Social science research on many topics has often been hampered by the limitations of survey data. However, the digital age has rapidly increased access to large and comprehensive data sources such as public and private administrative databases, and unique new sources of information from online transactions, social-media interactions, and internet searches. New computational tools also allow for the extraction, coding, and analysis of large volumes of text. Advances in analytical methods for exploiting and analyzing data have accompanied the rise of these data. The Russell Sage Foundation’s special initiative on Computational Social Science (CSS) supports innovative social science research that brings these new data and methods to bear on questions of interest in its core programs in Behavioral Economics, Future of Work, Race, Ethnicity and Immigration, and Social Inequality.
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