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Economics, Labor, and Population Studies

The U.S. economy is facing major problems and millions of American families are hurting. Job loss and unemployment are at an all-time high. In fact, America has lost 1.5 million jobs over the last 10 years. Compounding the employment crisis, more Americans are losing health care coverage and states are struggling to fill record budget gaps. American households lost $13 trillion in wealth between mid-2007 and March 2009, or about 15 percent in all. That decline badly hit baby boomers just as they’re headed into retirement. And middle-income families whose head of household is age 50 or younger actually have smaller net incomes today than in 1983. Economic policy decision makers need high quality data and analyses to help them address these issues and emerging economic and labor issues in the coming years.

The Economics, Labor, and Population Studies Department houses many of NORC’s large-scale flagship surveys that investigate such subject areas as labor force participation, the finances of consumers, housing needs, and trends in general social indicators. Our multi-disciplinary team includes experts in survey design and methodology, multi-mode data collection, data dissemination, and researching hard-to-reach populations.

The hallmarks of the division include the capacity to field both large and complex surveys, with high item quality and high response rates. This, combined with a strong analytical capacity, allows the department to provide a broad range of value added  quality services that  exceed the expectations of the clients it serves.

Areas Expertise

  • Consumer and Family Finances
  • Housing Conditions and Relocation
  • Labor and Employment
  • Poverty
  • Business Innovation
  • Special Populations
    • Immigrants and Refugees
    • Residents of Public Housing
    • Families Facing Foreclosure
    • Children, Youth, Runaways, and Foster Children
    • Elderly
    • Ethnic Minorities
    • Military

Major Capabilities

  • Data Collection and Management
  • Interviewer-Administered Data Collection
  • Self-Administered Data Collection
  • Multimode Data Collection
  • Statistics and Sampling
  • Sample Design
  • Statistical Data Analysis
  • Security and  Compliance
  • Secure Remote Data Access
  • Study Design and Survey Methodology
  • Questionnaire Design
  • Qualitative Techniques
  • Key Informant Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Ethnography
  • Technical Support
  • Translation and Interpretation Methodology for Multilingual Surveys
  • Dissemination and Knowledge Management
  • Disclosure Analysis
  • Program and Policy Analysis and Research
    • Performance Measurement

Representative Projects

2010 Census Integrated Communications Program Evaluation. NORC was selected to conduct a rigorous and independent evaluation of the communications campaign for the 2010 Census to assess the campaign's success and help preparations for the 2020 Census. More

American Competitiveness Survey.

In collaboration with Principal Investigators John Walsh from Georgia Tech and Ashish Arora and Wes Cohen from Duke University and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), NORC collected survey data from more than 6,600 U.S. businesses via computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI). More

AmeriCorps Grantee Evaluation Monitoring & Guidance Project. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is partnering with NORC at the University of Chicago to strengthen and support various aspects of their AmeriCorps State and National grantees' evaluation activities. By providing grantees with the tools they need to improve the quality of their program evaluations, CNCS hopes to better estimate the broader community impacts of AmeriCorps programs.  More

Assessment of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Housing Needs. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has contracted with the Urban Institute and its partners, among them NORC at the University of Chicago, to conduct an assessment of housing needs in tribal areas in the United States.  More

Census PVS Assessment. As part of the Person Identification Validation System Assessment engagement with the Census Bureau, NORC has conducted a review of the Census Bureau’s record linkage methods associated with the PVS, as well as an environmental scan of record linkage methods used by other government agencies—both within and outside of the U.S.—and private enterprises.  More

