Derek Neal, Robert George. The University of Chicago Pathways to Adulthood Data Enclave (UC-PADE). ($250K)

Our proposed work draws on many different administrative data sources to create a complete description of the transitions from school to adult life among Chicago Public School (CPS) students. We will document the mappings between family experiences, school experiences, and adult outcomes such as post-secondary schooling, employment, and involvement in the criminal justice system. Further, we will provide a foundation on which other Pathways scholars can build. We will create a collection of Pathways files that contain relevant variables from various administrative data sources. These files will share a common rectangular format that allows researchers to easily merge data from many different sources to create analysis samples for future Pathways work. Further, we will create documentation files that allow researchers to use these data correctly without having to hire a staff of database analysts to decipher records in administrative databases. Our descriptive work will inform the work of future Pathways by establishing important descriptive facts about the Pathways that Chicago children take. By mapping information about both home and school environments to a broad array of young adult outcomes, we will inform subsequent work on the reasons that young persons drop out of school, become involved in crime, or fail to secure stable employment. By creating a clean and well-documented collection of research data sets for other Pathways scholars to use, we will facilitate work that seeks to evaluate changes in various educational programs, welfare policies, or criminal justice procedures during recent decades.


Derek Neal
University of Chicago, Department of Economics


Robert Goerge
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago