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Research Resources


Finding Data

  • IPUMS - National (and International) Surveys on Economic, Health, Education, and more. Well organized and easy to use (**get U.S. Census data here**):  

  • NLS Investigator – Longitudinal surveys tracking a limited sample of individuals over many years (e.g. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997). Public but must register for access. Not especially user-friendly.  

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment, Wage, and Price Data that is mainly aggregated to county/state/national level (e.g. County-Year level unemployment statistics):  

  • Common Core of Data – School/District/State level surveys of school enrollments and staff counts. Financial data on school districts.

  • Info on policy variation across States from National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL):

 Searching the Academic Literature


  • Find a starting point

    • Sign up for weekly emails with new working papers coming out of NBER

    • Probable Causation Podcast: “Law” related literature (can search by topic or by econometric technique)

    • Journal of Economic Perspectives symposiums organized by topic

    • Your syllabi from other classes can help you find a starting point!  Many are up online  

    • Google scholar/JSTOR searches

      • ​Use filters to limit results to more recent years (e.g. since 2005) and remove fields that are muddying your results.

      • Try LOTS of different key word combinations and be sure to include broader key words.

  • Get ideas from others’ literature reviews/references – When you find a quality paper related to your work, see what papers they discuss as related to their work in the literature review section or introduction (sections may vary) as they are likely to be related to your work as well. The literature review and introductions are also helpful to begin forming a general picture of research landscape and how your work might fit in.

  • Search forwards (as well as backwards) – When you find an article closely related to your project, use the google search “cited by” link to review the other papers that cite this one for ideas for where to look next.

  • Focus on quality - all else equal, put more weight on "better" journals when doing your literature review as these are more likely to be central to the literature.  Here are a few examples:

    • Journal of Quarterly Economics (QJE)

    • Journal of Political Economy (JPE)

    • American Economic Review (AER)

    • Review of Economic Studies (ReStud)

    • Review of Economics and Statistics (ReStat)

    • American Economic Journal: Applied (AEJ: Applied)

    • American Economic Journal: Policy (AEJ: Policy)

    • Journal of Human Resources (JHR)

    • Journal of Labor Economics (JOLE)

    • Journal of Health Economics (JHE)

    • Journal of Public Economics (JPubE)

    • Less highly ranked but good for policy topics:  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM)​

    • More details:


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