Data Bootcamp: Data sources & applications

There’s an enormous amount of public data available online: data about countries, about markets, about individuals, and about companies. Here are some of our favorites; we use most of them in class. We link to a larger but less well organized list at the end.

Data about countries

Go-to sources:

Others we like:

Data about financial markets

Data about individuals

There is lots of survey data online, which gives us individual outcomes (the employment status of people with specific characteristics, for example) as well as the usual average outcomes (the unemployment rate). That allows us to compare outcomes of various groups: rich and poor, young and old, black and white, and so on. Anthony Damico’s asdfree collection includes an extensive list with descriptions. Gianluca Violante’s guide to micro data is a a similar list focused on US sources. It’s aimed at PhD students, but you should get the idea. These sources are not necessarily easy to use, but they’re incredibly informative. Keep in mind that we have experts on hand to help with any that interest you.

Here are some we have used:

Miscellaneous other sources

Some that appeal to us, but please send suggestions:

Data applications

Data journalism:



This is not for the timid, but we have a huge collection of data sources and applications. Get a cold drink and a comfy chair and see what strikes your fancy. Active investing? Movie grosses? Sports? College Scorecard? Shooting deaths? All this and more. Similar courage is called for if you go to Awesome Public Datasets. There’s way too much there, but one advantage is that it goes beyond economics and finance.