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A Guide to Economics Resources


Social Indicators

American Time Use Survey (ATUS)

Hosted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the ATUS measures the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing. The site contains data and reports for different iterations of the ATUS and links to sites for time-use studies in different countries. Earlier time-use surveys for the U.S. are available via the ICPSR. Harmonized ATUS data are also available via the University of Minnesota.

Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) 

The ARDA contains many datasets pertaining to religion, such as surveys on topics such as the public's religious attitudes and practices, surveys of church leaders, and studies on the provision of social services by individual congregations. ARDA also provides geographic profiles of congregations and demographic profiles of denominations. While its primary focus is on the United States, ARDA also has comparative/international data on religion, including single-nation studies on topics such as spirituality and health, cross-national surveys on topics such as the role of religion in political life, and cross-national data on matters such as religious populations and measures of religious freedom. Researchers should go to the Data Archive for a directory of the different studies available.

Bowling Alone: Data

This site hosts data used by Professor Robert Putnam in his Bowling Alone study of "social capital" in the United States. Putnam shows how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors, and our democratic structures– and how we may reconnect. The data cover topics such as civic engagement, trust in others and in social institutions, etc. Two of these (the DDB Life Style archive and various state-level measures of social capital) are available for downloading from this site.

CPANDA Data Archive

The Cultural Policy & the Arts National Data Archive (CPANDA) at Princeton University allows users to download studies in its collection of data on matters pertaining to cultural policy and the arts. The data in this archive is currently being transferred to the National Archive of Data on Arts and Culture at the ICPSR. Researchers and students can use NADAC data to write articles, papers or theses using existing research data, and to conduct secondary research to support findings or current research, or to generate new findings. ICPSR data are also used as introductory support material in grant proposals.

Current Population Survey (CPS)

The Current Population Survey is a joint project between the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau. The CPS is a monthly survey that collects basic socio-demographic information and labor force characteristics. To access CPS data files, users can go to the National Bureau of Economic Research's CPS site here or to the IPUMS CPS site.

Gender Equality Data and Statistics 

The Gender Data Portal is the World Bank Group’s comprehensive source for the latest sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics covering demography, education, health, access to economic opportunities, public life and decision-making, and agency. Amongst the resources are an extensive set of gender-themed indicators that can be downloaded in bulk or queried by country, year, and indicator.

General Social Survey (GSS) 

The link is to the GSS homepage within the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago. Sites where researchers can extract and download specific variables of interest are also listed. The GSS measures public opinion in the United States on a wide variety of topics of interest to social scientists. The survey provides perspectives on American attitudes toward government, race, religion, sexuality, and other social issues. The SDA Archive at Berkeley also holds GSS data in an interface that allows for basic on-line data analysis and the creation of subsets of GSS data.

National Survey of Families and Households (NSFH)

The NSFH Center for Demography at the University of Wisconsin is designed to provide a broad range of information on family life to serve as a resource for research across disciplinary perspectives. The NSFH contains data on topics such as the respondent's family living arrangements in childhood, departures and returns to the parental home, and histories of marriage, cohabitation, education, fertility, and employment. Interviews (waves) were conducted in 1987-1988, 1992-1994, and 2001-2003.

Pew Social and Demographic Trends 

Pew Social and Demographic Trends studies behaviors and attitudes of Americans in key realms of their lives, including family, community, health, finance, work and leisure. They make many of their studies available for download here. Users are required to register before downloading a dataset; however, registration is free. Users should also check out the resources available via the Pew Research Center homepage.

Resource Center for Minority Data (RCMD) 

The ICPSR's RCMD archive focuses on data related to issues affecting racial and ethnic minority populations in the United States, including topics such as health, political behavior, income/wealth, education, and crime. The surveys in the archive make use of large sample sizes or over-sampling to allow for rigorous analyses of minority populations.

Social Justice Sexuality Project -- The Social Justice Sexuality Project is one of the largest national surveys of Black, Latinx, and Asian and Pacific Islander, and multiracial lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The SJS Project is a knowledge-based study that investigates the sociopolitical experiences of this population around five themes: racial and sexual identity; spirituality and religion; mental and physical health; family formations and dynamics; civic and community engagement." Data from the survey are available via the ICPSR (Institute of Social Research University of Michigan).

Social Progress Index

The Social Progress Index is a new way to define the success of our societies. It is a comprehensive measure of real quality of life, independent of economic indicators. The Social Progress Index is designed to complement, rather than replace, economic measures such as GDP. The Social Progress Index uses non-economic measures to gauge the well-being of a country's inhabitants and covers 99 percent of the world's population. The index consists of 51 indicators, divided into three major categories: Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity.

Statistical Abstract of the United States

The Statistical Abstract contained a wealth of information on numerous socio-economic and demographic indicators for the United States. Historical data tables taken from the Statistical Abstract are available via the Internet Archive. While the Census Bureau has discontinued publication of the Statistical Abstract, the Abstract is published by ProQuest and can be accessed in the A-Z University Libraries List. ProQuest provides a research quide on this product.

UN Human Development Reports (HDR)

The HDR is an annual report from the United Nations that scores and rank countries on various indicators of development broadly defined. The Human Development Report Office releases five composite indices each year: the Human Development Index (HDI), the Inequality-Adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI), the Gender Development Index (GDI), the Gender Inequality Index (GII), and the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI). HDR provides access to both past and present reports and a variety of tools for visualization and downloading of HDR data and statistics. Data from some earlier reports are available via Carleton University's Country Indicators for Foreign Policy (CIFP) site.

University of Texas Inequality Project (UTIP) 

The UTIP is a small research group concerned with measuring and explaining movements of inequality of wages and earnings and patterns of industrial change around the world.  The group produces data sets on pay inequality at the global level, at the national level including for Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, China, India, and Russia, and at the regional level for Europe. They also used pay inequality as an instrument to estimate measures of household income inequality, for a large panel of countries from 1963 through 2014. This global data set has over 4,000 country-year observations. All data sets are available in the data section.

World Bank Poverty and Equity Data

The Poverty and Equity Data Portal is the World Bank Group’s comprehensive source for the latest data on poverty, inequality, and shared prosperity. The portal explores several poverty and inequality indicators for countries and regions as well as explore countries by various income levels – low income, lower middle income, and upper middle income, and access poverty and inequality data for fragile, IDA and other country groupings. The many potentially useful resources listed within this site include the World Income Inequality Database and PovcalNet. The site is part of the Bank's broader collection of poverty indicators. Other data resources are available via the Bank's Poverty and Inequality research program, the Bank's Data Catalog, and the Bank's Microdata Library.