In this page you can find a selection of resources where you can find useful data that can be downloaded for free. The selection is based on my research intersts. At the end of the page, you can find a couple of links to other websites, which contain a lot of addition information.


Penn World Tables - The database is currently hosted at the Groningen Growth and Developed Center (it is worthy to have a look at the Center's website, since it contains other additional database, some of which will be listed below). It is the standard dataset for cross-country analysis of aggregate growth and development. PWT version 9.0 has been released in 2015 and covers 182 countries over the period 1950-2014. 


FRED - Data archive managed by the Federal Reserve Bank at St. Louis. It contains several international series and US data. Stata 15 implemented a utility, which allows the research to import directly into the software all data contained in the data archive. For those using an older version of Stata, the user-written routine freduse offers the same service (it needs to be installed through ssc install freduse).

Bureau of Economic Analyisis - Several US, international and regional macroeconomic time series.


International Monetary Fund - The data archive of the IMF.

World Development Indicators - Recently, the World Bank made this database downloadable for free. It covers the period from 1960 to 2016 and contains information about the characteristics of the economy and the society of more than 210 countries. Also in this case, there exists a useful user-written routine, wbopendata, which allows the research to download data directly into Stata (it needs to be installed through ssc install wbopendata).

Maddision Project - It is also hosted at the Groningen Growth and Developed Center. The project has been started and developed by Angus Maddision. It offers estimates of economic growth in a set of countries over the period from AD 1 to 2010.

Macro Data 4 Stata - The Macro Data 4 Stata project, runned by Giulia Catini, Ugo Panizza and Carol Saade, homogenises several commonly used datasets and imports them into Stata format (Stata10 or newer). Obviously, very useful for Stata users.


Barro and Lee dataset - The most famous database on human capital. Regularly updated.

World Income Inequality Database (WIID) - The database contains information about income inequality in developed, developing and transition economies (more than 180 countries over the period 1867-2015).

OECD Statistics - Web interface to extract data from the numerous OECD databases

Eurostat - European official statistics. 

Macrohistory database - The database, collected by Òscar Jordà, Moritz Schularick, and Alan M. Taylor, covers 17 advanced economies and offers annual data for 25 different indicators over the period 1870-2014.

Database on public expenditure - The database contains information from 10 public expenditure sectors in 147 countries from 1980 to 2015. Sectors include agriculture, communication, education, defense, health, mining, social protection, fuel and energy, transport, and transport and communication (as a group).

World Top Income Database - This database contains several information regarding the distribution of income average and marginal taxation and top income for more that 100 countries over the time period 1800-2016. While the data can be downloaded from the website of the project, an easy way is to use the Stata user-written routine wid (ssc install wid).

Historical Financial Statistics - It is a comprehensive an easy-to-use macroeconomic database stretching back to 1500. 

This time is different database - Database compiled by Carmen Reinhart and used in her books "This time is different"


Fraser Institute Economic Freedom Index - The economic freedom index compiled by the Fraser Institute covers a period from 1970 to 2016 (from 1970 to 2000 the index is available on a five year basis only). The degree of economic freedom in a country is measured by 5 different sub-indices (such as the size of the government, regulation burden, labor market flexibility). Some regional datasets are also available.


Heritage Foundation Economic Freedom Index - The index compiled by the Heritage Foundation is based on similar sub-indices to the ones used by the Freser Institute. Data are on a annual basis and range from 1995 to 2017.


KOF index of globalization - The index provide information about economic, social and political globalization. Data range from 1970 to 2016. The website also contains several additional data on Swiss economy. 

Doing business: The Doing Business project provides objective measures of business regulations for local firms in 185 economies and selected cities at the subnational level.

Corruption transparency index - Developed by an independent international organization, the index scores countries on the basis of how much corrupted their public sectors are seen to be.

Realized volatility - The database, compiled by the Oxford-Man Institute of Quantitative Finance, contains daily non-parametric measures of how volatility financial assets or indexes were in the past. Several assets/market are covered. 


Economic Data
Political Data

Polity IV - The Polity IV database contains political information for all countries with a population larger than 500,000 inhabitants. The peculiarity of the database is that it covers more than 200 years, ranging from 1800 to 2015. The database is hosted at the Center for Systemic Peace. The website also contains numerous additional political databases. 


Database of Political Institutions (DPI) - Another political database for almost all countries in the world, regularly updated It ranges from 1975 to 2015.

Freedom House - The database ranks all countries in the world in terms of their political and civil rights. It ranges from 1973 to 2018.


V-Dem Project - Varieties of Democracy is a joint effort of about 50 political scientists world-wide. It aims  at producing indicators (more than 350) to better understand the extent of democracy around the world. In addition, it offers access to more than other 300 indicators coming from other sources. The V-DEM project is co-hosted by the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg (SWE) and the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame (USA). Data go back up to 1900.

QoG Database - The Quality of Government Institute was founded in 2004 and it is an independent research institute within the Department of Politics at the University of Gothenburg (SWE). The database contains several information about the quality of democracy, the level of corruption, the extent of bureaucracy and many other aspects that help in understanding the evolution of democracy in a country. Several databases (with different levels of aggregations are available).

Policy Uncertainty - The website is managed by Scott R. Baker (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University), Nick Bloom (Stanford University) and Steven J. Davis (Booth School of Business, University of Chicago). They present an index to measure policy-related economic uncertainty. It consists of three components. The first one quantifies newspaper coverage of policy-related economic uncertainty; the second component reflects the number of federal tax code provisions set to expire in future years. Finally, the third one uses disagreement among economic forecasters as a proxy for uncertainty. The same methodology is applied to measure uncertainty in about 20 countries. Data have a monthly frequency and in some cases (UK and US) date back to 1900.

Cline Center Database - The Cline Center for Advanced Social Research, based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, provides a lot of data on several political and social aspectes, such as democracy, development, conflicts, fractionalization and so on. 


  • World Values Survey - A very large dataset based on individual interviews carried out in several countries. The dataset covers more than 30 years (not continuously). Respondents share their ideas on political, social and economic issues (registration required).

  • Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) - The GEM project is an annual assessment of the entrepreneurial activity, aspirations and attitudes of individuals across a wide range of countries. The database ranges from 2000 to 2014. 

Micro-level Data
Data on conflicts
  • International Crisis Behavior (ICB) - The International Crisis Behavior Project (ICB) offers detailed information on 476 international crises and 1052 crisis actors from the end of World War I through 2015.

  • Global Terrorism Database (GTD) - It is an open-source database, hosted at the University of Maryland. It includes information on terrorist events around the world from 1970 through 2016. The GTD includes systematic data on domestic and international terrorist incidents over the specified period, covering more than cases.

  • PRIO Data Archive - The Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) conducts research on the conditions for peaceful relations between states, groups and people. The Institute provide a variety of dataset free of charge on arned conflicts and weapon trade.

  • UCDP Data Archive - The Uppsala Conflict Data Program (UCDP) is the world’s main provider of data on organized violence and the oldest ongoing data collection project for civil war, with a history of almost 40 years. It provides several databases on conflicts.

  • Correlates of War Project - COW seeks to facilitate the collection, dissemination, and use of accurate and reliable quantitative data in international relations. The available databases provide mainly information about conflicts, militarized interstate disputes, formal alliances, territory changes, geographic location of countries and trade flows.

© Dario Maimone Ansaldo Patti