Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy in the School of Social Service Administration, director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, and co-director of the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab. He also serves as 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.
Jens' 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 in 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 also partners 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.
Jens received his 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. Jens is Co-Chair of J-PAL's Crime, Violence, & Conflict sector.