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A Guide to Economics Resources


Governance & Political

Center for Systemic Peace

The Center for Systemic Peace (CSP) is engaged in research on the problem of political violence within analysis of global systems. The Center supports scientific research and quantitative analysis in many issue areas related to the fundamental problems of violence in both human relations and societal-systemic development processes. The Center continually monitors political behavior in each of the world's major states, that is, all those with current populations greater than 500,000 (167 countries in 2014) and reports on emerging issues and persisting conditions related to the problems of political violence and state failure. The Center tracks baseline conditions and charts general trends in societal-system performance at the global, regional and state levels of analysis in the key dimensions of social conflict, governance, and sustainable human/physical development. Note:  For the past twenty-five years, CSP/INSCR data resources, such as Polity have been supported with funding from the US Government (through association with the Political Instability Task Force); that financial support was terminated on 29 February 2020. Beginning with the year 2019 annual updates, updated CSP/INSCR data resources will not be generally available until a new funding mechanism is found and implemented. The Center is planning to publish a new edition of Global Report in 2020.

Comparative Political Data Sets (CPDS) 

The Comparative Political Data Set (CPDS) is a collection of political and institutional country-level data provided by Prof. Dr. Klaus Armingeon and collaborators at the University of Zurich (Switzerland). It consists of annual data for 36 democratic countries for the period of 1960 to 2017 or since their transition to democracy. The present data set combines and replaces the earlier versions “Comparative Political Data Set I” (data for 23 OECD countries from 1960 onwards) and the “Comparative Political Data Set III” (data for 36 OECD and/or EU member states from 1990 onwards). A variable has been added to identify former CPDS I countries. In addition, the "Supplement to the Comparative Political Data Set – Government Composition 1960-2017" provides detailed information on party composition, reshuffles, duration, reason for termination and the type of government for 36 OECD and/or EU-member countries. The data set contains some additional economic, socio-economic and demographic variables. However, these variables are not the major concern of the project and are thus limited in scope. For more in-depth sources of these data, see the online databases of the OECD, Eurostat or AMECO. The CPDS is suited for cross-national, longitudinal and pooled time-series analyses.

Database of Political Institutions

This database was put together in part by Phillip Keefer at the World Bank and provides data on the political institutions and structures of different countries in the world from 1975 to 2012. Updates to the data are now available via the Inter-American Development Bank, with coverage currently up through 2017. Note the authors' preferred format for citing their data.

Democracy Indicators Cross-national Time-Series Dataset 

This dataset was compiled by Professor Pippa Norris at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and contains various measures of democratic government from sources such as Freedom House and Polity IV . The documentation identifies the sources for the variables; users need to consult those sources for more information. In addition to the time-series dataset, Dr. Norris has also compiled a "Shared Global Indicators Cross-national Database" which is also available at this site.

Democratic Electoral Systems Around the World 

Compiled by Matthew Golder, this collection provides data for some of the more important electoral institutions used in all legislative and presidential elections during democratic periods in 199 countries

between 1946 and 2016. The dataset covers a wide range of institutional features including regime type, the electoral formula, the average and median district magnitude, the number of constituencies and upper tier seats, assembly size, etc." The data are also available via Golder's DataVerse.

Freedom House 

Freedom House's annual Freedom in the World reports score countries on a 1-7 scale for both political rights and civil liberties. Users can download Freedom Houses' annual rankings via an Excel file with data going back to 1973; go to "Reports" and then choose "Freedom in the World."

Harvard Dataverse 

Harvard's Dataverse Network is a repository for research data and data collections.

Institutions and Elections Project Dataset (IAEP) 

The IAEP, which now finds its home at Håvard Hegre, contains data on political institutions for both democratic and non-democratic states. The data cover the period 1960-2012 and measure institutions such as legislatures, executives, judiciaries, central banks, and electoral systems. The data were originally housed at SUNY-Binghamton.

International Human Rights Studies Center (IHRSC) (via the Internet Archive) 

The IHRSC at the University of North Texas hosts Steven Poe and Neal Tate's much-cited human-rights datasets. The data and documentation are available for free.

Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) 

The IPU website contains much information about both national and supranational parliaments. The PARLINE database includes general information on the structure of parliaments (e.g. chambers, constituencies, electoral systems, political mandates). The IPU also provides data on female representation in national parliaments from the late 1990's onwards.

LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg

LIS, formerly known as The Luxembourg Income Study, is a data archive and research center dedicated to cross-national analysis and is home to two databases: The Luxembourg Income Study Database (LIS) is the largest available income database of harmonized microdata collected from about 50 countries in Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australasia spanning five decades. The Luxembourg Wealth Study Database (LWS), is the only cross-national wealth microdatabase in existence.T he LIS office, located in Esch-Belval (Luxembourg) and directed by Professor Daniele Checchi, houses a team of professionals who perform the essential roles of the organization: data acquisition, harmonization; documentation; technical and user support; instruction; and core administration. Many of the staff conduct research using the LIS and LWS microdata. The US LIS Satellite Office contained within the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality located at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (US) and is overseen by Janet Gornick, Professor of Political Science and Sociology at CUNY. The US LIS Satellite Office plays a key role in providing support and liaison services to the team in Luxembourg.

