Economics Data Sources

This will always be out-of-date: websites change, new ones are added and I don't know all of them in the first place.
I checked the following links July 2003.

There are many data sources on the internet and many organizations with lists of data sources on the internet.
Here I list some of these that are quite useful, in order:

Be aware that many of  the data sources available on the web are updated infrequently or do not have the actual data readily available for download and are therefore not particularly useful for data analysis.

Links to Lists of Data Sources

The following links give many, many data sources and can involve much trial and error to find the data you want.
These links are best to use if the macrodata and microdata links given further down do not have what you want.

Government Data Sources Macrodata

The following is is a good source to obtain data in an easy form to download into Excel.

International Data Microdata

Micro data includes industry-level or firm-level data and individual-level data.

Here I give the leading survey data sets on individuals:

These data sets and many more are generally available free by download of the entire dataset from Many of these data sets plus complete documentation can be purchased as CD's costing $10-$30.

And in some cases selected variables can be downloaded directly from the original web-site given below.
For some of these it is easy to download a few selected variables of the web. For others one can only obtain the entire data set and then select variables on ones own computer, in which case one needs specialized software as the data sets are often large. Over time more data sets will be downloadable and the information given here may be dated.

One can use these data sets as class exercises. e.g. get data on income and education and analyze. One easy one to extract data from is the PSID.
For serious research, however, one needs to look in more detail at the survey design and questionnaire to find out, for example, whether a value is 0 because it really is 0 or whether it is 0 because the person was not asked the question.

Journal Data Archives

Several journals require that data used in a study published in a journal be placed on archive so other researchers can attempt to replicate their results.
All but the first of these data sets tend to be highly specialized and are most suitable for use in economics Ph.D. field courses.

A. Colin Cameron / UC-Davis Economics /