Finance Specialization

Does Financial Literacy Alone Lead to Good Financial Decisions?

Does Financial Literacy Alone Lead to Good Financial Decisions?

NYU Wagner Professor Jonathan Morduch and Public Service Fellow Barbara Kiviat have written a fascinating paper on financial literacy for the McGraw-Hill Research Foundation, entitled "From Financial Literacy to Financial Action."

The paper examines how financial know-how, seen as a tool important to the success of micro-lending strategies in developing countries, can be utilized to help people "turn financial aspirations into meaningful actions" and "develop and stick to concrete financial plans."

Morduch is a professor of public policy and economics at NYU Wagner and the managing director of the Financial Access Initiative (FAI), where Kiviat offers a blog post about  the full white paper. She is a David Bohnett Public Service Fellow at Wagner and a research associate at the Financial Access Initiative.

Economist's Paper Calls for New Research Agenda on Emigration

Economist's Paper Calls for New Research Agenda on Emigration

An article that Michael A. Clemen researched as a Visiting Scholar at NYU Wagner and the Department of  Economics is generating a great deal of discussion.  "Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk?" focuses on the vast economic losses that result from tightly binding limitations on emigration imposed by destination countries such as the United States (where, for example, the 2010 Diversity Visa Lottery attracted 13.6 million applications for 50,000 visas, mainly from people in developing countries). When it comes to the many policies that restrict emigration, the few estimates of the economic losses to the receiving countries "should make economists' jaws hit their desks," writes Clemens, a Senior Fellow with the Center for Global Development, Washington, D.C., adding "there appears to be trillion-dollar bills on the sidewalk." Yet economists and researchers tend not to focus on what is perhaps "the greagest single class of distortions in the global economy," he notes. Clemens explores why that is so, and goes on to propose a new research agenda.

En Route to MPA, NYU Wagner Student chooses Finance Specialization – and wins Fellowship at Citizens Budget Commission

En Route to MPA, NYU Wagner Student chooses Finance Specialization – and wins Fellowship at Citizens Budget Commission

Meghan L. Haenn, an MPA student at NYU Wagner, has been chosen by the highly respected Citizens Budget Commission as a CBC Public Policy Fellow for 2014-15. The one-year paid fellowship, awarded to two New York City public policy students in the final year of their degree program, will enable Meghan to conduct research on New York City government finances and services with the nonpartisan, nonprofit civic organization.

Meghan majored in history at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and worked on an important initiative to help her alma mater re-allocate operating expenses to financial aid and other parts of the university’s core mission. One of her supervisors on the project, Rogan Kersh, Wake Forest’s provost and a former professor of public policy and associate dean for NYU Wagner, helped her think deeply about the public policy schools that might be right for her.

At first blush, applying to a graduate program in New York City seemed very unlikely. She was just too proud a Philadelphia native, she explained. But she made two exploratory visits to NYU Wagner and found herself impressed by the top-ranked school’s “sense of community,” philosophy of “educating at the intersections,” and  ready access to many career opportunities.

Last September, Meghan started full-time at NYU Wagner where she a found an unexpected acumen for finance. After she performed well in Daniel L. Smith’s class on financial management, Professor Smith encouraged Meghan to make finance her specialization, which she did. Not only that, she was recently elected as the treasurer of the Wagner Student Association.

NYU Wagner’s strong spirit, rigorous and supportive faculty, and dynamic location in the heart of downtown New York City have all enriched her graduate school experience. She’s working this summer in the city at Accenture on a higher education consulting project. Come this September, the Citizens Budget Commission fellowship begins, and she’ll resume working toward her MPA degree.

“NYU Wagner is a great opportunity to apply and further develop the skills that I’ve been acquiring,” she said. “It has given me a lot in such a short amount of time!”

Evaluating the World Bank

Evaluating the World Bank

The World Bank is one of the most influential�and sometimes controversial--providers of knowledge about international development and growth. A frank review of World Bank research between 1998 and 2005 has been completed by an external panel at the request of the World Bank�s chief economist.
The panel included Angus Deaton (Chair), Princeton University; Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University; Abhijit Banerjee, M.I.T.; and Nora Lustig, Director of the Poverty Group at UNDP.
NYU Wagner�s Professor Jonathan Morduch participated in the review with responsibility for evaluating research on finance and private sector development.
The report with responses by Francois Bourgignon, the Chief Economist, and Joseph Stiglitz, a former Chief Economist, is available at: http://econ.worldbank.org
In January, 2007, Professor Morduch was invited to join the Editorial Board of the World Bank Economic Review, the world�s most widely read scholarly economic journal. His term ends in December 2009.

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