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This course guide provides resources for senior thesis writers in the Department of Economics.
In addition to this course guide, consult the research guide for economics as well as the business research guide for further related resources.

Journals to Browse:

  • Journal of Economic Literature- access here or here.
  • Journal of Economic Perspectives- access here or here.

Classification System for Browsing by economic topic:

JEL Classification Codes

Lists of Journals by Economic Discipline:


    • EconLit with Full Text (1969 to present)
      From the American Economic Association -- the foremost source of references to economic literature.
    • Environment Complete
      A full-text database covering environmental studies, ecology, energy, urban planning, and affiliated areas of study.
    • ERIC (1966 to present)
      Covers research documents, journal articles, technical reports, program descriptions and evaluations, and curricular materials in the field of education.
    • HeinOnline
      Full-text legal materials back to volume 1, historic English law and more. (Alumni access)
    • JSTOR
      Full-text backfiles of over two thousand leading academic journals across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. (Alumni access)
    • LexisNexis Academic (Now called: Nexis Uni) (date coverage varies)
      Full-text federal and state laws, international legal materials, and law reviews. Also newspapers, business information and company profiles.
    • PAIS Index (1972 to present)
      Coverage of articles, selected books, government documents, research reports, etc., from a wide range of social sciences.
    • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (1975 to present)
      Covers international journals in political science and its complementary fields.
    • PsycInfo (1887 to present)
      Covers the academic literature in psychology and related disciplines including psychiatry, sociology, education, and other areas.
    • PubMed (1966 to present)
      Premiere biomedical index, includes MEDLINE and links to molecular biology databases.
    • Social Science Database (ProQuest)
      Covers academic literature for disciplines ranging from anthropology, sociology, and political science to communication, education, criminology, demography, economics and more.
    • Web of Science (1984 to present)
      Search thousands of journals across the sciences and social sciences and track cited references to locate more recent articles.
    • WestLaw (Thomson Reuters)
      Federal and state laws, law reviews, legal encyclopedias and dictionaries. Also newspapers and the European Union Library.


    Reference Sources include dictionaries, handbooks, and encyclopedias. They are considered secondary or tertiary sources that you can use to get a factual, background information about a topic.



    • China Data Online
      Includes monthly and yearly reports on national, regional, and local macro-economics, as well as statistical yearbooks and census data.
    • China Statistical Yearbooks (1949 to present)
      Digital repository of statistical and census data published officially by the mainland Chinese government.
    • Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Real Time Data Research Center
      Produces macroeconometric analyses and collects and maintains a variety of data sets of value to macroeconomists and monetary policymakers, including the Aruoba-Diebold-Scotti Business Conditions Index, real-time data set for macroeconomists, the Livingston Survey, the Survey of Professional Forecasters, GDPplus, and the Greenbook data sets
    • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis FRED
      Federal Reserve Economic Data, FRED is an online database consisting of more than 385,000 economic data time series from 80 national, international, public, and private sources
    • Historical Statistics of the United States
      Standard source for quantitative information about the U.S., updated and includes 37,000 data series.
    • ICPSR: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research
      World's largest archive of computerized social science data, provides abstracts and data.
    • IMF Statistical Databases
      Includes International Financial Statistics with history to 1948, Direction of Trade with history to 1980, Balance of Payments with history to 1960 and Government Finance Statistics with history to 1990.
    • (Username/Password required for access is available from the Reference Desk.)
      India-specific socioeconomic statistical facts and figures; data can be downloaded in Excel or HTML.
    • iPOLL
      Database contains survey questions and answers asked in the US over the last 70+ years by more than 150 survey organizations. Create a personal registration for access to full features.
    • NBER Data
      Provides a wealth of well-documented data from the National Bureau of Economic Research.
    • OECD iLibrary
      A digital collection of journals, working papers, e-books, and data sets produced by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, on behalf of its member countries and partners. Portions of the iLibrary which are accessible (indicated by a yellow smiley face) include the OECD Journal, Main Economic Indicators (1999-), OECD Economic Outlook (1967-), and OECD Economic Surveys (1961-).
    • Social Explorer (1790 to present)
      Access to data from the U.S. Census, American Community Survey, religious congregations, and other sources, with options to create thematic and interactive maps and reports.
    • Statistical Insight (ProQuest)
      Searches U.S. federal government (1974-present), international intergovernmental (1983-present), state government and privately published documents (1981-present) that contain statistics. Many tables are available online as images or Excel files.
    • WDI Online (1960 to present)
      World Development Indicators providing international social and economic statistics from the World Bank.

    Highly select data sources:

    Finances and Trade

    International Monetary Fund Data

    Guide to data sources through the IMF

    International Merchandise Trade Statistics

    United Nations Commodity Trade Statistics Database

    Social Statistics

    UNHCR Population Statistics of refugees/asylum-seekers

    Statistical Abstract of the United States 

    Integrated Public Use Microdata Series USA (IPUMS)

    Global/Regional Finance & Development

    World Bank Data

    Africa Development Indicators

    Asian Development Bank

    Qandl -- Financial and economic datasets online; some free and/or open source. See example.

    Sports Reference -- includes data for professional baseball, basketball, footballl, and hockey. See terms of use for large data set needs.

    Statistics in Sports -- part of the American Statistical Association

    China-related data sites -- mirror of data from air pollution monitor stations in China
    and -- world's largest aggregator of real-time air pollution data


    National Center for Education Statistics -- Pre-K through postsecondary datasets for the United States. Produced by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Finding Data


    Finding Data:

    There are many different strategies for finding data.

    1. Use the economic literature approach, and see what data other authors writing in your topic area are citing. Search EconLit (or the other sources provided) for a keyword and add (data or statistics or empirical).
    2. AEA Data Sources Directory. The American Economic Association maintains a directory of popular national and international sources for economic data.
    3. Footnote slogging: Check the footnotes of relevant articles or books. See what the author used as a source.
    4. Go directly to an agency, organization, or non-profit which produces or collects data. There are thousands of these, of course, so there are many attempts to provide lists or finding aids for them-- for example: Resources Online from the AC Econ DepartmentData/Statistics from the AC Library (in addition to free resources, provides links to data we pay for). Sometimes the data is not available for free -- it may be possible for the library to purchase data to support your thesis. 
    5. ICPSR (Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research) The world's largest archive of social science data, for use with statistical software such as SAS, SPSS, and Stata. This data is not freely available on the web -- Amherst College gets access. 
    6. Historic data: Much of the data available has not been digitized. There are many sources available in paper which can be scanned in Seely Mudd with high quality OCR and exported into Excel. If you do create data from historic sources, ICPSR welcomes data submission (with all the appropriate metadata) and then makes it available to others. Data/Statistics above has links to some of the historic data sites to subscribe to or know about. 
    7. Cooperation with UMass: UMass Business School (in addition to the library) has high cost business and finance datasets that AC does not own. In the past, they have allowed AC student to access the data, working with/through the AC faculty advisor. 

    Don't forget to cite: International Association for Social Science Information Services and Technology (IASSIST) has a handy guide for citing data, which you can access here

      Web Resources

      Web Resources

      EconPapers: largest collection of online Economics working papers, includes journal articles and books.

      NBER Working Papers  (National Bureau of Economic Research)

      Eldis: Development policy, practice and research. Over 24,000 summarised documents from over 4,500 development organisations - all free to download.

      Social Science Research Network: Economics