Academic journal article Cityscape

Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to Analyze Housing Decisions, Dynamics, and Effects

Academic journal article Cityscape

Using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to Analyze Housing Decisions, Dynamics, and Effects

Article excerpt

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics

The Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID) is the world's longest running, nationally representative household panel study, with information collected on sampled families and their descendants for nearly 50 years. PSID began in 1968 to gauge the success of President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" and to track the economic well-being of U.S. families. Housing and neighborhood characteristics are key indicators of family economic well-being and have been included in the study since its inception.

PSID began with a national sample of about 5,000 households with approximately 18,000 individuals (Hill, 1992). The study has followed these individuals and their descendants at each wave, leading to sample growth over time. PSID's 2015 wave includes about 10,000 households containing 25,000 individuals. Respondents have been interviewed by telephone since 1973, with interviews conducted annually from 1968 to 1997 and biennially thereafter. Wave-to-wave core reinterview response rates typically range between 96 and 98 percent. PSID data are available free of charge to the public and have been used for approximately 4,000 peer-reviewed publications, including more than 700 dissertations. The study's design has been replicated in many countries around the world. PSID is regularly used for policy analysis by U.S. federal government agencies. On the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) 60th anniversary, it named PSID as 1 of the 60 most significant scientific advances ever funded by NSF.

PSID's unique features include its national representativeness, the long duration of the panel, its genealogical design, and its broad and deep content. PSID includes adult respondents of all ages and follows individuals across the entire lifecourse. Adult children are interviewed in their own family units after they achieve economic independence from their parents' households. This unique self-replacing design means that, for many families, PSID includes self-reported information on three (and occasionally four, or even five) generations of the same family at various points in their lifecourse. PSID is the only survey ever collected on lifecourse and multigenerational economic conditions in a long-term panel representative of the full U.S. population (see McGonagle et al., 2012). With sample weights, PSID data are nationally representative of U.S. families. Results based on analyses of PSID data can therefore be used to make statements about the entire U.S. population and also major demographic subgroups defined by age, gender, income, and race/ethnicity.

In addition to collecting rich information on housing and neighborhood characteristics, PSID collects data on a wide array of economic, social, demographic, geospatial, health, and psychological factors, supporting multidisciplinary research. In 2015, the 76-minute interview collected data on employment; earnings; income from all sources; education; expenditures; transfers; health; emotional well-being; mortality and cause of death; marriage and fertility; housing; residential location; participation in government programs; financial distress, including problems paying debt such as mortgages and foreclosure; vehicle ownership; wealth and pensions; and philanthropy.1 Many of these areas have been included in the PSID instrument since 1968 and measured consistently over time. Hundreds of additional variables in other domains have been collected in various waves throughout the history of PSID. Most of the data are publicly available on PSID's online Data Center (, with certain sensitive or disclosive variables available under contractual arrangements.

Substantial data on home learning environments, neighborhood characteristics, and housingrelated decisionmaking are collected in the PSID Child Development Supplement (CDS) and the PSID Transition into Adulthood Supplement (TAS), major ongoing studies of children and young adults in PSID families. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.