Over 400 Economists and Social Scientists Urge Congress to Save Key Census Survey
President's FY07 budget would end "Survey of Income and Program Participation"
For Immediate Release: March 2, 2006
Erskine, 202-293-5380 x115
Washington, DC: More than 400 economists and social
science researchers signed a letter to Congress today opposing the
elimination of the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).
To read the letter and signatories, click here.
President Bush's FY07 budget would eliminate the
Census Bureau survey, which provides information on programs such as
Medicaid, Social Security, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
(TANF) and unemployment insurance. The letter was signed by 432
researchers, including Brookings Institution fellow Ron Haskins and
Nobel Laureate economists George Akerlof and Lawrence Klein.
The letter states: "The total cost of the SIPP is
about $40 million per year, yet it provides a constant stream of
in-depth data that enables government, academic, and independent
researchers to evaluate the effectiveness and improve the efficiency of
several hundred billion dollars in spending on social programs. We urge
you to fully fund the SIPP so that we may continue to use it to
evaluate the effectiveness of public policy in promoting the well-being
of America's families."
Launched in 1984, the SIPP is a multi-panel,
nationally representative dataset created by the U.S. Census. It was
designed to measure economic well-being, including program
participation, with in-depth questions on wealth and assets, debt,
childcare usage, work schedules, disabilities, medical expenses,
detailed educational attainment information, and detailed information
on fertility. The survey tracks individuals for two to four years, with
the most recent surveys tracking over 90,000 individuals.
"Hundreds of researchers have come forward to tell
Congress: ‘Save the SIPP.' This survey is an essential tool for
understanding the effects of policy on Americans' economic well-being,"
said Heather Boushey, economist at the Center for Economic and Policy
Research, which organized the sign-on letter.
For signatories listed by state, see: http://www.ceprdata.org/savesipp/resletter-state.pdf
The Center for Economic and Policy Research is an independent,
nonpartisan think tank that promotes democratic debate on the most
important economic and social issues affecting people's lives. CEPR's
Advisory Board of Economists includes Nobel Laureate economists Robert
Solow and Joseph Stiglitz; Richard Freeman, Professor of Economics at
Harvard University; and Eileen Appelbaum, Professor and Director of the
Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University.