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Finding Social Science Data for Research : Economic & Finance

This research guide provides an introduction to using campus resources, government agencies, and consortia like ICPSR for finding and obtaining social science data.

World Bank Data

  • World Bank databases include data on living standards around the world.
  • A very large number of macro-economic statistics (like Gross National Income etc) are available for a long list of world countries. 
  • Date coverage varies.
  • Recommend using the “World Development Indicators” data set accessed through the “DataBank” tool.


Thomson Reuters Datastream provides historical financial and economic information from both developed and emerging markets. It includes equity prices, volumes, market capitalization, earnings and dividend data for approximately 80,000 equities worldwide as well as global equity indices, national and international macroeconomic time series, foreign exchange rates, interest rates, bond and convertibles, bond indices, warrants, futures, options, and commodities.

Please contact DISC ( if you need to access Datastream.  

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

The NBER is a major nonprofit and non-partisan economic research organization. NBER's researchers include over 600 professors of economics and business. The research at NBER concentrates on four types of empirical research:

  • developing new statistical measurements
  • estimating quantitative models of economic behavior
  • assessing the effects of public policies on the U.S. economy
  • projecting the effects of alternative policy proposals

Data files linked from the NBER data page are organized into the categories of:

  • macro data
  • industry data
  • international trade data
  • individual data
  • hospital data
  • patent data
  • other data 

Included may be compressed data files, electronic documentation, and selected SAS, SPSS or STATA data statements. Some of the links are to archives hosted by NBER, while others are to outside archives.