What Is the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP)?

The Center for Research In Security Prices (CRSP), affiliated with the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, is a vendor of historical time series data on securities. CRSP is a non-profit center that is used by academic, commercial and government agencies to access information such as price, dividends, and rates or returns on stocks. Its mission statement: "CRSP is dedicated to excellence in providing enriched and accessible data products and solutions which provide a basis for scholarly achievement, original innovative research, and sound investment decisions."

Understanding the Center for Research in Security Prices (CRSP)

CRSP was founded in 1960 with a $300,000 grant from Merrill Lynch. It is located in the Chicago financial district. CRSP provides historical data on securities that have primary listings on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), Nasdaq, American Stock Exchange (AMEX) and Archipelago Exchange (ARCA). The information is provided to subscribers and assists them in their financial analysis, economic forecasting and stock market research. Information can be found on stocks, indices, treasuries, mutual funds, and real estate. According to CRSP's website, close to 500 academic institutions in 35 countries draw on the center's data for research and teaching. The Federal Reserve Bank and regulators in the finance sector also subscribe to data sets maintained by the CRSP.

CRSP Data for Institutional Investors

For institutional investors, the data is useful in backtesting strategies and determining benchmarks for investment performance. CRSP Indexes presently serve as benchmarks for some of Vanguard's ETFs and mutual funds. CRSP notes that as of December 2017, more than $1 trillion in assets were linked to CRSP Indexes, which are grouped under four categories: Market Cap, Growth, Value and Sector.