Political Constraint Index (POLCON) Dataset 

The POLCON dataset is managed by Professor Witold Henisz at the Wharton School of Management. The dataset measures political constraints on the executive in the form of multiple political actors (e.g. legislative chambers, courts). The dataset and codebook are downloadable upon provision of contact details.

Political Database of the Americas (PDA) 

The Political Database of the Americas (PDBA) is a non-governmental project of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at Georgetown University in collaboration with institutions like the Secretariat for Political Affairs of the Organization of American States and FLACSO-Chile, and also with the support of other organizations and entities in the region. The PDA's data holdings are mainly for elections, but the site also has information on local governance and decentralization, political parties, and executive, legislative, and judicial institutions for the countries of North, Central, and South America.

Political Terror Scale (PTS) 

Mark Gibney at UNC-Asheville has created a 5-point political terror scale that codes countries on human-rights conditions and the rule of law, based on reports from Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department. The data cover the years 1976-2018 and are available for downloading.

Polity IV Project Homepage 

The Polity Project data contain information on regime type and political structures (e.g. constraints on executive power, competitiveness of political participation) of states since 1800. Registration is required to access the data.

Measures of Democracy 1810-2018

The data contain three different variables, created by Tatu Vanhanen in his long-term research, for each year from 1810 to 2018. The variables in question are political competition, political participation and the index of democratization. See "The Polyarchy Dataset" for an earlier version of these data (1810 to 2000).

Preliminary References in EC Law

This dataset was compiled by Alec Stone Sweet and Thomas L. Burnell and contains information on all the preliminary references filed with the European Court of Justice from 1961 to 2006. The data and documentation are also available here and here.

Quality of Government (QOG) Institute

The QOG Institute was founded in 2004 by members of the Department of Political Science at Göteborg University in Sweden. The main objective of the research is to address the theoretical and empirical problem of how political institutions of high quality can be created and maintained. A second objective is to study the effects of Quality of Government on a number of policy areas, such as health, the environment, social policy, and poverty. The institute approaches these problems from a variety of theoretical and methodological angles and brings together expertise from many fields, including political philosophy, media and opinion studies, public policy, political economy, public administration and public law. The Institute has created five collections of data on governance. The data ranges from a broad collection of governance indicators that is global in coverage; a more narrow collection that focuses on social policy in wealthier countries; data from expert surveys on politicization and professionalization of public administration in individual countries, and a data on perceptions of corruption in individual regions within EU members. Data are compiled from multiple sources including international organizations, and datasets produced by various academics. The QoG data are available in SPSS, Stata, Excel and comma-delimited (.csv) formats.

Transparency International 

Transparency International ranks countries based on perceived levels of corruption and publishes those rankings in annual reports. The reports also include rankings on the propensity of firms in different industrialized countries to bribe officials in developing countries. The reports are in .pdf format and go back to 1995. Transparency International's data are also accessible via the Internet Center for Corruption Research.

World Bank Actionable Governance Indicators (AGI) Data Portal 

The AGI data portal brought together hundreds of governance-related indicators from multiple data sources and makes them available via tools for downloading and visualization. The site is no longer active, but some of its contents are available via the Wayback Machine. See for a full list of available indicators and data.

World Bank GovData360 

GovData360 is an initiative of the World Bank’s Governance Global Practice (GGP). It contains more than 4,700 governance-related indicators on state capacity, efficiency, openness, inclusiveness, accountability, integrity, and trust in government. The site gathers information from 35 data sources, including other World Bank sources. You can download and access indicators via a query tool or download the data in bulk form via the Bank's Data Catalog.

World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators

Governance consists of the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised.

This includes the process by which governments are selected, monitored and replaced; the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies; and the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them. The Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) report on six broad dimensions of governance for over 215 countries and territories over the period 1996-2018. The WGI are composite governance indicators based on over 30 underlying data sources. These data sources are rescaled and combined to create the six aggregate indicators using a statistical methodology known as an unobserved components model. A key feature of the methodology is that it generates margins of error for each governance estimate. These margins of error need to be taken into account when making comparisons across countries and over time. The WGI aggregate indicators and underlying source data are available at 

World Governance Assessment (WGA) 

The WGA project focuses on governance and institutional quality as they pertain to development in less-developed countries (LDC’s). The project includes a dataset derived from surveys conducted in 30 LDC's in 1996 and 2000. The dataset contains variables measuring transparency, accountability, participation, and efficiency in six government arenas - civil society, political society, government, bureaucracy, the judiciary, and economic society.