See all Economics, Labor, and Population Studies projects

Headlines

All News

Published Research "Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program Evaluation: Interim Report.", Meit, M.B., Hafford, C., Meyer, K., Knudson, A.D., Levintow, S., Gilbert, T., Langerman, H. and Alfaro, J., 2014 Download the PDF
Posted: 7.10.2014 10:42AM
Published Research "Evaluation of the Court Teams for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers: Final Report.", Hafford, C., McDonnell, C., Kass, L. and DeSantis, J., 2009 Download the PDF
Posted: 7.8.2014 11:12AM
Published Research "The 1998 Survey of Small Business Finances: Methodology Report.", Haggerty, C.C., Grigorian, K.H., Harter, R.M. and Stewart, A.K., 2001 Download the PDF
Posted: 6.30.2014 4:23PM
Published Research "The 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances: Methodology Report.", Potok, N., Bailey, R., Sherman, B., Harter, R.M., Yang, Y.M., Chapline, J. and Bartolone, J.B., 2005 Download the PDF
Posted: 6.27.2014 12:47PM
Published Research "A Randomized Trial of Weekly Symptom Telemonitoring in Advanced Lung Cancer.", Yount, S.E., Rothrock, N., Bass, M., Beaumont, J.L., Pach, D., Lad, T., Patel, J., Corona, M., Weiland, R., Del Ciello, K. and Cella, D., 2014 More
Posted: 6.20.2014 9:30AM
Published Research "The Impact of Capacity-Building Programs on Nonprofits: A Random Assignment Evaluation.", Minzner, A., Klerman, J.A., Markovitz, C.E. and Fink, B., 2014 More
Posted: 6.10.2014 9:45AM
Published Research "Recent Developments for Poverty Measurement in U.S. Official Statistics.", Betson, D.M., Citro, C.F. and Michael, R.T. , 2000 More
Posted: 5.16.2014 9:54AM
Published Research "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence from Matching.", Black, D.A. and Smith, J., 2004 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 12:20PM
Published Research "Knowing Younger Workers Better: Information from the NLS97.", Black, D.A., Michael, R. and Pierret, C., 2008 Download the PDF
Posted: 5.2.2014 12:16PM
Published Research "Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment.", Hotz, V.J., McElroy, S.W. and Sanders, S.G., 2005 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 11:10AM
Published Research "Explaining Family Change and Variation: Challenges for Family Demographers.", Seltzer, J.A., Bachrach, C.A., Bianchi, S.M., Bledsoe, C.H., Casper, L.M., Chase-Lansdale, P.L., DiPrete, T.A., Hotz, V.J., Morgan, S.P., Sanders, S.G. and Thomas, D., 2005 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 11:06AM
Published Research "Tight Labor Markets and the Demand for Education: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust.", Black, D.A., McKinnish, T.G. and Sanders, S.G., 2005 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 11:00AM
Published Research "Consequences of Teen Childbearing for Mothers through 1993.", Hotz, V.J., McElroy, S.W. and Sanders, S.G., 2008 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 10:54AM
Published Research "Tooth Loss in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta Relative to Other Regions in the United States, 1999-2010.", Gorsuch, M.M., Sanders, S.G. and Wu, B., 2014 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 10:45AM
Published Research "An Economic Model of Amniocentesis Choice.", Fajnzylber, E., Hotz, V.J. and Sanders, S.G., 2010 More
Posted: 5.1.2014 3:07PM

News

Press Release AmeriCorps Program Demonstrates Significant Impact on Student Reading More
Posted: 3.19.2014 3:26PM
News In God we trust, maybe, but not each other More
Posted: 12.5.2013 9:42AM
News The great recession, our economy, and what the GSS data on how Americans identify their class More
Posted: 9.24.2013 4:32PM
News The GSS shows how Americans identify as 'lower class' now more than ever More
Posted: 9.24.2013 4:26PM
News GSS data quoted on economic inequality in U.S. More
Posted: 9.24.2013 4:22PM
News According to the General Social Survey about 15% of married Americans admit they’ve had an extramarital affair More
Posted: 8.29.2013 2:43PM
News The GSS provides insight into demographic trends in guns and the NRA More
Posted: 4.22.2013 7:59PM
News The GSS helps ask the question: "How did the world's rich get that way?" More
Posted: 4.22.2013 7:49PM
News Looking at Western atheism with General Social Survey data More
Posted: 4.22.2013 7:45PM
News The costs of campaigning, with Survey of Consumer Finance data More
Posted: 10.11.2012 5:03PM
News The GSS helps ask if overpopulation is a concern for atheists and the intelligent More
Posted: 10.3.2012 4:23PM
News Home equity and the importance of family wealth, with SCF data and findings More
Posted: 10.2.2012 4:36PM
News The possible decline of the middle class American, with GSS data More
Posted: 10.1.2012 2:42PM
News Wondering why Americans are less neighborly than ever according to the General Social Survey More
Posted: 10.1.2012 2:35PM
News The ripple effects of student loan debt, with Survey of Consumer Finances data More
Posted: 10.1.2012 12:51PM

