Finance Specialization

Jonathan Morduch Joins U.N. Committee to Design Systems of Poverty Measurement

Jonathan Morduch Joins U.N. Committee to Design Systems of Poverty Measurement

NYU Wagner Professor Jonathan Morduch has been appointed to an expert steering committee of a multi-year United Nations project that will focus on designing and implementing systems of poverty measurement. Morduch was also recently interviewed at length about prospects and tensions in microfinance by the director of the United Nations Commission on the Private Sector and Development. The commission aims to identify innovative ways to foster private sector activity that enhances the well-being of low-income households.

Jonathan Morduch Lectures at Asian Development Bank Institute

Jonathan Morduch Lectures at Asian Development Bank Institute

NYU Wagner Professor Jonathan Morduch was the invited lecturer at the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo. Morduch presented new research on financial markets in Indonesia completed in 2002-3 while Morduch was an Abe Fellow and visiting professor at the University of Tokyo. The research finds that a substantial number of very poor households in Indonesia have economic returns to investments that make them viable as bank borrowers. The new findings contrast with arguments made by microfinance experts who have argued that the very poor are inappropriate targets for bank loans. While in Tokyo, Morduch also presented new research at Hitotsubashi University, FASID/GRIPS Institute, The University of Tokyo, and JICA, the Japanese foreign aid agency.

Lt. Gov. Ravitch sizes up state deficit at Rudin Center forum

Lt. Gov. Ravitch sizes up state deficit at Rudin Center forum

Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and Prof. Charles Brecher

     "Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch's appearance at an NYU forum yesterday was overbooked almost as soon as it was announced, and the audience wasn't disappointed as Gov. Paterson's No. 2 let loose on a variety of subjects." So began a Crain's Insider dispatch on Ravitch's bracing, widely reported discussion Oct. 28, 2009, at NYU Wagner on New York State's huge budget challenges and the implications for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which he formerly headed, the $2 transit fare, and the controversial idea of introducing East River bridge tolls.

     Ravitch, a major figure in the development of fiscal practices in the city and state since 1970s, offered his assessments with Wagner's Professor Charles Brecher (moderator) as a guest of the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management, housed at the school, and the Center's director, Anthony Shorris, who previously headed the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. "The State of New York," Ravitch said, "has in the remainder of this fiscal year a deficit of $4 billion--$3 or $4; people argue about it," he said, speaking to students and transportation professionals at NYU's Rudin Center for Transportation Policy. "Next year it's between $7 and $8 [billion], assuming revenues level off. The year after that, when the stimulus bill no loner provides any one-shots for the State of New York, the deficit will be between $15 and $18 billion. These are numbers that are unprecedented."

Hear the full discussion in the Wagner Podcast.

 

 

 

 

 

Micro-insurance: The Next Revolution

Micro-insurance: The Next Revolution

Most citizens and businesses in developing countries cannot buy insurance against common risks; insurance markets are thin and public responses are limited. Health insurance, life insurance, and property insurance are unobtainable for average citizens in most of the world, and this is doubly so for the poorest. Wagner Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics Jonathan Morduch describes why, and how new ideas can change things. Others have so far focused mainly on how to build strong institutions that can provide insurance. In this essay instead the focus is on the design of products that can most help poor customers deal with risks.

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