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Distribution of Income, Wealth, and Well-Being

The Levy Institute has maintained, since its inception, an active research program on the distribution of earnings, income, and wealth. Research in this area includes studies on the economic well-being of the elderly, public and private pensions, well-being over the life course, the role of assets in economic well-being, and the determinants of wealth accumulation.

In addition, it is widely recognized that existing official measures of economic well-being need to be improved in order to generate accurate cross-sectional and intertemporal comparisons. The picture of economic well-being can vary significantly depending on the measure used. Alternative measures are also crucially important for the formulation and evaluation of a wide variety of social and economic policies. The Levy Institute Measure of Economic Well-Being and related research is aimed at bridging this gap.

This program area offers a broad view of what an economy is and how it functions, bringing into the analysis not only paid work but also unpaid work (subsistence activities, caring for household members, community volunteer work) as an integral and key component of any economy. Research on the intersection of gender inequality, expanded income, and time poverty was central to the development of the Levy Institute Measure of Time and Income Poverty, a new, innovative income measure that accounts for the negative impact time deficits exert on living standards. Related studies include the effects of child-care subsidies on poverty and integrating time use into the formulation of public policy.

Core Team

Ajit Zacharias

Ajit Zacharias

Senior Scholar, Levy Economics Institute

Thomas Masterson

Thomas Masterson

Research Scholar and Director of Applied Micromodeling, Levy Economics Institute

Fernando Rios-Avila

Fernando Rios-Avila

Research Scholar, Levy Economics Institute


The Levy Institute has published 1710 research publications to date.

Levy Publications

Kijong Kim, ─░pek Ilkkaracan, Tolga Kaya, January 2017

Tanweer Akram, Anupam Das, January 2017

Thomas Masterson, Ajit Zacharias, Fernando Rios-Avila, Edward N. Wolff, January 2017