Recent & Ongoing

The Financial Diaries book (2017) builds on 5 years of fieldwork and analysis co-led with Rachel Schneider. The book gives a new view of economic insecurity and poverty in America, drawing on the stories of families across the country and detailed evidence on their financial lives. The University of Manchester’s Diane Coyle named it one of the best economics books of 2017, and the book received a 2018 Axiom Best Business Book Award.

The 2nd edition of Economics, an intro textbook (micro + macro) written with Dean Karlan, came out in February 2017. The book starts with real-world problems and shows how economists think about them (and can help to solve them).

Current projects related to risk, poverty, spending, and markets:

  • Just completed: Consumer demand and payment modalities in Mexico.
  • Being updated: Migration, mobile money, and poverty in Bangladesh.
  • In the middle: Inequality, instability, and race in the US.
  • Slow thinking (& some writing): Global microfinance and financial inclusion (Microfinance as a Credit Card?)

2016-17 was spent on sabbatical at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Selected recent work

Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider, The Financial Diaries: How American Families Cope in a World of Uncertainty (Princeton 2017)

Reviews and coverage / Related writing



Dean Karlan and Jonathan Morduch. Economics, 2nd edition. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, February 2017.



Jonathan Morduch. “Economics and the Social Meaning of Money,” chapter 1 in Nina Bandelj, Frederick F. Wherry and Viviana Zelizer, eds., Money Talks: Explaining How Money Really Works. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 2017.




Jonathan Morduch and Julie Siwicki. 2017. “In and Out of Poverty: Poverty spells and income volatility in the U.S. Financial Diaries.” Social Service Review 91 (3): September 2017: 390-421.

Robert Cull, Jonathan Morduch, and Asli Demirgüç-Kunt. “The Microfinance Business Model: Enduring Subsidy and Modest Profit.” World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS7786, July 2016. Blog post. Forthcoming, World Bank Economic Review.

Jonathan Bauchet, Jonathan Morduch, and Shamika Ravi. “Failure vs Displacement: Why an innovative anti-poverty program showed no net impact in South India.” Journal of Development Economics 116, September 2015: 1-16.

Robert Cull, Jonathan Morduch, and Asli Demirgüç-Kunt. “Banks and Microbanks.” Journal of Financial Services Research 46 (1), August 2014: 1-53.

David Roodman and Jonathan Morduch. “The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence.” Journal of Development Studies 50 (4), April 2014: 583-604. [Appendix.] [Drafts, code, data, more.]