The Cornell VirtualRDC provides researchers with access to synthetic data over the Internet. The synthetic data are constructed to statistically approximate the data available within the secure and restricted access environment of the Census Bureau’s Research Data Centers (RDCs). All data on the VirtualRDC has been released for public access, and no confidential data are stored on the VirtualRDC.
A secondary benefit is that researchers can learn how to work within the constraints of the physical Census RDCs before actually starting work at one of the physical locations, thus reducing the setup time. Besides synthetic datasets, dummy and fake internal-use datasets available in the Census RDC can be accessed and used, and programs written on the VirtualRDC should be 100% portable to the Census RDC, thus reducing development and travel time.
The Center for Economic Studies wants to assist doctoral candidates who are actively engaged in dissertation research in economics or a related field using Census Bureau microdata at a Research Data Center. For more information, click here.