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Finding data

A companium to financial and socio-economic data such as Compustat, Factset, SDC Platinum, WRDS, and CRSP

Eurostat

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Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union. Eurostat produces European statistics in partnership with National Statistical Institutes and other national authorities in the EU Member States. This partnership is known as the European Statistical System (ESS). It also includes the statistical authorities of the European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland.
The Eurostat website offers economic, demographic, and social data, mostly for the members states of the EU, but in some cases also for other countries. Geographical data (GIS) is also available. Eurostat tries to ensure that the data are comparable over time and countries. You can browse the statistics by theme, or use the bulk-download facility to download larger amounts of data.
The database of Eurostat contains always the latest version of the datasets, meaning that there is no versioning on the data. Datasets are updated twice a day, at 11:00 and at 23:00, in case new data is available or because of structural change.

Documentation and manuals

Eurostat publishes technical guidelines and manuals. These are useful if you need to know precisely how certain data are defined (or if you suffer from insomnia). There are no published guidelines for the use of the website, but finding data is relatively straighforward.

OECD

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) publishes statistics for OECD countries and selected non-member countries. Topics include demographics, health, education, and finance.

The OECD presents its data on different websites. The most important ones are OECD Data and OECD Stats. OECD Data presents data in an accessible way, including graphs that can be edited and exported. The OECD Stats website features more options for bulk downloads of raw data series.

The OECD sponsors the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) initiative in order to provide standards for the exchange of statistical information. This standard describes and universalizes the way to exchange statistical data, and provides standard formats for data and metadata, content guidelines as well as IT architecture for exchange of data and metadata.

Documentation and manuals

Worldbank

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The World Bank publishes a large number of data series for countries around the world, with a focus on development. At the World Bank, the Development Data Group coordinates statistical and data work and maintains a number of macro, financial and sector databases. Working closely with the Bank’s regions and Global Practices, the group is guided by professional standards in the collection, compilation and dissemination of data to ensure that all data users can have confidence in the quality and integrity of the data produced. Much of the data comes from the statistical systems of member countries, and the quality of global data depends on how well these national systems perform.

The World Bank's Open Data site gives easy access to data for countries, topics or indicators, and allows you to download data at the click of a button. The DataBank has functionality to perform customised queries and selections, and to create data visualisations. Not all data series that are available in the DataBank can also be found on the Open Data site.

Documentation & Other information

IMF

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The international Monetary Fund publishes a large number of financial and economic data series for countries around the world. Data can be downloaded in bulk. You can also visualize data on the website, and export the resulting graphs for use in your paper. Many datasets were originally published for many years in print. In recent years some of the print publications were discontinued. Some of the key statistical datasets that are made available by the IMF include:

  • Balance of Payments Statistics (BOPS).
    A BOP is a statistical statement that summarizes transactions between residents and nonresidents during a period. It consists of the goods and services account, the primary income account, the secondary income account, the capital account, and the financial account. Through the BOP separate IMF website the dataset also includes the International Investment Position data. The IIP is a subset of assets and liabilities included in the national balance sheet.
  • Direction of Trade Statistics (DOTS)
    This source covers the value of merchandise exports and imports disaggregated according to a country's primary trading partners. All IMF members states are covered, as well as some non-member countries, the world, and major areas. Monthly and quarterly data are available starting in 1960. Annual data goes back to 1947.
  • Government FInance Statistics (GFS)
    The database contains fiscal data for all reporting countries in the framework of the GFS Manual 2014. It includes detailed data on revenues, expenditures, transactions in financial assets and liabilities, and balance sheet data. It covers data for general government sectors and its subsectors. Its frequency is mainly annual. Sub annual fiscal data (monthly or quarterky) can be found in the IFS datasets.
  • International FInance Statistics (IFS)
    This dataset is one of the IMF's principal statistical products and has been available since 1948. Available indicators include a country's exchange rates, Fund positions, international liquidity, monetary statistics, interest rates, prices, production, labor, international transactions, government accounts, national accounts and population statistics.

Documentation and manuals