Data Sources

  1. Individual level datasets: data on people and households. Useful if looking at relationships on the micro level, for example between education and earnings.
    1. The UK Data Service contains household-level data from seven key datasets, and detailed data surveys across the UK. Sources of data include just about everything at a micro level: from education to consumption to employment. Some of the datasets are panels (following the same families across time) notably the British Household Panel Survey. There are also the 1958 and 1970 ‘cohort’ studies, which trace the lives of people born in a certain week in 1958 and 1970 respectively.
    2. Qualibank – Qualitative data – normally less useful for undergraduate econometrics/statistics, but be aware it’s there just in case you get an unusual problem!
  2. UK level datasets: time-series data on the UK. If you want data for other countries, you can try the international datasets below, but these tend to be less frequent (i.e. recorded annually rather than quarterly or monthly)Government agencies:
    1. Office of National Statistics: most macro-data on the UK economy in time series format
    2. Bank of England: Banking, monetary and financial statistics
  3. House prices: The most popular series is from Nationwide
  4. International level datasets: useful either for tests on a cross-section/panel of countries (cross-country studies of economic growth being the classic example) or time series, although often these sets are low frequency (annual) so this limits the data available.
    1. The UK Data Archive has sections for International Macrodata and International time-series data.
    2. Penn World Tables current version of the famous ‘Heston Summers’ dataset – great for cross-country growth studies
    3. Environment and disease data from the centre for International Development at Harvard. Although you’ll use this rarely, it has data on infection and geographical characteristics of countries which is hard to find elsewhere.
  5. Other data sourcesWolfram Alpha– calling itself a ‘computational knowledge engine’ rather than a search engine- it can do some fantastic things. It is a really powerful tool and, with more data constantly being added, it could be very useful for you. I thought it wasn’t fair to tell you about it without testing it so, do you want to know…

    Joking apart, if you need to plot a graph, solve an equation or maximise a function what it can do is incredible.