Watch this video introduction with tips on finding research articles and data.

Literature Review

  • When using library databases (not Google Scholar) pay attention to combining terms and phrases and database functionality such as field searching
  • Search for related terms or synonyms.
  • Use the classification codes available in EconLit.
  • Sometimes searching for older studies can be helpful because newer research is less likely to employ simple regression.
  • You may search for the following terms to narrow results (regression, econometric, panel, cross sectional, time series, empirical).  
  • If your topic is interdisciplinary, for instance related to education or criminology, you may benefit by searching databases for those subjects.  You can find them on Subject Guide pages.
  EconLit with Full Text (EBSCO)
Indexes and abstracts journal articles, books, working papers, and dissertations in the field of economics based on the Journal of Economic Literature's subject classification. Provides access to the full text of selected journals including all American Economic Association journals. Coverage goes back to 1886.

  Google Scholar
Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions, from academic publishers, professional societies, online repositories, universities and other web sites. Scholar search tips

  Web of Science (Clarivate)  Tutorial
Provides access to the Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index Expanded, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Conference Proceeding Citation Index, Book Citation Index, Emerging Sources Citation Index, Current Chemical Reactions, and Index Chemicus. Search for scholarly articles in any discipline, or for articles that cite a known author or work. Coverage varies.

  Scopus (Elsevier)
Provides citations and abstracts to peer-reviewed journals, books, and conference proceedings in all major disciplines. Provides information on citing and cited references for each article.

Data Sources

  • Attend to the following when considering data sources:  Units, Time periods, Geographic boundaries, Comparability, & Format (file type).
  • Read data definitions, code books, and methodology sections carefully to fully understand what the data is quantifying or measuring.
  • Read the method section of research articles to identify data sources.  If not available on the free web, ask the librarian for assistance.
  • Ask yourself what entity would likely be interested in gathering data on your topic.  Consider if the data is likely collected by a state, federal or local government.  Ask youself if a trade association, interest group or other researchers are most likely to compile the kind of data you need.


Databases for Data

The sources listed hear aggregate data gathered from a variety of sources or are search engines for finding data gathered and archived on different sites.

  Data-Planet (Sage)
Provides access to a wide variety of economic, social, and political indicators including data sets from the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, the OECD, Eurostat, the United Nations, the world's stock exchanges, and Zillow. Offers customized graphing and mapping. increases the ability of the public to easily find, download, and use datasets that are generated and held by the Federal Government. provides descriptions of the Federal datasets (metadata), information about how to access the datasets, and tools that leverage government datasets.

Crowdsourced collection of datasets from public and private sources.

"This page is meant to be a comprehensive site of free, easily available economic time series data useful for economic research, in particular economic forecasting. This site (set of web pages) was started in 1996 to help students in an Applied Forecasting class. The idea was to give students easy access to large amounts of data, and to be able to quickly get charts of that data. This is also useful during class, so that when we use the computer and overhead projector facility in class, we can quickly retrieve series and do manipulations in class." Use with caution as original data sources are not always cited.

  Harvard Dataverse
Repository for research data generated and shared by scholars around the world.

  Statistical Insight (ProQuest)  Tutorial
Offers indexing, abstracting, and selected full text of statistical publications from U.S. state and federal governments, business and research institutes, and international material from the UN, OECD, EU, etc. Some tables are available in GIF, XLS, CSV, and other formats.

U.S. Government Sources

This is a highly selective list of U.S, statisticals sources.  Almost every governmental agency generates and publishes statistics.  You can use the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Agencies or State, Local & Tribal Governments directories to locate additional governmental sources.

  Bureau of Economic Analysis
"The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) promotes a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic accounts data in an objective and cost-effective manner."

  Fred Database
Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis provides FRED, an amazing resource for financial data

  Bureau of Labor Statistics

  Explore Census Data

  National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
Located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES fulfills a Congressional mandate to collect, collate, analyze, and report complete statistics on the condition of American education.

  Crime in the United States (Uniform Crime Report - FBI)
Crime in the United States (CIUS) is an annual publication in which the FBI compiles volume and rate of crime offenses for the nation, the states, and individual agencies. This report also includes arrest, clearance, and law enforcement employee data.

  Bureau of Justice Statistics
Federal crime statistics on a wide variety of subjects from crime and victims, to criminal offenders and courts and sentencing. Data sets for analysis available online.

