Literature Review

Conducting a literature review for your research paper will involve you in listening in on the scholarly conversation around your topic.  You can join the conversation with the textbook readings or required articles.  To listen more closely to the conversation you need to read cited sources.  Use the Journal Finder too, Articles and more tab on the library home page or one of the recommended article databases to get full text.  Don't despair if we don't have full text in our collection, use the "get a scan" button and the article will usually be delivered in a day or two at the most.

If you are excited about a health topic not directly covered by course readings, get started by doing a literature search in the recommended article databases

 Health Care Economics Article Databases

  EconLit with Full Text (EBSCO)

  Google Scholar

  MEDLINE (Web of Science, Clarivate)

Get Full Text

Tips on Finding Data

There are two common paths for finding data for an econometric study.  You can browse and search the recommended data and statistical sites for variables and indicators of interest, or you can find promising data sources used by other scholars and identified, typically in the methods or data section of research articles. 

Some data is public, free and unrestricted, whereas some is only available to subscribers or restricted to authorized users.  The library can help you determine if we have access to what you want.

Often researchers find the perfect data or variable, but it is not immediately available in the desired format, unit or level of granularity.  The library can help you find out if what you want is obtainable.

Working with data can be time consuming.  Get started on it as soon as possible!!   


Best for Finding Statistics & Datasets

  Health Services Research Information Central
Database from the National Library of Medicine of statistics, surveys, and data repositories by topic and geographic coverage.

  ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan)  Access Instructions
Not just social and political data, but health related as well.


  Institute of Health Economics, Health Statistics Database
International index to public health statistics and surveys from Canadian nonprofit.  Also has a database of health economics literature. 

  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation DataHub
State level health related data with visualization tools and pointers to data sources.  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a nonprofit whose mission is to improve health in part through public policy research.  RWJF was initially funded by the founder of Johnson & Johnson

  State Health Facts (Kaiser Family Foundation)
Great place to browse many state based health indicators, but you many need to read the fine print to go to the original source to get full data sets usable for empirical analysis.  Kaiser Family Foundation does original surveys and studies on national health policy too.

  Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care
Tables and maps derived from Medicare data covering a variety of topics including reimbursement, end of life care, children's care and cancer screening to name a few by region and hospital.

  Statistical Insight (ProQuest)  Tutorial
Index to statistics on all manner of topics.  Some full text reports provided, but does not typically provide access to data formatted for statistical analysis. Not a top pick, but still useful as a finding tool.

Direct Access to Data or Statistics

  Community Health Data Base (Pennsylvania Household Health Survey)  Limitations on Use  Access Instructions
For those who prefer their data locally sourced, this site provides access to Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Surveys.ONLY AVAILABLE to the Villanova Community.  For the ID and Password access this document.

  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics
Data, reports and tools covering diseases and health monitored by the CDC

  Integrated Public Use Microdata Series Current Population Survey
Get harmonized Current Population Survey data from 1962 forward.  On the person level, variables related to disabilities, health insurance, tobacco use and fertility may be cross tabulated with a host of other demographic variables.

  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HHS)
Source for the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.  Spans infographcs, statistical reports and survey microdata.

  Medicare Data
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services data on hospitals, hospices, rehabilitation facilities and others.

  Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured
Exhaustive list of public data sets with variables related to health insurance status.  Doesn't host the data, but also has a nice database of articles on the uninsured.  Hosted by University of Michigan and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

  Roper Center for Public Opinion Research (iPOLL)  Tutorial  Access Instructions
Data sets from public opinion polls.  Some related to health

  Health and Retirement Study, Univ. Michigan
Longitudinal study funded by the National Institute on Aging and the Social Security Administration.

  Health and Medical Care Archive
Data archive of studies funded by the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation.  Subset of data discoverable in ICPSR.

  Open FDA
Public data sets generated by the Food & Drug Administration related to Drugs, Devices and Foods.
Collection of data sets generated by local, state and federal agencies related to health.


  OECD Statistics
Harmonized statistics on national health indicators

  Global Health Observatory (GHO) data
From the World Health Organization (WHO), this resource includes a data repository, reports, country statistics and a map gallery.

Health Care Industries

Firms and trade and professional associations in the health care industry both generate and consume economic analyses of health care.  The industry reports listed below provide an introduction to the operating conditions, trends and competitive forces at play in health care.  They also list trade and professional associations which often post policy papers, data and relevant research.

 HC Industry Reports

  First Research Industry Profiles (ABI/INFORM Collection - ProQuest)


  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's Capital IQ)

  D&B Hoovers