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Constructed variables – data dictionary

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We are happy to announce that Challenge participants Aarshay Jain, Bindia Kalra, and Keerti Agrawal at Columbia University have created a new resource that should make working the Challenge data more efficient. More specifically, they created an alternative data dictionary for the constructed variables (FFC_Data_Dictionary.xlsx). They have made it available open-source here.

Their dictionary:

  • Summarizes constructed variable prefixes and suffixes
  • Categorizes questions by the respondent to and subject of the question
  • Provides examples of questions from a variety of substantive categories

As discussed in our blog post on getting started quickly, the constructed variables are a good place to start when choosing variables to include in your model. These variables are summarized on p. 13-20 of the general study documentation.

The official Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study site is still the authoritative source of documentation, but we hope this open source contribution helps you more quickly understand the variables available and how to find them.

The open-source movement is exciting because it unlocks the power of what we can do by collaboration. Much like a Wikipedia page benefits when hundreds of people view it and think about improvements they could make, so too will the open-source resources for the Fragile Families Challenge shine if others get involved when they think of possible improvements. If you think you can make this data dictionary better, please jump in, open-source your new version, and let us know so we can publicize it! In fact, Aarshay, Bindia, and Keerti would love to see these kind of improvements. Likewise, we welcome any other open-source contributions that you think might make the Challenge better.

Many thanks to Aarshay, Bindia, and Keerti for making it easier for others to use the data!

About Ian Lundberg

Ian is a Ph.D. student in sociology and social policy at Princeton University. You can read more about his work at http://scholar.princeton.edu/ilundberg/.

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