Increasing Researcher Access to Federal Administrative Data:
A Project of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics

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Project Information Summary

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“Federal administrative data on households and businesses represents a vast, largely untapped resource for the understanding of the U.S. economy and more generally to the well-being of the U.S. population. Limited access by a relatively small number of scholars has already resulted in path breaking insights on topics ranging from the role of business startups in job creation, to the key determinants of successful outcomes for K-12 students, as well as to the widening polarization and inequality in wages and incomes across individuals. The scientific and policy community increasingly recognizes that studies of key economic outcomes need to be grounded on studies based on data that has detailed variation in the economic, demographic and geographic characteristics of firms, workers and households. Federal administrative data has the potential to provide the necessary data for such studies without imposing additional costs on taxpayers or burden to survey recipients [while protecting the privacy and confidentiality of the underlying data]”

John Haltiwanger, Distinguished University Professor
Dept. of Economics, University of Maryland
"As response rates to household surveys fall and as the need for more accurate and detailed information on households and firms for research and policy has risen, the need for greater access to governmental administrative data has become more acute. Government data on household incomes, employment, wages, jobs, fringe benefits, school performance of children, and firm activities--often with large, "big data" sample sizes--are a veritable gold mine of information which has scarcely been tapped.”

Robert Moffitt,
Krieger-Eisenhower Professor of Economics
Johns Hopkins University

Members of the Advisory Committee on COPAFS Project,

“Increasing Researcher Access to Federal Administrative Data”

 (as of March 20, 2014)

Mary Bohman, Administrator, Economic Research Service

Steven J. Breckler, Executive Director, Science Directorate, American Psychological Association

Paul T. Decker, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mathematica Policy Research

Wayne Gray, Professor of Economics, Clark Univeristy

John Haltiwanger, Dudley and Louisa Dillard Professor of Economics and Distinguished University Professor, University of Maryland

Maurine Haver, Founder and President, Haver Analytics

Ron Jarmin, Assistant Director for Research and Methodology, U.S. Census Bureau

Julia Lane, Senior Managing Economist, American Institutes for Research

Shelly Martinez, Office of Statistical and Science Policy, Office of Management and Budget, The White House

Edward B. Montgomery, Dean, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University