Contributions of the acclaimed economic theorist Nanak Kakwani will be celebrated Sept. 28

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The international event will feature a number of keynote presentations and is organized by Glendon Professors Omar F. Hamouda and Betsey Price. Pre-registration is required, all are welcome.

The two Glendon professors are playing an integral role in an international event to mark the contributions of the acclaimed economic theorist, Nanak Kakwani. The event, which will feature the launch of a special issue of the Journal of Income Distribution dedicated to Kakwani along with an accompanying celebratory event, will take place on Sept. 28 over Zoom, is open to the University community. Pre-registration is required and can be completed at

Nanak Kakwani
Nanak Kakwani

The launch of the special issue of the Journal of Income Distribution in honor of Kakwani’s legacy on the “Study of Income Inequality, Poverty, and Tax Progressivity,” will feature contributions from an impressive number of keynote speakers, including economists and thought leaders Jacques Silber, Hyun Son, Stephen Jenkins, Nora Lustig, Gary Fields, Kunal Sen and Francisco Ferreira.

The gathering introduces the next issue of the journal, guested edited by Jacques Silber and Hyun Son, on the central theme of “Nanak Kakwani’s Legacy on the Study of Income Inequality, Poverty, and Tax Progressivity.”

Kakwani’s imposing and inspiring theoretical and empirical economic contributions are impressive, both in depth and breath. The central focus of his research is the development of measurement tools needed to evaluate poverty, inequality, and disparity and to provide the empirical evidence and policy guidance required to help lift the underprivileged from their deprivation and destitution. He has developed many statistical methods and sets of indices, along the lines of the Lorenz curve, the Gini coefficient, and social-welfare functions, that bear his name, as published in the top economics journals: Econometrica, Econometric Theory, Applied Econometrics, Applied Welfare Economics, Quantitative Economics, the International Economic Review, and many others, including the Journal of income Distribution, Journal of Economic Inequality, and the Review of Income and Wealth

Aware that poverty has multidimensional characteristics and consequences, Kakwani has skillfully set out to disentangle its facets through theoretical and empirical methodologies. He investigates and studies the various aspects of deprivation and tackles each one from the angles of its specific impact on growth, taxation, standard of living, social protections, prices, labour opportunities or health prospects. In each of his studies, Kakwani’s intuitive approach is original and has pioneered empirical research in economic development.

Kakwani’s theoretical research in the concept of measurement was designed mostly for empirical performance application in specific case studies, in either one or a group of countries: poverty levels in Côte d’Ivoire, redistribution in Australia, poverty alleviation in India, aging in Africa, growth and the labour market in Brazil, cash transfers in African countries, inequality in Thailand, social pensions for the elderly in Sub-Saharan Africa, welfare in Ukraine, poverty program in China, and many other international comparison studies in welfare and growth performance. Dozens of examples of his studies are published in applied journals and various international organizations, such as the United Nations (UN), the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.  

Kakwani has advised many governments and worked for many international organizations, such as UN Development Program (UNDP) director and chief economist of what was then called the International Poverty Centre UNDP, consultant to the Welfare and Human Resources Division of the World Bank, and economist of the Brazilian Development Bank.

The Journal of Income Distribution is hosting the event in connection with the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research in Mannheim. The editorial office of the Journal of Income Distribution is housed at the Glendon Campus at York University. Its website, and its electronic publication are hosted by the Digital Scholarship Centre of York University Libraries.

Online and print versions of the publication of the special issue in honor of Kakwani are available by individual or institutional subscription, available at: