Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy in the School of Social Service Administration and Chicago Harris, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, and co-director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab. He also serves as a non-resident senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and co-director of the NBER's working group on the economics of crime. His research focuses on social policy, particularly in the areas of urban poverty, crime, and education.
In the area of urban poverty, Ludwig has participated since 1995 on the evaluation of a HUD-funded randomized residential-mobility experiment known as Moving to Opportunity (MTO), which provides low-income public housing families the opportunity to relocate to private-market housing in less disadvantaged neighborhoods. In the area of crime, Ludwig has written extensively about gun-violence prevention. Through the Crime Lab he is also involved in partnering with policymakers in Chicago and across the country to carry out large-scale policy experiments to identify effective (and cost-effective) ways to help prevent crime and violence. In the area of education he has written extensively about early childhood interventions, and about the role of social conditions in affecting children’s schooling outcomes.
His research has been published in leading scientific journals across a range of disciplines including Science, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, the Economic Journal, and the American Journal of Sociology. His co-authored article on race, peer norms, and education with Philip Cook was awarded the Vernon Prize for best article in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He is also co-author with Cook of Gun Violence: The Real Costs (Oxford University Press, 2000), co-editor with Cook of Evaluating Gun Policy (Brookings Institution Press, 2003), and co-editor with Cook and Justin McCrary of Controlling Crime: Strategies and Tradeoffs (University of Chicago Press, 2012).
Prior to coming to Chicago Harris, Ludwig was a professor of public policy at Georgetown University. He is currently on the editorial boards of American Economic Journal: Policy, the Journal of Quantitative Criminology, and the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and was formerly co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources. In 2012 he was elected vice president of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), the professional society for public policy schools. Ludwig received his BA in economics from Rutgers College and his MA and PhD in economics from Duke University. In 2006 he was awarded APPAM's David N. Kershaw Prize for Contributions to Public Policy by Age 40. In 2012 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.