This guide supports the class assignment to use econometric analysis to explain variation in a business, economic, or other variable. If you need further help locating data or journal articles, please contact the Economics and Business liaison librarian.
The websites below provide either time-series or cross-sectional data. Most offer options for downloading the data as either a spreadsheet or text file, which can be converted into a form that is useable in SPSS. In some cases, you will have to assemble the needed variables from multiple sources. Keep in mind that you need at least 50 observations. For time-series analysis, this entails five years of monthly data, 13 years of quarterly data, or 50 years of annual data. For cross-sectional analysis, you could examine 50 countries or the 50 states of the United States, among other options.
A guide to economic data sources on the Internet, with website links organized by subject (such as Income, Quality of Life, and Occupations) and provider.
The best access point to statistics from the US federal government. Use the Topic Links to jump to the best resources by topic, or try keywords in the search engine.
OFFSTATS (Official Statistics on the Web)
A database of links to statistical websites worldwide, organized by country, region, and topic.
Use this simple search engine to locate statistics on a variety of topics, produced by organizations under the UN umbrella.
Socioeconomic and demographic data from the latest Current Population Survey and the 2000 US Census. An excellent source of cross-sectional US data at the state, county, and city levels.
Population Reference Bureau
Click on the DataFinder to access the PRB's user-friendly database for obtaining basic demographic and health data on the countries of the world.
State and County Quick Facts
This Census website provides data for each state and county about race, education, income, and the economy. Gather the same variables for 50 states or counties to perform a cross-sectional analysis.
Economagic: Economic Time Series Page
Provides free, economic time series data, mainly for the US. A great place to look for long historical trends in economic variables.
Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED)
This online database maintained by the St. Louis branch of the Fed offers over 20,000 time series of U.S. economic data, generally going back several decades. The data can be viewed in charts or downloaded for analysis.
Sponsored by Moody's, this website offers free economic, financial, and demographic data for viewing and downloading. Free registration is required, but the data series are well-formatted for analysis.
Bureau of Economic Analysis
This government agency produces interactive tables related to GDP, income, and other variables, with breakdowns by region, metropolitan area and industry.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
The BLS produces statistics related to employment, wages, productivity, and inflation in the US.
Download spreadsheets containing historic time-series data for the major monthly and quarterly economic indicators (such as housing starts, retail sales, GDP, and construction spending).
Economic Report of the President
This report presents the President's overview and outlook for the US economy. Click on "List of Statistical Tables" to download long time series for many macroeconomic variables.
International Trade Statistics
Use the Statistics Database on this website from the World Trade Organization to obtain import and export data for many commodities and products.
This database produced by the International Labor Organization enables you to extract time series data on unemployment, prices, and other labor-related variables for over 200 countries.
World Development Indicators and Global Development Finance
This database from the World Bank contains country-by-country time series data on over 1,000 economic and social indicators, including macroeconomic variables such as GDP, inflation, national debt and savings.
Bureau of Justice Statistics
The BJS offers statistical data and reports about crime and justice in the US, including crime rates, drugs, sentencing, and victim characteristics.
Access the Center for Disease Control's vast statistical resources on topics such as cancer, causes of death, STDs, and infant mortality.
GenderStats (World Bank)
This online database provides easy access to country-level data on gender aspects of issues like poverty, education, nutrition, and labor force participation.
Historical Statistics of the United States
A quantitative history of the United States, with over 37,000 data series on topics such as health, crime, migration, and the economy. The searchable online version allows you to create customized tables and download data series for processing in a spreadsheet.
Kids Count Data Center
Produced by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, this website offers data at the state and city level related to the well-being of children. After you create rankings or graphs, click the Raw Data link in the Toolbox to download the data in Excel format.
National Center for Education Statistics
In addition to publishing the annual Condition of Education and Digest of Education Statistics (both of which are filled with statistics), this agency provides several online means for accessing its data. Examples include the State Profiles (for statistics on individual states) and the Nation's Report Card (evaluating student performance).
National Center for Health Statistics
This branch of the Center for Disease Control produces numerous statistical publications on health in the US. Use the FastStats page to quickly access data by topic.
Statistical Abstract of the United States
The online edition of the annual Census publication that contains statistics on nearly every topic imaginable, as produced by various government agencies. A great place to look for state-level data that can be used in a cross-sectional analysis.
UNICEF Statistics Page
Use the Customized Statistical Tables feature to generate downloadable tables of country-level data on a variety of social and economic indicators, with a particular focus on children's issues such as education, malnourishment, and immunization.
World Health Organization
The WHO's statistical information system provides a variety of ways to access health statistics on countries, including downloadable tables from its annual World Health Statistics report and quick links to data by topic (such as nutrition and AIDS).
Empirical articles in scholarly journals often utilize regression analysis to determine what factors contribute to variation in some variable of interest. You can consult the results and conclusions of empirical articles on your topic to help you predict the relationships between your dependent and independent variables. Such articles will also offer theories attempting to account for these relationships.
To look for useful articles, do keyword searching on the names of your variables, and use the Boolean "AND" to add keywords such as "analysis", "relationship", or "econometric". If you find an overabundance of articles, try limiting the search on your variable's name to the Title or Abstract field only, so that the variable is an important concept in the article. Once you run your search, limit your results to scholarly articles by clicking on the Academic Journals link. If there is a Subject Term on the left side of the screen which corresponds to your dependent variable, click on it to narrow the scope to articles focusing on that particular topic.
If there is no link to the full text of an article, click on the WebBridge icon to determine whether the journal is available at Geisel Library or in full-text via another electronic database. If the article isn't available, consider clicking on the Interlibrary Loan link to request a PDF copy of the article from another library; the article should be emailed to you within a week.
Business Source Premier
Provides full-text articles and article abstracts for business and economic journals. You may want to search within the following two journals, which your professor has identified as being especially appropriate for this assignment:
- Journal of Economic Literature (1963-present, with a 2 year delay)
- Journal of Economic Perspectives (1987-present, with a 2 year delay)
Academic Search Premier
A broad index providing abstracts and some full-text of scholarly and popular journals. Check here for journal articles from disciplines other than business and economics.
If your topic relates to other fields such as criminal justice, education, or health, use our database list organized by subject to identify the best journal databases to search.
See the library's Citing Sources guide for resources on how to properly cite research materials. Always confirm the style required by your instructor.