Nonprofit that provides curated access to U.S. government data.

International Sources

This list only includes very frequently used sources.  

  OECD Statistics
This is the part of the OECD iLibrary -- the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) -- that features statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data. Contains content published by the International Energy Agency (IEA), the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), the OECD Development Centre, PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), and the International Transport Forum (ITF).

  IMF Data Free
Freely available datasets from the International Monetary Fund.  Must register and login with individual account before downloading data.

  UN Data: a world of information
The United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)provides search and download capability for a variety of statistical resources of the UN System.

"Eurostat is the Statistical Office of the European Communities. Its task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level. By harmonising statistics from the European statistical system (ESS) to a single methodology, the statistics are made comparable"

  Economist Intelligence Unit
Features commerce reports, country reports, market indicators, and forecasts with monthly and annual in-depth analysis, data, and ratings. Covers infrastructure, demographics, political scene, domestic economy, and foreign trade, including regional and industrial sector breakdowns for over 200 countries.

  PRS International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) Tables  Limitations on Use
Offers political, economic, and financial risk ratings and forecasts for 146 countries. Time series data covers 1985 through 2018. This is a downloadable file in Microsoft Excel format.

  Principal Global Indicators
Provides comparable economic data for the Group of 20 countries.

  World Development Indicators DataBank (World Bank)

  China Data Online (China Marketing Research Co.)
Provides national, provincial, city, and regional data series including national accounts, prices, employment, income, industry, foreign trade, agriculture, construction, transportation, telecommunication, and education in monthly and annual time series.

markets & firm Level

  Global Financial Data  Limitations on Use
Features historical data on worldwide stock exchanges, bond indices, intraday data, futures, interest rates, population, and much more. All data is clearly defined, easy to read, and can be readily exported into Excel.

  WRDS (Wharton Research Data Services)  Limitations on Use  Access Instructions
Offers a data research platform for business and economics datasets including AuditAnalytics, COMPUSTAT, CRSP, CBOE, Option Metrics, Risk Metrics, TAQ, TRACE, Thomson Reuters 13f, and others.

Polls & Surveys

  Gallup Analytics and Brain  Tutorial
Provides access to nearly a century of U.S. public opinion data in the Gallup Brain along with current recurring questions in U.S. Dailies poll for national, state, select city and individual MSA levels and the Gallup World Poll with global tracking data, social series and key indicators polling data. (World Poll questions may vary by year and country conditions.)

  Roper Center for Public Opinion Research (iPOLL)  Access Instructions
Offers public opinion poll data from surveys conducted in the U.S. and other countries by many major polling organizations. Includes the full text of questions and responses. Items with a green plus icon have crosstab breakdowns; those with an X have microdata available for download; while those with a green and blue star icon allow you to perform custom crosstab analysis online. Covers 1935 to the present, updated daily.

  Conference Board Business & Economics Portfolio
Includes reports, economic indicator data sets, and global macroeconomic time series for economists. Also features interviews and studies on leadership, compensation, organizational development, operations, globalization, diversity, sustainability, innovation and more for management and human resource development professionals. Coverage varies.

Special Topics

"AidData collects, curates, and publishes data on more than $5.5 trillion dollars in development finance from 90 bilateral and multilateral agencies at the project level. All of this information is available in our searchable database of more than one million development finance activities".

  UN Comtrade

  International Labour Organization
The ILO is a UN organization devoted to promoting fair working standards. It is a good source for reports and statistics on global employment trends and policy.

  CQ Voting & Elections Collection (CQ Press)
Offers data, authoritative analyses, concise explanations, and historical research on the American voter, political parties, campaigns, and elections. Includes candidate and office histories, seat status and competition, special elections, maps, bibliographies, chronology, and web links. Coverage goes back to 1789.

  American National Election Studies (ANES)

Quality data from ANES surveys on voting, public opinion, and political participation. ANES data is meant to enable researchers to better understand the theoretical and empirical foundations of national election outcomes. Includes: Tables & Graphs, Guide to Public Opinion and Electoral Behavior, a library of pilot studies, technical reports and conference papers, and data center links.  See also HOW TO ANALYZE ANES SURVEY DATA.

  CDC Wonder
A single point of access to a wide variety of reports and statistics on public health in the US.

  National Center for Health Statistics
Web portal for U.S. public health statistics and surveys.