Conference focuses on how neighborhoods affect education, employment, and health

Conference focuses on how neighborhoods affect education, employment, and health

November 29, 2006


This one-day conference--Causal Inference in Neighborhood-based Research--will bring together preeminent thinkers in the field to assess research on the impact of neighborhoods. Does a neighborhood affect health and other outcomes or is where people choose to live simply a marker for other, more crucial factors? The difference matters for those who think about neighborhoods as a target for public policy.

Highlight: The afternoon session
1:30 to 3:30 Moving to Opportunity or the Opportunity to Move: Will look at conflicting interpretations of studies of efforts to move families from high-poverty urban neighborhoods to middle-class suburbs. What, if any, are the benefits for children who make the move?


The University of Chicago Law School
1111 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL
Please Note: The main conference venue is filled to capacity (300 seats); there will be a live video feed to a nearby room.

When and Who

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 1, 2006

9–10:30 Sociological and Economic Perspectives

  • Robert Sampson, PhD, Harvard University, on crime, deviance, neighborhood effects and the social organization of cities.
  • Charles Manski, PhD, Northwestern University, on the problems of identification and statistical inference that arise when studying treatment response and making treatment choices.

10:45–12:30 Study Design and Methodological Approaches in Observational Studies

  • Sean Reardon, PhD, Stanford University, on the relative contribution of family, school, and neighborhood environments to racial/ethnic and socioeconomic achievement disparities.
  • Stephen Raudenbush, EdD, University of Chicago, on the effects of social settings such as schools, and neighborhoods on change.
  • Ana Diez-Roux, PhD, University of Michigan, no how residential environments shape the distribution of cardiovascular risk.
  • Tyler VanderWeele, PhD, University of Chicago, on causal inference, epidemiologic methods and statistical applications in the biomedical and social sciences

1:30–3:30 Moving to Opportunity or the Opportunity to Move: Can We Resolve Our Differences about Causal Inferences?

  • Jeffrey Kling, PhD, the Brookings Institution, on moving out of high-poverty neighborhoods.
  • Douglas Massey, PhD, Princeton University, on international migration, race and housing, discrimination, education and urban poverty.
  • Micere Keels, PhD, University of Chicago, on how urban children perceive their neighborhood, peer, school, and family environments.
  • Jeffrey Smith, PhD, University of Michigan, on social programs such as job training for the disadvantaged.
  • James Rosenbaum, PhD, Northwestern on the effects of the Gautreaux public housing relocation program in Chicago.

3:45–4:45 Commentary and Panel Discussion
Moderator Michelle Obama, JD, the University of Chicago Medical Center, on neighborhood policy issues and how an institution can be a good neighbor, followed by panel discussion.

Media are welcome to attend. Please call for assistance in parking.

This conference is produced by the Chicago Center of Excellence in Health Promotion Economics, which is a project in the University of Chicago's Center for Health and the Social Sciences. Co-sponsors include: the University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Health Research and Policy, the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy (CHPPP), the Center for Interdisciplinary Health Disparities Research (U. Chicago), the RWJ Foundation Findings Answers: Disparities Research for Change National Program Office (U Chicago), and the Center for Health Administration Studies (U. Chicago).