The PFSRDC enables Penn researchers to work with restricted-access versions of numerous important datasets in the federal statistical system. Most of these datasets are only available through an FSRDC although a few have a public version available. The restricted access versions of data sets can be superior to public versions of the same data for the purposes of addressing certain research questions. The advantages of restricted data sets may include:
- Access to underlying micro data as opposed to aggregated data,
- Larger samples,
- Finer level of geographic identifiers,
- Virtually no top or bottom-coding,
- Restricted-access datasets can be linked together,
- Restricted access datasets can be linked to external data by matching individual respondents or geographic areas.
The number of restricted-access datasets that are available through a FSRDC is growing rapidly. They contain a wide range of data sources from panel data on all workers and firms in the US to specialized surveys on topics such as medical expenditures, pollution abatement, research and development, and crime victimization.