Expanding Access to Census Data: The Boston Research Data Center (RDC) and Beyond

  • Mcguckin, Robert R. (PI)
  • Gray, Wayne W. (CoPI)
  • Pakes, Ariel A. (CoPI)
  • Caballero, Ricardo R. (CoPI)
  • Cooper, Russell Wade (CoPI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


9311572 McGuckin This project greatly expands researchers' access to confidential longitudinal microeconomic data. Currently, these data are available only to researchers working at Center for Economic Studies (CES) offices at the headquarters of the U.S. Bureau of the Census near Washington, D.C. The project will establish a pilot Research Data Center (RDC) at the Boston regional office of the Census Bureau. This pilot RDC will give researchers a second location where they will be able to carry out research projects, in a manner that serves the needs of the research community and the security concerns of the Census Bureau. The project will use the experience gained at the Boston pilot RDC to develop plans (including sources of funding) for establishing RDCs at other secure locations, possibly including universities, and preliminary evaluation methods to provide researchers with remote access to the data. This proposal includes four research projects to start the Boston RDC, and provides for an early Request for Proposals, open to all researchers, to obtain more projects. Researchers will have access to confidential micro-panel files built from data collected under the Census Bureau's various economic censuses and surveys, including data on business establishments ,e.g., manufacturing plants and firms, and including extended databases on research and development expenditures, pollution abatement cost expenditure data, and data on establishment emissions of toxins, air pollution and water pollution. This project is important for the global change initiative because it provides researchers better access to the data needed to study a wide range of issues related to industrial activity and the environment. An important objective of the RDCs, already a part of many CES projects, is to combine publicly available and confidential data sets from within and outside the Census Bureau to create new databases and expand research opportunities. In this way, the RDCs will becomes secure repositories of a variety of datasets for research purposes.

Effective start/end date2/1/947/31/97


  • National Science Foundation: $404,991.00


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