75 Sources of Economic Data, Statistics, Reports, and Commentary

In honor of the Theoretical Law and Economics Conference, to be held at the Yale Law School December 7-8, 2012 and sponsored by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund, here are some of the best places to find economic data, statistics, and more...

 

UNITED STATES ECONOMIC DATA AND STATISTICS, GENERAL

1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment, productivity, working hours, and more. 

2. U.S. Federal Reserve – Bank assets, exchange rates, interest rates, industrial activity, and more.

3. U.S. Treasury – Data, statistics, and charts on interest rates, economic trends, and the impact of fiscal policies. 

4. U.S. Census Bureau – Historic and current economic trends, statistics by sector (e.g., construction), and more. Calculate basic/descriptive statistics online using the “Data Ferrett.”    

5. U.S. Department of Commerce/Bureau of Economic Analysis – GDP, balance of payments, “Economy at a Glance…”, and more. This agency produces the “Statistical Abstract of the U.S.” and related publications, available online or in the Reference room.

6. Council of Economic Advisors – Fact sheets and reports on current issues in the U.S. economy, ranging from the median cost of a college education to veterans’ skills and salaries. 

7. Data.gov – National data on agriculture, education, manufacturing, and more, including geospatial data. 

 

DATA, STATISTICS, AND ECONOMIC NEWS, GENERAL

8. Bloomberg – Economic research reports, SEC filings, current company, industry, and country data, and more.  

9. Hoovers – Records for public and private companies (e.g., income statements), CEO profiles, and more. 

10. Wall Street Journal Index – Index of company, industry, and general news for the previous month, quarter, and year. See also, “Real Time Economics” and “The Wealth Report” from the Wall Street Journal. 

 

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC DATA AND STATISTICS

11. EIU Databases – Collection of databases containing historical, current, and forecast data and research reports on key markets and industries around the globe. 

12. International Financial Statistics – Database maintained by the International Monetary Fund, with statistics on balance of payments, external trade, prices, and more for countries around the globe.  

13. OECD iLibrary Statistics – Energy projections, migration data, and other country-level data and statistics. 

14. World Bank Data – Data, statistics, and graphics on “key indicators” in debt, health, education, and more. 

15. African Development Bank Data Portal – Statistics and interactive graphics on GDP, GNI/capita, inflation, and more for the continent of Africa. 

16. Asian Development Bank – Data on key economic and social indicators for economically developing countries in Asia and Eastern Europe. 

17. Inter-American Development Bank – Trade, inflation, debt, and other data for Latin American countries and beyond.  

 

UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT DATA AND STATISTICS BY DEPARTMENT/AGENCY

18. Department of Agriculture/Economic Research Service – Data on commodities, imports and exports, regulations, and more, nationally and state-by state. 

19. Department of Defense Budget Data – Data on procurement, personnel costs, and more. 

20. Department of Education/National Center for Education Statistics – Data on teacher salaries, costs of educational programs, child care expenditures, and more. 

21. Department of Energy/U.S. Energy Information Administration – Data and statistics on coal and natural gas rates, energy tax credits, and more. 

22. Department of Health and Human Services – Data on health care costs, disease rates, FDA recalls, and more. 

23. Department of Homeland Security – Data and statistics on FEMA expenditures, intellectual property, immigration, and more. 

24. Department of Housing and Urban Development/Office of Policy Development and Research – Data on housing and rental markets, subsidized housing, tax credits, and more. 

25. Department of Interior – Data on natural resource expenditures, natural disasters, land use, and more. 

26. Department of Justice/Bureau of Justice Statistics – Data on block grants to law enforcement agencies, prison expenditures, and more.  

27. Department of State/Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs – Statistics and reports on international economic threats, commerce opportunities, trade, and more. 

28. Department of Transportation/Bureau of Transportation Statistics – Data and statistics on airlines, shipping, fuel costs, and more. 

29. Department of Veterans Affairs/National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics – Data and statistics on veterans’ health care, housing, education, and other costs. 

30. Environmental Protection Agency – Cost estimates and expenditure data for environmental projects such as reduction of drinking water toxins, methane emissions, and more. 

31. Internal Revenue Service/IRS Data Book – Data on tax returns filed, tax credits, penalties and more. 

32. Office of Management and Budget – Data and statistics on the federal budget and federal agency procurement, performance, and more.  

33. Small Business Administration – Wide-ranging data on consumers, business capital, economic trends, and more. 


SPECIALIZED ECONOMIC DATA RESOURCES, ELECTRONIC 

34. Consumer Confidence Survey/Conference Board – Data, statistics, and reports on U.S. and international consumer spending and confidence. 

35. Consumer Price Index/Bureau of Labor Statistics – Monthly reports on consumer spending on myriad commodities.  See also, Producer Price Index/Bureau of Labor Statistics for changes in sales prices over time.  

36. Cost of Capital: Estimation and Applications,” “IntelliNews Reports from ISI Emerging Markets,” and other resources via LexisNexis – LexisNexis economic databases and reporting services covering company, industry, national, and international trends. Tip: Search Orbis for the name of the resource (e.g., Cost of Capital). 

