Christopher Jencks

Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy, Emeritus
Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy
Office Address
Mailing Address
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Mailbox 104
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-495-0546
Fax: 617-496-9053
Email: christopher_jencks@Harvard.Edu
Jessica McClanahan (617-495-8763)
Christopher Jencks


Christopher Sandy Jencks is the Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy. He has taught at Harvard, Northwestern, the University of Chicago, and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Earlier, he was a Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC (1963 to 1967) and an editor of theNew Republic (1961 to 1963). He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the American Prospect. His recent research deals with changes in family structure over the past generation, the costs and benefits of economic inequality, the extent to which economic advantages are inherited, and the effects of welfare reform. His books include The Academic Revolution (with David Riesman); Inequality: Who Gets Ahead?; The Urban Underclass (with Paul Peterson); Rethinking Social Policy; The Homeless; and The Black White Test Score Gap (with Meredith Phillips).

Click here for his papers at the Social Science Research Network

Media Expertise

Christopher Jencks welcomes media inquiries on the following subjects:

Additional experts may be found by clicking on each subject listed. You may contact faculty directly or if you need assistance contact the Communications Office at 617-495-1115.


For a complete list of faculty citations from 2001 - present, please visit the HKS Faculty Research Connection.

Selected Publication Citations:

  • Academic Journal/Scholarly Articles
    • Truesdale, Beth C., and Christopher Jencks. "The Health Effects of Income Inequality: Averages and Disparities." Annual Review of Public Health 37 (March 2016): 413-430.
    • Jennings, Jennifer L., David Deming, Christopher Jencks, Maya Lopuch, and Beth E. Schueler. "Do Differences in School Quality Matter More Than We Thought? New Evidence on Educational Opportunity in the Twenty-first Century." Sociology of Education 88.1 (January 2015): 56-82.
  • Reviews
    • Jencks, Christopher. "Why the Very Poor Have Become Poorer." Review of $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, by Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. The New York Review of Books, 63.10, June 9, 2016: 15-17.
    • Jencks, Christopher. "Did We Lose the War on Poverty?—II." Review of Legacies of the War on Poverty, ed. Martha J. Bailey and Sheldon Danziger. New York Review of Books, 62.7, April 23, 2015: 37-39.

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