The Massachusetts Institute for Social and Economic
Research (MISER) was founded in 1981 by the University of Massachusetts. MISER
is an interdisciplinary research institute of the College of Social and Behavioral
Sciences. It provides a variety of services to the University, the Commonwealth, and
to national and international audiences. Faculty, students, and staff at MISER come
from several academic areas, including the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the School of Education, the College of Food and Natural Resources, the School of Management, and the School of Public Health.
MISER's research involves planning,
strategy, and forecasting, with a focus on social, economic, and demographic issues. This
work is designed to formulate new public policy for use by government policy makers, as
well as to develop information systems showing the relationship between public policy and
the economy of Massachusetts and New England. MISER contracts with a variety of
clients to perform customized, large-scale research projects and analyses.
As the Lead Agency in the State Data Center (SDC) program, MISER
is the liaison between the Commonwealth and the U.S. Bureau of the Census and houses all
the latter's data on Massachusetts. This includes:
- 1980 and 1990 Decennial Censuses
- Quintennial Economic Censuses
- Annual Current Population Surveys
- Public Use Microdata Samples (PUMS)
- Building Permits and Demolitions
- County Business Patterns
- Census of Governments
- TIGER/Line Files
MISER is also the lead agency for the
Business-Industry Data Center (BIDC), designed to provide information and technical
assistance to businesses in the region.
MISER's SDC program currently has 47
affiliates, which are comprised of regional planning agencies, libraries, business
associations, and state agencies. Affiliates assist in the distribution of data throughout
the state. Through other cooperative agreements, MISER is also the primary
dissemination agent for data from other Federal agencies, such as:
- Regional Economic and Information System from the Bureau of
- Current Consumer Expenditure Survey from the Bureau of Labor
MISER provides programming, analysis, and reporting
services to state agencies, local governments, and to the public. The Institute is also
able to create customized reports for use in grant proposal writing, regional planning,
topical studies, or for general information.
MISER is involved in analyses of a variety of
educational issues. This work has focused on enrollment, staffing, and costs of education
at both the secondary and higher educational levels. Projects include:
- Studying the effects of the changing racial and ethnic
composition of New England's population on the educational attainment and preparedness of
the region's labor force
- Statewide analysis and forecast of teacher supply and demand
in the six New England states and New York
- Enrollment forecasting
for elementary and secondary school districts and associated towns based on migration and
- Analyzing the costs of early retirement systems for
elementary and secondary school teachers
- Forecasting enrollment of public higher educational
As the Commonwealth's representative in the Federal/State
Population Estimates (FSCPE) and Projections (FSCPP) Programs, MISER works with the
Bureau of the Census to support the collection, analysis, and dissemination of relevant
and accurate population information for Massachusetts.
MISER is also the organizing agency for the
Massachusetts Interagency Committee for Population Studies. As such, it produces
population projections for Massachusetts cities and towns, providing detail by age, race,
While MISER does not currently produce historical
estimates of town and city populations, it is nonetheless the State agency responsible for
collecting and forwarding data to the Census Bureau which is used in the Bureau's own
estimates program. MISER then reviews and releases the resulting estimates.
MISER has produced a report for the MassJobs
Council to determine the technical, legal, and financial feasibility of creating a Placement Accountability System (PAS) for evaluation of
Massachusetts workforce development activities. PAS is currently in the initial stages of
development, and will link data on education and training to employment and occupational
information. The goals of PAS are to:
- Work with training and education providers to assess the
effectiveness of programs
- Provide the business community with information about
programs and wages of graduating students with training appropriate to the needs of that
- Provide potential students with accurate and current
information about education and training programs in the state.
MISER is internationally known for research on
foreign trade data which has been purchased by organizations around the world.
- MISER has improved the U.S. database on both the
state of origin of export data, for which it is the national release point, and the
exporter data base.
- MISER has developed the only non-Federal
contributions to the National Trade Data Bank (NTDB).
- MISER has developed an MIS system for foreign trade
data to help potential exporters locate the best foreign markets for their products.