About Rucker C. Johnson


Rucker C. Johnson is a leading researcher on the causes and consequences of racial disparities and inequalities in the United States, and he is one of the most important scholars of his generation in proposing creative public policy remedies for the same. Trained as a labor economist, Johnson has specialized in the economics of education, and his work has been extremely important in advancing contemporary understandings of the effects of poverty and inequality on the life chances of youth, though creative applications of historical data and novel advancements in research methods.

Professional positions
  • 2004–present: Assistant (2004–2011), associate (2011–2019), and Chancellor’s (2019–present) Professor of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2002–2004: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research, University of Michigan
Notable publications
  • Johnson, Rucker C., and Alexander Nazaryan. 2019. Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works. New York, NY: Basic Books/Russell Sage Foundation.
  • Jackson, Kirabo, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico. 2015. “The effects of school spending on education & economic outcomes: Evidence from school finance reforms.” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 131(1): 157–218.
  • Johnson, Rucker, and Stephen Raphael. 2012. “How much crime reduction does the marginal prisoner buy?” Journal of Law and Economics 55(2): 275–310.
  • Johnson, Rucker C., Ariel Kalil, and Rachel E. Dunifon. 2010. Mothers’ Work and Children’s Lives: Low-Income Families after Welfare Reform. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  • PhD, economics, University of Michigan
  • MA, economics, University of Michigan
  • BA, economics, Morehouse College
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