Two U-M ISR studies named to NSF “Sensational 60” list

May 28, 2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Two long-term studies conducted by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research (ISR) have been included in a National Science Foundation list of 60 scientific discoveries or advances that have had a major impact on American life.

The studies, both of which began at ISR, are the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and the American National Election Studies, which is now conducted in collaboration with Stanford University.

“It is clear that both these studies have made remarkable contributions to our knowledge in a broad array of important scientific and policy areas,” says ISR Director James S. Jackson. “It is truly an honor for ISR to have two of its long-term studies included in such a prestigious list.”

The “Sensational 60” list is part of the National Science Foundation’s celebration of its 60th anniversary.

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is a longitudinal study of a representative sample of U.S. men, women, and children, and the families in which they reside. Conducted since 1968, the study has information on nearly 70,000 individuals spanning as much as 43 years of their lives. The study has been influential in building knowledge in such key areas as intergenerational relations, income, poverty, savings and wealth, demographic events, labor market behavior, and patterns in time use in American households.

“It is a great honor to be recognized by NSF,” says economist Frank Stafford, who directed the study from 1994 to 2009. “We look forward to enhancing the PSID in the future so it can help scientists understand the always-changing socioeconomic lives of Americans.”

The American National Election Studies (ANES) is the longest running political time-series in the world, with data from every U.S. presidential election since Harry Truman’s unexpected victory over Thomas Dewey in 1948. The study serves as the gold standard for understanding the politics of our democracy on a wide range of public policy and socioeconomic issues, from trust in government to the racial divide in public opinion. The study’s quality and longevity enhance its usefulness in determining long-term trends and the political impact of historical events.

“My colleagues at Stanford and I are honored to be included in the NSF ‘Sensational 60’ list, and are looking forward to studying voter participation in the 2012 U.S. presidential election and in the period leading up to this election in 2010 and 2011,” says ANES co-director Vincent Hutchings.

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By Diane Swanbrow

Contact: [email protected]

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