About Christopher Jencks


Christopher Jencks is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy, Emeritus, in the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has held positions at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of California at Santa Barbara. Before entering academic life, he was a fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, (1963-67) and an editor at The New Republic (1961-63). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Editorial Board of The American Prospect.

His recent publications examine changes in the material standard of living over the past generation, changes in the influence of family background on children’s economic success, the social consequences of economic inequality, homelessness, the effects of growing up in poor neighborhoods, and welfare reform.

His books include The Black-White Test Score Gap (with Meredith Phillips, 1998),The Homeless (1995), Rethinking Social Policy (1992), and The Urban Underclass (with Paul Peterson, 1991). He is also the author of The Academic Revolution (with David Riesman, 1968, reissued 2001), Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effects of Family and Schooling in America (with seven co-authors, 1972), and Who Gets Ahead? (with eleven co-authors, 1979).

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