Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy

Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy

The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP) is the research arm of the social sciences at Columbia University. ISERP works to produce pioneering social science research and to shape public policy by integrating knowledge and methods across the social scientific disciplines. ISERP organizes an active intellectual community at Columbia University through its Faculty Fellows program, research centers, projects, and training initiatives. Robert Shapiro is currently the director of the Institute.


ISERP is the direct descendant of the Bureau for Applied Social Research (BASR), established at Columbia University in 1944 by sociologist Paul F. Lazarsfeld. One of the first social science institutes in the nation, the Bureau made landmark contributions to communications research, public opinion polling, organizational studies, and social science methodology. BASR’s tradition was carried on by the Center for the Social Sciences, established in 1976 after Lazarsfeld’s death and later renamed to honor him. Under directors Harold Watts, Jonathan Cole, and Harrison White, the Lazarsfeld Center expanded its interdisciplinary reach and established particular strengths in the sociology of science and network analysis.

The Lazarsfeld Center for the Social Sciences was one of the centers incorporated into the Institute at its founding in 1999 as the Institute for Social and Economic Theory and Research (ISETR). Also joining ISETR were the Center for Urban Research and Policy, founded in 1992, and several new research centers. In January 2001, ISETR merged with the Office of Sponsored Research to become the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. [ cite web|url= |title=About | ISERP |accessdate=2008-02-02 |publisher=Columbia University ]


The fellowship of ISERP is drawn from faculty of the departments of Anthropology, Economics, History, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Statistics, as well as of Barnard College, the Earth Institute, Teachers College, the Mailman School of Public Health and the Schools of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Business, International and Public Affairs, Law, and Social Work. [ cite web|url= |title=About | ISERP |accessdate=2008-02-02 |publisher=Columbia University ]

Centers and Major Projects

The Institute contains fifteen research centers and major projects that conduct basic research, develop policy initiatives, and train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

*Adolescent Health ProjectThe Adolescent Health Project studies adolescent health behavior. The project uses data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

*American Institutions ProjectThe American Institutions Project focuses on Congress, regional issues, the treasury, and the military.

*Center for the Decision Sciences (CDS)The Center for the Decision Sciences studies human decision making, which draws on several fields including economics, psychology, political science and management.

*Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED)CRED studies decision making under climate uncertainty and risk. Its objectives address the human responses to climate change and climate variability.

*Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration, and Religion (CDTR)CDTR, opened in 2006, conducts research and training on the tensions between religion, toleration, and democracy.

* Center for the Study of Wealth and Inequality (CWI)CWI investigates the economic well-being of families and societal inequality. It interests encompass family welfare and standard of living as well.

*Center for Urban Research and Policy (CURP)The Center for Urban Research and Policy attempts to solve issues facing urban areas in the United States.

*Center on Organizational Innovation (COI)COI promotes research on organizational innovation as well as new forms of collaboration, communication, and coordination made possible with the advent of interactive technologies.

*Center on Political Economy and Comparative Institutional Analysis (COPECIA)COPECIA bridges the fields of economics, political science, law, and business and does research about political economy and institutional analysis.

*Collective Dynamics Group (CDG)CDG attempts to solve problems related to the social sciences using modern mathematical and computational techniques.

*Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)IPD, led by Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz, helps developing countries respond to globalization.

*Paul F. Lazarsfeld Center for the Social SciencesThe Lazarsfeld Center, the oldest of the ISERP centers, is the catalyst for new research through its sponsorship of workshops, seminars, and conferences.

*Project on ExpertiseThe Project on Expertise studies the nature, types, social distribution, and modes of operation of expertise. For example, the project is currently engaged in a research project on how expertise is expressed in the autism community.

*Project on Immigration, Ethnicity, and Race (PIER)PIER works on projects focusing on Hispanic political participation in the United States.

*Public Opinion Project (POP)The Public Opinion Project (POP) examines trends in public opinion, public policy, and political leadership in the United States.


External links

* [ Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy]

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