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UWCC Continues Census Bureau Research with NCFC Gift

Research on the performance and benefits of the cooperative business model is hampered by the lack of comprehensive, longitudinal data resources. The Center has been at the forefront of developing this type of data resource through the Census Bureau, but it can be a slow, nuts-and-bolts process.

After a multi-year clearance process, Center staff can now begin to examine the data resources gathered through the Census Bureau’s National Business Survey. However, work with the data can only take place in the Bureau's remote Research Data Center (RDC) in Chicago. Several universities have worked with the Census Bureau to establish RDC's on their own campuses, making data access more convenient for researchers.

The Center is leading an effort to establish an RDC on the UW-Madison campus, and other colleges and departments have expressed interest in participating. Funding for this effort has been seeded with a generous $15,000 gift from the National Council for Farmer Cooperatives, and it is expected that this donation will add to the momentum for bringing this research resource to campus.

The data that the Center will be analyzing includes enterprise and establishment-level tax data for all firms in the U.S. economy. Among other projects, the research team will evaluate the feasibility of reporting on cooperatives by the Census Bureau so that cooperative economic activity may be reported annually and tracked over time.

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