Sept. 22, 2010
Renee DeGross Valdes, 404-413-1353
Jennifer Giarratano, 404-413-0028
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
ATLANTA – Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies helped to land the Census Bureau’s Atlanta Research Data Center – the government’s highest-level business, social and health statistical data warehouse – placing the region among an exclusive number of locations to house this type of information.
GSU partnered with area institutions including the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, where the new center will be housed; and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The data center’s $1.1 million start-up costs will be funded in part by the National Science Foundation and other member institutions.
“Researchers will be able to access confidential government data in the new Research Data Center for stronger, policy-relevant analysis not otherwise possible, said Barry Hirsch, the project’s principal investigator and an Andrew Young School economics professor.
Hirsch said, “Researchers from universities and other organizations with projects approved by the Census are allowed restricted access to economic, business, demographic and longitudinal employer-household data files not available to the public.
“Access to these data ratchets up the level of research quality in several fields of study,” Hirsch added. “Increasingly, some of the best, most novel research relies on data from Census research centers.”
Julie Hotchkiss, a research economist at the Atlanta Fed and an Andrew Young School adjunct professor, will be executive director of the new center. Its governance board will include representatives from each of the consortium institutions.
Robin Morris, Georgia State’s vice president for research, has developed internal grants that will support university use of the center.
“The Andrew Young School has created a win-win situation for the several institutions that worked together to bring the Research Data Center to Atlanta,” he said. “This center is very important, not just for the university, but also for the region. It will allow access to some of the very best data that the government collects.”
The Census Bureau's selection places Atlanta within an exclusive number of data center locations that include Boston, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., and universities including UCLA, UC-Berkeley, Michigan, Cornell and Duke.
Other research center institution partners in Atlanta include Emory University, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia and University of Alabama at Birmingham.
“We see this center as a major tool in recruiting faculty and graduate students from leading universities,” Hirsch said. “Now they can work with research center data in Atlanta. Its presence enhances the strength of our local research community across the spectrum of social, economic and health research.”