Buenos Aires” (with R. Antonopoulos, V. Esquivel, and T. Masterson), in Rachel Connelly and Ebru Kongar, eds., Gender and Time Use in a Global Context: The Economics of Employment and Unpaid Labor (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017);
- "The Measurement of Time and Income Poverty," in I. Hirway, ed., Mainstreaming Unpaid Work: Time-use Data in Developing Policies (Oxford University Press, 2017); and
- "A Comparison of Inequality and Living Standards in Canada and the United States Using an Extended Income Measure" (with E. N. Wolff, T. Masterson, S. Eren, and A. Sharpe), Eastern Economic Journal, Vol. 42, No. 2 (Spring 2016).
Zacharias holds an MA from the University of Bombay and a Ph.D. from The New School for Social Research.