37. European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) – Data, statistics, and reports on credit ratings and credit ratings agencies. 

38. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) – Data and statistics on individual banks, banking companies, and the banking industry. 

39. Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller “Housing Views” – Recent housing, foreclosure, and default statistics and expert economic analysis. 

 

ECONOMICS REFERENCE GUIDES AND LEARNING RESOURCES

40. ALA Guide to Economics & Business: Reference – 1,300+ sources for economics and business information, mostly print. YLS Reference Room, HB61.A423X   

41. “Free Exchange,” The Economist – Blog that encourages debates on current and historic topics in economics and includes occasional short treatises on economic theory.  

42. Investopedia – Definitions of key terms used to make financial predictions and decisions. See the entry: “What are leading, lagging and coincident indicators? What are they for?”  

43. Understanding Economics and Money,” TeachersFirst – Elementary activities and explanations of economics to share with the youngsters in your life. 

 

ECONOMICS BLOGS AND COLUMNS 

44. Dan Ariely’s blog – Duke University behavioral economist offers advice on using economic leverage to improve policy and personal outcomes.  

45. Ian Ayres’ blog – Yale Law School professor and economist analyzes current research at the intersection of law and economics, including behavioral economics research on incentives and personal goal-setting. 

46. The Big Picture – Economic journalist Barry Ritholtz and others analyze domestic and international stock market and macroeconomic trends. 

47. Calculated Risk – Up-to-date analysis of economic data, with commentary on how to accurately forecast domestic and international markets and industries.  

48. Freakonomics – Analysis of the economic side of current events ranging from employment policy to school funding with a focus on incentivizing pro-social behaviors.

49. John Cochrane, “The Grumpy Economist” – University of Chicago Economist provides commentary, statistics, and graphics at the intersection of finance and macroeconomics.

50. Paul Krugman, “The Conscience of a Liberal” – Nobel Prize winning economist and political commentator writes on international trade imbalances, macroeconomic fiscal policy, national debt reduction, and more. 

51. Greg Mankiw’s Blog – Economic insight from renowned expert in New Keynesian economics on taxation policies, government spending and debt, economics education, and more. 

52. Marginal Revolution – George Mason University economists analyze national and global fiscal policy, encouraging debate and commentary from a wide range of readers.

53. National Public Radio/Planet Money – Blog and podcasts covering current events in U.S. and international economics, and providing detailed explanations of economic phenomena such as compound interest. 

54. Nouriel Roubini Blog – New York University economist analyzes under-appreciated macroeconomic risks and fiscal shortcomings. 

 

LAW & ECONOMICS BLOGS & SITES 

55. Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog – University of Florida Law professor D. Daniel Sokol and guests analyze current antitrust rulings, research reports, and more. 

56. Banking Law Prof Blog – Ann Graham of Hamline Law and guests scrutinize banking reform, fiscal policy, and current events in the banking industry. 

57. “The Legal Pulse” – Members of the free enterprise promoting Washington Legal Foundation analyze agency decisions, federal rulings, and economic trends. 

58. The John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics, and Business at Harvard Law School – Web site links to working papers, fellowships, and more. 

59. Law, Economics & Organization Workshop at Yale Law School – Web site links to interdisciplinary workshop series.  

60. Ludwig Center for Community & Economic Development at Yale Law School – Web site links to entrepreneurship and economic innovation podcasts, research publications, and more. 

61. M & A Law Prof Blog – Brian J. M. Quinn of Boston College Law and guests analyze current affairs in mergers and acquisitions. 

62. Tax Prof Blog – Paul L. Caron of Cincinnati Law and guests dissect contemporary tax law and forecast the impacts of proposed tax reforms.  

63. Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog – Gerry W. Beyer of Texas Tech Law and guests analyze state, national, and international trends in estates law. 

 

SPECIALIZED ECONOMIC DATA RESOURCES, PRINT 

64. Almanac of Business and Industry Financial Ratios – Company financial information drawn from more than 5 million IRS tax returns. 

65. Best’s Aggregates and Averages – Financial information for property-casualty companies, property-liability companies, and other insurers, including annual statements, underwriting gains/losses, and more.

66. Budget of the United States Government (historical) – U.S. budgets on microfiche and in print from 1971-present.

 

BLOGS AND WEB SITES OF THEORETICAL LAW AND ECONOMICS CONFERENCE PRESENTERS (2012 presenting authors)

 67. Anup Malani: University of Chicago Law School blog, Huffington Post, University of Chicago Law School research page

68. Oren Bar-Gill: Oxford University Press blog, New York University Law School research page

69. Joel Watson: EconJobMarket.org, University of California, San Diego research page      

70. Ezra Friedman: IDEAS research papers, Northwestern Law research page 

71. Tracy Lewis: Duke University research page

72. Louis Kaplow: Harvard University Law School research page

73. Andrew Daughety: Vanderbilt University research page

74. Jennifer F. Reinganum: Vanderbilt University research page 

75. Eric Talley: “In the News”/Berkeley Law blog, Berkeley Law page

 

Image: "More than better" by Nam June Paik (1932-2006)

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