Events

Publications

"Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program Evaluation: Interim Report." Meit, M.B., Hafford, C., Meyer, K., Knudson, A.D., Levintow, S., Gilbert, T., Langerman, H. and Alfaro, J., 2014 Download the PDF
Posted: 7.10.2014 10:42AM
"Evaluation of the Court Teams for Maltreated Infants and Toddlers: Final Report." Hafford, C., McDonnell, C., Kass, L. and DeSantis, J., 2009 Download the PDF
Posted: 7.8.2014 11:12AM
"The 1998 Survey of Small Business Finances: Methodology Report." Haggerty, C.C., Grigorian, K.H., Harter, R.M. and Stewart, A.K., 2001 Download the PDF
Posted: 6.30.2014 4:23PM
"The 2003 Survey of Small Business Finances: Methodology Report." Potok, N., Bailey, R., Sherman, B., Harter, R.M., Yang, Y.M., Chapline, J. and Bartolone, J.B., 2005 Download the PDF
Posted: 6.27.2014 12:47PM
"A Randomized Trial of Weekly Symptom Telemonitoring in Advanced Lung Cancer." Yount, S.E., Rothrock, N., Bass, M., Beaumont, J.L., Pach, D., Lad, T., Patel, J., Corona, M., Weiland, R., Del Ciello, K. and Cella, D., 2014 More
Posted: 6.20.2014 9:30AM
"The Impact of Capacity-Building Programs on Nonprofits: A Random Assignment Evaluation." Minzner, A., Klerman, J.A., Markovitz, C.E. and Fink, B., 2014 More
Posted: 6.10.2014 9:45AM
"Recent Developments for Poverty Measurement in U.S. Official Statistics." Betson, D.M., Citro, C.F. and Michael, R.T. , 2000 More
Posted: 5.16.2014 9:54AM
"How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence from Matching." Black, D.A. and Smith, J., 2004 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 12:20PM
"Knowing Younger Workers Better: Information from the NLS97." Black, D.A., Michael, R. and Pierret, C., 2008 Download the PDF
Posted: 5.2.2014 12:16PM
"Teenage Childbearing and Its Life Cycle Consequences: Exploiting a Natural Experiment." Hotz, V.J., McElroy, S.W. and Sanders, S.G., 2005 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 11:10AM
"Explaining Family Change and Variation: Challenges for Family Demographers." Seltzer, J.A., Bachrach, C.A., Bianchi, S.M., Bledsoe, C.H., Casper, L.M., Chase-Lansdale, P.L., DiPrete, T.A., Hotz, V.J., Morgan, S.P., Sanders, S.G. and Thomas, D., 2005 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 11:06AM
"Tight Labor Markets and the Demand for Education: Evidence from the Coal Boom and Bust." Black, D.A., McKinnish, T.G. and Sanders, S.G., 2005 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 11:00AM
"Consequences of Teen Childbearing for Mothers through 1993." Hotz, V.J., McElroy, S.W. and Sanders, S.G., 2008 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 10:54AM
"Tooth Loss in Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta Relative to Other Regions in the United States, 1999-2010." Gorsuch, M.M., Sanders, S.G. and Wu, B., 2014 More
Posted: 5.2.2014 10:45AM
"An Economic Model of Amniocentesis Choice." Fajnzylber, E., Hotz, V.J. and Sanders, S.G., 2010 More
Posted: 5.1.2014 3:07PM

Job Postings

Programmer Analyst (SAS, Blaise) - Survey Research More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:13PM
Communications Specialist – Website Design and Promotion More
Posted: 4.16.2014 5:12PM
Survey Specialist More
Posted: 3.4.2014 6:27PM