2021 Data-Intensive Research Conference

The Data-Intensive Research Conference was held virtually on Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 20 - August 5, 2021.

Researchers now have access to full count individual-level microdata from the U.S. Census spanning 1850 to 2010. Never before have social scientists had access to population data of this size and scope. These data present extraordinary opportunities but also some challenges. Our goals for this annual event are to:

  • highlight research that leverages expansive data resources,
  • provide training opportunities for working with these data resources, and
  • connect scholars with one another and with data experts.

The 2021 Data-Intensive Research Conference was co-sponsored by the IPUMS Big Microdata Network & the University of Minnesota Life Course Center and the Network for Data-Intensive Research on Aging (NDIRA).

The recordings from the 2021 Data-Intensive Research Conference are available now until the end of September and are linked below; the full conference program is available for your reference. Please contact [email protected] with questions or inquiries about the conference.

Tuesday, July 20

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Racial Disparities in the United States

Chair: Cathy Fitch

Discussant: Steve Ruggles

“Black-White Differences in Access to Work Relief During the New Deal” 

Price Fishback, Jessamyn Schaller, and Evan Taylor

“Black-White Mortality Crossover: New Evidence from Linked Administrative Data”

Casey Breen

“Race and Home Values in Durham, North Carolina: 1940-2020”

Omer Ali, Nick Datto, Pei Yi Zhuo, Clinton Boyd Jr., William Darity Jr.

"From Side Street to Ghetto: Understanding the Rising Levels and Changing Spatial Pattern of Segregation, 1900-1940"

John Logan, Benjamin Bellman, Elisabeta Minca

Early Life Exposures and Later Life Outcomes (1:00-2:30pm CDT)

Chair: Sarah Flood

Discussant: Ariell Zimran

“The Long-Run Effect of Parental Death”

Ezra G. Goldstein

“Childhood Lead Exposure and Cognitive Functioning among US Older Adults: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study Linked with 1940 Census Data”

Haena Lee, Mark Lee, and Rob Warren

“The Effect of Tenure Laws on Students: Evidence from the Implementation of Tenure Systems in the 20th Century”

Nikolai Boboshko

“The Effects of Education on Mortality: Evidence Using College Expansions”

Jason Fletcher and Hamid Noghanibehambari

Thursday, July 22

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Farming, Slavery, Schooling and Voting: Studying the 19th Century with Big Microdata (11:00am-12:30pm CDT)

Chair: Matt Nelson

Discussant: Trevon Logan

“Who is Denied the Vote? Insight from the Full-Count 1870 Data”

Adam Arenson and Judith Giesberg

“Learning is Caring: Soil Heterogeneity, Social Learning and the Formation of Close-knit Communities”

Itzchak Tzachi Raz

“The Centrality of Slavery in the American South: New Facts from the Census Complete Count”

Paul Rhode

“Internal Migration and the Diffusion of Schooling in the US”

Vasily Rusanov

Immigration and Immigrant Experiences in the United States (12:45-2:15pm CDT)

Chair: Jonas Helgertz

Discussant: Peter Catron

“Impact of Immigration Restrictions: Evidence from the Johnson-Reed Act”

Andreas B. Vortisch

Ghettoized in Gold Mountain? Chinese Segregation in 19th Century California

Hannah Postel

“Intergenerational Social Mobility of Chinese Americans Pre-Civil Rights”

Ziyao Tian, Yu Xie, and Xi Song

“Leapfrogging the Melting Pot? European Immigrants’ Intergenerational Mobility Across the 20th Century”

Kendal Lowrey, Jennifer Van Hook, James D. Bachmeier, and Thomas B. Foster

The Future of Census Record Linkage Roundtable (2:30-4:00pm CDT)

Panelists: Martha Bailey, Leah Boustan, Ran Abramitzky, Steve Ruggles and Joe Ferrie

Moderators: Cathy Fitch and Joe Price

This moderated panel will ask researchers with extensive experience in census record linkage to discuss progress, future challenges, and methodology of record linkage.

Tuesday, July 27th (11:00 am - 2:00 pm CDT)

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IPUMS Multigenerational-Longitudinal Panel

Jonas Helgertz and Matt Nelson

The IPUMS Multigenerational Longitudinal Panel (MLP) has produced crosswalks to link individual records in full count historical census data between adjacent censuses from 1900 to 1940. This workshop will introduce complete count data and the challenges and opportunities of census linkage, explain the MLP linking strategy and machine learning algorithm, and demonstrate how to access the data and to link to complete count data, including tips on managing file size. The workshop will include a dedicated time for questions from participants.

Thursday, July 29 (11:00 am - 1:00 pm CDT)

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The 1940 Census Linked to Modern Surveys of Older Americans

Rob Warren

Learn about linking records from the Health and Retirement Surveys (HRS), the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project (NSHAP), and the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) to records from the 1940 US Census. The workshop will review what data are available in the 1940 census; how records were linked; how successful linkage efforts were; and how to obtain the linked data. Additionally, the workshop will highlight examples of innovative research using these data and include dedicated time for questions.

Tuesday, August 3 (11:00 am - 1:00 pm CDT)

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FSRDCs & Full Count Census Data

Katie R. Genadek and Rachelle Hill

Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDCs) allow qualified researchers to access restricted use microdata from a variety of statistical agencies, including contemporary full count U.S. census data, to address important research questions. This workshop, led by Census Bureau research staff, will provide an overview of data that can be linked to full count historical and contemporary census data. This will include a description of data that are available to link, the linking methods used, how to apply for access to FSRDC data, and dedicated time for questions from participants.  

Thursday, August 5

Extended Workshop Q&A

Sometimes a data resource seems straightforward during a presentation, but once you dive in and start using it, you have follow up questions. 

  • Ask the Experts: Steven Ruggles, Jonas Helgertz, and Matt Nelson; IPUMS MLP (11:00am-12:00pm CDT)

Note: this session is open to conference participants who attend the corresponding workshop on Tuesday, July 27.

  • Ask the Experts: Rob Warren; the 1940 Census Linked to Modern Surveys of Older Americans (12:30-1:30pm CDT)

Note: this session is open to conference participants who attend the corresponding workshop on Thursday, July 29.

Thinking about the Future: Discussion about the 1950 Census  (2:00-3:00pm CDT)

Get updates and brainstorm research possibilities using the 1950 full count data which will be made publicly available by the Census Bureau in 2022.