Data Page, July 6, 2011

Sites with the symbol "($)" are available to IU students but not the general public, and may not be available even to IU students, depending on the computer used. Sites with *** are ones I particularly like.

"Indiana University Databases" has links to the top databases, e.g. Lexis- Nexis, and let's you search for whether IU has a source.

***"Google Scholar" limit Google searches to scholarly sites. Thus, the sources it lists are somewhat more reliable than from plain Google. See its 2009 LAWsection, which could replace Lexis for that purpose and is free.

The "Business-SPEA Library Research Guides" lists databases by subject. Also see its Fast Facts for such things as images (including maps), a dictionary, a manual of writing style, and an encyclopedia.

OneSearch@IU appears in different places, and often searches too many databases. It can be limited to just a few sources at a time, e.g. ABI/INFORM Global Suite and Academic Search (EBSCO).

For annual reports, it's often best to go straight to the company website and look for a tab called "Investor Relations". SEC filings such as 10-K's are easier to get from Yahoo Finance (see below). Older annual reports can be gotten from Mergent (see below)

***For company information, use Lexis-Nexis Academic: select "Business" from the top tab, then "Company Profiles" from the options. This will let you view Investext and Hoover's information too.

***WRDS is the Wharton proprietary data site, with data from Compustat (accounting data for firms), CRSP (stock data), the Penn World Table (country data), and executive pay data, among other things. It requires a special password (or use it in the BUS/SPEA library) and can be difficult to use, but it has lots of data. It does not have the most current data, though-- it is for data histories.

*** Marketline($) has SWOT analysis for companies, and good "soft" company descriptions and histories (old name: Datamonitor).

Hoover's ($) has company descriptions and data, and is especially good for overviews of companies.

Mergent ($) has financial data on companies over time and corporate histories. ($) has long reports on hundreds of products and industries.

D&B's Million Dollar Databases ($) has lists of companies, large and small both, for particular SIC codes and locations. It would be good for looking at Indiana companies, or any company not big enough to be in other data sources.

Investext has stock research reports on companies and industries.

MARKETING. Choices II, available only in the library, show what kind of people buy which products.

JOINT VENTURES AND MERGERS. SDC Platinium, available only in the library, is good for data on joint ventures and mergers.

Thompson Research ($) has Standard and Poor's industry reports and company data, and is especially good at comparing companies within an industry.

I prefer Yahoo Finance to Google Finance for stock prices. Click Historical Prices for stock prices over the period of time you are interested in. You can download to a spreadsheet. This is also good for government filings such as 10-K's.

***The Statistical Abstract of the United States is usually the first place I look for government data.

***Economagic has time series data on things such as unemployment, GDP, and interest rates. See its "Most Requested Series, right at the top of the page. Only subscribers can get Excel files of data, but you can cut and paste the data at least. The St. Louis Fed is free and good for macro time series data. (FRED), lets you make graphs or download Excel files of the data, but it is harder to use.

FedStats is the government's grand entry page for government statistics. It allows searches across lots of agencies if you're not sure which one has the statistic you need.

I do not recommend Search Tables in Lexis-Nexis ($).

Economic Census data on number of establishments (not firms) by industry and location is conveniently available on the Web. See the Guide to the 2002 Economic Census and the 2002 list of data items. This is where data on concentration ratios and on industry costs is located.

State and County QuickFacts is where to find Census data by state and county. The University of Virginia also has a nicely organized site for older data: County and City Data Books (1988, 1994 and 2000 data)

International Data
Lots of the other sources have data from foreign countries, but these are a few sites specifically devoted to comparing different countries.

***The World Bank has a "Doing Business" site giving quantitative evaluations of regulations in different countries and links to their laws.

*** The World Bank has the best database for getting GDP, population, exchange rates, of various countries, but note also the similar IMF *** Index Mundi is a great place to find data country by country on things such as GDP growth or infant mortality. It gets its data from sources such as the CIA World Factbook.

The Penn World Tables, have older international macro data set up conveniently to create tables by year or country for many decades.

The CIA World Factbook has maps and facts about different countries.

The World Bank's data query has data on GDP growth, mortality, and development indicators by country. It also has massive files of bilateral trade data that is not user-friendly.

***The EIU Economist Intelligence Unit ($) has good "Country Commerce" reports on doing business in different countries.

Newspaper and Magazine Articles
JSTOR ($) has lots of academic journals in all fields.

The RDS Business Reference Suite($) is the best source for trade journals, and has a good set of menus for searching by concept ("ad budget") and industry.

I like Factiva ($), the Dow-Jones database site, which is especially good for Wall Street Journal articles.

Bloomberg, available only in the library, is especially good on biographies, and it has lots of interviews, including sound files and video.

***, has campaign finance information, including data nicely arranged by industry. The Huffington post too.

*** See Google's 2009 LAWsection, which could replace Lexis for that purpose and is free. has links to court decisions, and is especially good on current legal issues.

Many think tanks post policy papers on the web, reports that give useful facts and the think tank's views on various issues. Since they are trying to influence you, they make these convenient to use. You do, of course, have to remember that they have a particular point of view. Here are some.

The Brookings Institution and the Economic Policy Institute (liberal)

The ***Heritage Foundation (whose reports I find particularly well organized) and The American Enterprise Institute (conservative)

The Cato Institute and the Reason Foundation (libertarian)

CIAO ($) has lots of think tank papers, including ones not available freely on the web.

Google News is useful for restricting searches to news stories, especially for getting the latest news on something.

***Google Book Search searches the full text of many books, in huge scanned-in pdf's. Project Gutenberg has plain-text editions of classic works.

***Copyright Clearance is a centralized place to buy reprint rights.

***Google Tips (for details, go to Google here ; see also my Google tip page):

Resources for Economists has a wealth of links to data sources

The Historical United States Census Data Browser is nicely put together. You can find the number of slaves in Connecticut in 1790, for example.

Many Gallup polls are available.

New Yorker cartoons are searchable here, and you can buy permissions.