The BEA web site contains a large variety of economic datasets. Data are grouped in three general categories: national, international, regional. Data are usually available in different formats (ASCII, HTML, PDF, spreadsheet).
National Data: Here you can find information contained in sixty selected tables from the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA). You can choose the table you want for the period you are interested in, view it on-line and eventually download it in spreadsheet format. The selected tables concern: national income and product; personal income and outlays; government current receipts and expenditures; foreign transactions; savings and investment; income and employment by industry; quantity and price indexes. In the section on national data, you can also find statistics by industry: GDP by industry and covering various time periods; input-output accounts for 1992, 1996, 1997; others.
International Data: Here you can find data on the U.S. balance of payments; U.S. exports and imports; foreign direct investments in the U.S.; U.S. direct investments abroad.
Regional Data: In this section you can find various measures of GSP for states and regions (1977–98); annual state personal income for states and regions (1929–1999); local area personal income by county or metropolitan area (1969–1998).
The BLS web site offers a lot of online labor statistics, as well as a link to the BLS ftp server, ideal for those users requiring large volumes of data. Among online data you can find a selection of labor force statistics drawn from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the Current Employment Statistics (CES). The available data concern: employment and unemployment; prices and living conditions; compensation and working conditions; productivity and technology. Most data are in PDF format.
The USDA Economics, Statistics, and Market Information Systems, includes nearly 200 data sets published by the USDA's Economic Research Service, National Agricultural Statistics Service and the World Agricultural Outlook Board. The available data cover a wide range of issues concerning domestic and international agriculture, agricultural economics, and rural affairs (crops, dairy and poultry production, specialty agriculture, state and national farm income, costs of production, world agriculture indicators, etc.). Most data are in ASCII or spreadsheet format and can be easily imported into Stata, to carry on empirical analysis.
This web site offers the online version of the Monthly Energy Review, containing time series that begin in 1949. Data are usually available in different formats (TXT, XLS, PDF). The covered topics range from environmental to financial indicators, from end-use consumption to statistics on electricity, petroleum, natural gas, coal and nuclear energy.
This web site contains financial data concerning FDIC-insured institutions, as well as year-by-year summaries of this information beginning in 1934 for commercial banks and in 1984 for savings institutions.
Statistics on Banking: Here you can find data from a quarterly report aggregating financial information and reporting the number all FDIC-insured institutions, with summary statistics by state.
Historical Statistics on Banking: In this section year-by-year statistical information on the banking industry is collected (beginning in 1934 for commercial banks and in 1984 for savings banks and savings institutions).
The Penn World Tables (PWT) represent a wonderful source for analysis requiring international comparisons. The PWT are described in: Alan Heston and Robert Summers (1991), The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988, in "Quarterly Journal of Economics", pp.327–368. The current online version of the data set (version 5.6) was released in January 1995. The PWT currently comprise data for 152 countries and 29 subject variables (including real GDP, price level, government share, openness of the economy, standard of living, etc.).
The REIS dataset provides local area economic data for States, counties, and metropolitan areas (1969–1998). Statistics in the dataset concern: personal income and earnings; full and part employment; transfer payments; farm income and expense; others.
This web site offers a quick access to demographic and economic statistics drawn from the Census Survey 2000, as well as a link to an internal ftp server, ideal for online users requiring large volumes of data.
The NBER web site contains proper data sets, as well as links to statistical sources associated with NBER research programs. Information is organized according to three main categories. Data are usually available in different formats. Here there are some examples of what you can find.
-Macro-data: Stock-Watson experimental coincidental leading and recession indexes; Barro-Lee international measures of schooling years and schooling quality; NBER macro-history database (pre-WWI and interwar U.S. economy); Jones-Obsfeld saving and investment data (for 13 countries from 1850 to 1945); official business cycle statistics.
-Industry data: NBER-CES manufacturing industry database; import and export by SIC category (1858–1994); balance sheets and income statements for U.S. commercial banks.
-Individual data: Consumer Expenditure Survey extracts; Current Population Survey extracts; birth data; death data; vital statistics on marriage and divorce (1989–1995).
The WB web site groups data profiles by country. The online data profiles are drawn from the updated World Development Indicators database. Data cover 206 countries (181 WB members and 25 other economies with populations of more than 30,000), as well as 17 country groups. For each country you can find indicators about people, environment, economy, technology and infrastructure or trade and finance. The web site also offers data by topic: development; agriculture; government; early childhood development; HIV/AIDS; poverty; employment; macroeconomics and growth; social development; transition; others.
LABORSTA, the online labor statistics of ILO, contain data on almost every country from 1969 to 1999. Data concern: employment (by economic activity, occupation, status); unemployment (by age group, level of education); hours of work and wages (by economic activity); labor cost in manufacturing; workers injured (by economic activity); work days lost; strikes and workers involved (by economic activity); others.
The CIA Factbook contains a huge variety of information and data on worldwide nations. Data range from geographical information to natural resources; from environment to population (birth, mortality, immigration, ethnic groups, etc.); from political aspects (government, constitution, political parties, interest groups, etc.) to economic data (GDP, population poverty line, inflation rate, labor force, unemployment, government budget, exportation/importation, economic aid, etc.); from transportation to communication; and further more. The only problem of this rich source of information is that data are mixed up with reports in HTML documents, instead of being available in statistical formats.
The WRDS site presents the most comprehensive sources of financial, accounting, economic, management, marketing, banking, and insurance data. The web interface offers point-and-click access to menus of variables for researching hundreds of firms simultaneously. Entire databases can be downloaded for further analysis. You will be given a Class password to enter the site at the beginning of the course.
Last but not least, the web site of the Harvard-MIT Data Center. For the variety of available data sets, it is worth surfing. As the official presentation points out, "the Harvard-MIT Data Center is the principal repository of quantitative social science data at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Many features of this site are unique, such as over five hundred online data sets, sophisticated browsing and searching options, automatic ordering of new data sets from other repositories, and interactive data exploration."
But the story never ends - Additional useful links to web sites containing statistical information.
Selected Data Archives offering a large variety of data sets: They are worth surfing.
Something more about globalization and development issues
Links to the statistical agencies of EU countries, starting from the EU statistical office.
Something more about financial markets and monetary economics.
Links to Central Banks around the world.