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The United States has seen major changes in recent decades in family structures, gender roles, immigration pat- terns, occupational and industrial patterns, and labor markets. All of these factors—and others—affect people’s long-term health, social status, educational attainment, and economic opportunity. At the same time, the country’s capacity to monitor trends and make long-term evidence-based policy to effect positive change has languished.

The American Opportunity Study (AOS) is envisioned to create an intergenerational panel—using existing data at the person level—to study both social and economic mobility and the effectiveness of programs and policies that affect that mobility. It will develop the capacity to link existing data as needed for approved research purposes within a secure data environment. To begin work on the AOS, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine established the Standing Committee on Creating the American Opportunity Study.

To begin its work, the committee has explored the feasibility of capturing names of the people in the 1990 census and convened its first workshop. The committee’s goal for the workshop, held on May 9, 2016, in Washington, D.C., was to more fully explore the value and potential uses of the AOS throughout a broad range of social science research. The committee also wanted to explore researchers’ data needs and how those might converge with the vision for the AOS. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop.

Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Using Linked Census, Survey, and Administrative Data to Assess Longer-Term Effects of Policy: Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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