Schaumburg Harper Lecture with Jens Ludwig: Preventing Youth Violence in Chicago

Chicago Booth Alumni Club of Chicago

The University of Chicago Alumni Association

November 7, 2013: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM

In this Harper Lecture, Jens Ludwig will examine the causes and potential remedies for youth violence, drawing examples from the University of Chicago Crime Lab's ongoing projects.


Hyatt Regency Schaumburg
1800 East Golf Road
Schaumburg, Illinois

Event Details

Violence is a major public health and public policy challenge in Chicago, but not just in Chicago. Each year 500,000 people are murdered worldwide. The problem is extremely regressive in its impact, with violence rates that are much higher in developing than developed countries; within countries, it is disproportionately concentrated among the most economically and socially vulnerable populations.

The violence problem is also disproportionately concentrated in almost every society among young people, which exacerbates the public health consequences of the problem. A key goal of public health is to minimize the number of years of potential life lost before age 65; among African American males in the US, nearly as many years of potential life are lost from homicide as from the nation's overall leading cause of death, heart disease. Further, by diverting resources from other pressing uses and driving taxpaying residents and businesses out of the city, violence also exacerbates almost every other policy problem cities face. Ludwig will examine what is known about the key causes and potential remedies for youth violence, drawing on examples from the University of Chicago Crime Lab's ongoing projects.

Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation professor of social service administration, law, and public policy at the University of Chicago, director of the Crime Lab, and codirector of the University's Urban Education Lab. In 2006 he was awarded the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management's David Kershaw Prize for contributions to public policy by age 40, and in 2012 he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.


$20 general admission; $10 recent graduate (College alumni of the past ten years and graduate alumni of the past five years).


Register Online

Deadline: 10/31/2013

Speaker Profiles

Jens Ludwig (Speaker)
McCormick Foundation Professor in the SSA & Harris School; Director, UChicago Crime Lab

Jens Ludwig is the McCormick Foundation Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy in the School of Social Service Administration and the Harris School, 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 the Harris School, 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.


Kelly Doody