The CESR / VU Amsterdam Center for the Study of Health Inequality (CSHI) aims to support, disseminate and communicate research on the causes of health inequality. CSHI is housed within the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) at the University of Southern California (USC) and the Economics Department of Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam. Topics of interest to CSHI are the substantial disparities in health, human capital (e.g., education), and economic outcomes between socioeconomic groups; the role of early childhood endowments, circumstances, and parental investments in explaining later-life health and socioeconomic disparities. An important focus of the center is to make use of recent advances in genetics to inform economic analyses, such as for example, studies of gene-by-environment (GxE) interplay in influencing health outcomes, such as unhealthy behaviors, mortality, late-life cognition, cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s and related dementias. CSHI aims to develop integrated approaches to these issues, developing economic theories to explain empirical findings and make predictions and conducting empirical structural- as well as reduced-form analyses. CSHI brings together researchers from various disciplines within the University of Southern California’s and VU Amsterdam research communities as well as distinguished researchers from outside USC and VU Amsterdam, in such fields as economics (of health, human capital, and labor), epidemiology, psychology, demography, gerontology, public health, biology, and genetics. CSHI seeks to stimulate collaboration and communication between CSHI researchers and develop an infrastructure for its members and the broader research community. For example, we run a social-science genetics seminar / journal club series that is entirely online (Zoom) allowing researchers in Europe and the US to participate (for details, and if you would like to join, see here). CSHI also seeks to inform policymakers and the general public to raise awareness and assist policymaking. CSHI members actively pursue sources of funding for the center, such as from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO), to support its activities. Initial support was provided by CESR and by a National Institute on Aging K02 award (K02 AG042452).

To learn more or join our mailing list, please contact our Director, Titus Galama.

To join our "Zoom" journal club / seminar series in social-science genetics contact Titus Galama.


USC Conference "Polygenic Prediction and its Application in Social Science", April 2017 

Link to USC, polygenic conference program and recorded talks

Link to USC, polygenic conference slides

Link to USC, polygenic conference blog post

USC Polygenic Prediction and its Application in Social Science Conference, December 2018 

Link to USC polygenic conference program and recorded talks

Titus Galama interview with Human here (in Dutch)

Kevin Thom's research presented in The Washington Poshere