Cover: Who Gets Ahead? A Review

Who Gets Ahead? A Review

Published 1981

by James P. Smith


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A review of Who Gets Ahead?: The Determinants of Economic Success in America, by Christopher Jencks, et al. Jencks was also senior author of an earlier volume, Inequality. What distinguishes economically successful American men from those less fortunate? How critical to their success were their parents, academic adeptness, college attendance, or the right personality? These are the topics in "an impressive collection of well-documented and carefully executed empirical studies," although the reviewer finds the chapters markedly uneven in quality, not surprising in a book in which 12 authors analyze at least 11 distinct datasets. The reviewer discusses a few key themes of general interest from each chapter and then compares Jencks' Inequality with the new work, Who Gets Ahead?

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