NYU Wagner awards Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion research prize to Professor Jonathan Morduch

Jonathan J. Morduch

Jonathan J. Morduch, Professor of  Public Policy & Economics, is the recipient of NYU Wagner's second annual Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) research prize. As part of NYU Wagner's schoolwide EDI plan, the award highlights the importance of, and encourages, research on these critical topics. 

Professor Morduch’s prize-winning paper explores the intersection of “Wealth Inequality, Income Volatility, and Race.” In this groundbreaking research, Morduch and his co-researchers demonstrate that economic instability flows partly from varying and unpredictable income, work and needs. Instability is then reinforced by a lack of tools and resources to protect standards of living over time. Many households, he writes, experience impermanent shocks, and difficulties addressing them.

“Some families can rely on stable work and income,” according to the summary in the April 2019 paper, coauthored by Bradley Hardy of American University, William Darity, Jr., of Duke University, and Darrick Hamilton of Ohio State University. “Others have wealth and other mechanisms sufficient to buffer the ups and downs. Too many families, though, are doubly disadvantaged.”

This problem of economic precariousness is more common for black than white households, data show.

Dr. Morduch’s outstanding research speaks to major issues of wealth inequality around the world and what can be done about them.