Urban Institute

To develop, document, and make freely available both linked mortgage datasets, as well as new tools for analyzing large collections of administrative data

  • Amount $263,000
  • City Washington, DC
  • Investigator Alanna McCargo
  • Initiative Economic Analysis of Science and Technology (EAST)
  • Year 2016
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

This grant funds a project led by Alanna McCargo and Laurie Goodman at the Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center, to create a relational research database that links mortgage data made available through the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act with geographic and other data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The resulting dataset promises to provide economists and other researchers with a powerful new resource for investigating questions related to loan markets, geographic variations in housing prices, and consumer demand for credit. The Urban Institute team will design and implement a distributed, cloud-based architecture to house the database, and provide online computational access to the data through the Institute’s Spark Social Science computational platform. The team will also create and disseminate public guidelines and best practices for solving common problems with distributed, cloud-based data storage and the analysis of massive datasets.     In addition to the value of the dataset itself to researchers, the project will bolster the Urban Institute’s institutional expertise in addressing legal, security, privacy, and data acquisition and management issues related to large administrative datasets.

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