Monthly Archives: April, 2009

Data Snapshots – ICPSR

ICPSR is the largest archive of social science data in the world, and a resource that every researcher should be familiar with.

Click this link for a quick video introduction to ICPSR and its data collections.  This is the high resolution version of the file.

For a faster download, try the lower resolution YouTube version:

Data Snapshots is a series of introductory videos on major data resources and data finding techniques.  You can find other Data Snapshots here.

ICPSR is the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.  To go directly to ICPSR without viewing the video, click here.

Thailand Migrant Labor

The Nang Rong project has surveyed workers and families in Thailand.  The surveys were part of three waves of data collection conducted in 1984, 1994, and 2000. The baseline was established in 1984 when a community survey and a household census were conducted in 51 study villages.  Data is available on  incomes, agricultural conditions, family structure, and more.  Members of the original survey group were then tracked across their migration to cities and other rural areas in Thailand.

National Couples Survey, 2005-2006

The National Couples Survey, 2005-2006, is now available.  This survey obtained separate, parallel reports from both partners, providing unique and detailed data on the power relations, birth desires, method-related expectancies, values, perceptions, preferences, and behaviors of men and women making contraceptive and disease prevention choices within the context of an intimate heterosexual relationship.

Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856

Developed by Theodore Hershberg as part of the Philadelphia Social History Project, this dataset on the Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856 is now available on ICPSR.

Initially taken in 1838 to demonstrate the stability and significance of the African American community and to forestall the abrogation of African American voting rights, the Quaker and Abolitionist census of African Americans was continued in 1847 and 1856 and present an invaluable view of the mid-nineteenth century African American population of Philadelphia. Although these censuses list only household heads, providing aggregate information for other household members, and exclude the substantial number of African Americans living in white households, they provide data not found in the federal population schedules. When combined with the information on African Americans taken from the four federal censuses, they offer researchers a richly detailed view of Philadelphia’s African American community spanning some forty years.

Variables for each household head and his household include (differ slightly by census year): name, sex, status-at-birth, occupation, wages, real and personal property, literacy, education, religion, membership in beneficial societies and temperance societies, taxes, rents, dwelling size, address, slave or free birth.

Multi-User Database on the Attributes of United States District Court Judges, 1801-2000

The ICPSR‘s National Archive of Criminal Justice Data has added a new file on

Multi-User Database on the Attributes of United States District Court Judges, 1801-2000.

This project was undertaken to compile a definitive database on the personal, social, economic, career, and political attributes of judges who served on the United States District Courts from 1801 to 2000. The database includes conventional social background variables such as the name of the appointing president, the judge’s religion, political party affiliation, education, and prior experience. In addition, unique items are provided: the temporal sequence of prior career experiences, the timing of and reason for leaving the bench, gender, race and ethnicity, position numbering analogous to the scheme used for the Supreme Court, American Bar Association rating, and net worth (for judges who began service on the bench after 1978). The second objective of this project was to merge these data with a multi-user database on United States District Court decisions.

Federal Justice Statistics Program

The Federal Justice Statistics Program data series from ICPSR has issued or updated many new annual files on criminal cases in US Federal District Court.

“Cases Terminated” gives information on court proceedings, date the case was filed, date the case was terminated, most serious charge, and reason for termination are included.  Additional files on the “Docket and Reporting System”, “Pretrial Services”, “Parole Decisions”,  “Offenders Under Supervision”, and “Federal Prisoners” provide additional details.

National Hospital Discharge Survey, 1979-2006

The National Hospital Discharge Survey, 1979-2006, part of ICPSR’s National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging,  collects medical and demographic information annually from a sample of hospital discharge records. Variables include patients’ demographic characteristics (sex, age, race, marital status), dates of admission and discharge, source and type of admission, status at discharge, final diagnoses, surgical and nonsurgical procedures, dates of surgeries, and sources of payment. Information on hospital characteristics such as bed size, ownership, and region of the country is also included.

Database of United States Congressional Historical Statistics, 1789-1989

The Database of US Congressional Historical Statistics, 1789-1989 compiles the complete roll call voting records of members of Congress compiled from the Congressional Record.

RUL Economics Newsletter, Spring 2009

I am correcting my oversight in failing to post this information to the blog earlier.  The newsletter was actually released in January.  But for the record …

The Spring 2009 RUL Economics Newsletter is available here:

Some highlights:

—New Databases – OneSource and Marquis’ Who’s Who on the Web

—Data Snapshots video introductions to resources.  See this link:

—Expanded online office hours (Tuesdays 1-3 pm, Wednesday 3-5 pm) at

For complete links and more information, please consult the RUL Economics
Newsletter at:

Please feel free to contact me with any comments or suggestions.