Book Launch

Book Launch | The Financial Diaries

04/17 Monday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge and the Oikos working group invite you to join us for the book launch of The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty by Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider. The authors will be in discussion with Ajay Chaudry and Katherine O’Regan.

Deep within the American Dream lies the belief that hard work and steady saving will ensure a comfortable retirement and a better life for one’s children. But in a nation experiencing unprecedented prosperity, even for many families who seem to be doing everything right, this ideal is still out of reach. In The Financial Diaries, Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider draw on the groundbreaking U.S. Financial Diaries, which follow the lives of 235 low- and middle-income families as they navigate through a year. Through the Diaries, Morduch and Schneider challenge popular assumptions about how Americans earn, spend, borrow, and save – and they identify the true causes of distress and inequality for many working Americans.


Jonathan Morduch is Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Executive Director of the Financial Access Initiative there. His research focuses on finance and inequality with a current emphasis on the financial lives of low-income families, and on the economics of markets and social action. His previous books include Portfolios of the Poor: How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day and Banking the World, among others.

Rachel Schneider is Senior Vice President at the Center for Financial Services Innovation, an organization dedicated to improving the financial health of Americans. A sought-after consultant and speaker, her research has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

Ajay Chaudry is former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Services Policy in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and currently a visiting scholar at the NYU Wagner School, where he studies child poverty, the social safety net, and the early childhood care system. He is the author of Putting Children First: How Low-Wage Working Mothers Manage Child Care, and the recently released Cradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality.

Katherine O’Regan is Professor of Public Policy and Planning at NYU Wagner and Faculty Director of the NYU Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. O’Regan served as Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2014-2017. Her primary research interests are at the intersection of poverty and space – the conditions and fortunes of poor neighborhoods and those who live in them.

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