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WWS Statistical and Data Sources: Home

Need Help finding data?

Your primary contacts are the librarians at Stokes Library:  Nancy Pressman Levy, Joann Donatiello, and Elana Broch.

Have data but need help working with the data?

If you already have identified the source of your data or statistics and you need help subsetting the data, preparing the data, or analyzing the data, come to the Data Lab.  The Data Lab is located at A-12-G in Firestone Library. 

The lab is open when Firestone Library is open. Assistance is available during staffed hours Monday-Friday. 

Sep 1-Nov 4 By appt. here
Nov 7-Dec 16 Walk-in, 2-5 pm*
Dec 19-Feb 3 By appt. here
Feb 6-May 5 Walk-in, 1-5 pm*
May 8-May 16 Walk-in, 2-5 pm*
May 17-Aug 31 By appt. here

Tips for Data and Statistics

  • Microdata is survey or administrative data about an entity (person, family, establishment).
  • Summary statistics are aggregated counts of survey or administrative data.
  • There is typically around a 2 year time lag from the time the data is collected to the time of release.
  • Longitudinal or panel study:  same group of individuals is interviewed at intervals over a period of time.
  • Cross-sectional study:  data from particular subjects are obtained only once.
  • Very little subnational data is available.  Most subnational data is restricted when available.   We do have a fair amount of state level macro data for the United States.  City level data is often of a case study type or only available for very large cities.
  • Many micro-level datasets are restricted and it is not uncommon to wait a year before getting permission or denial to use the data.  Each country has its own rules.
  • Data does not always come with setup files.   You may need to write a setup file to read in the data.
  • Aside from economic indicators and financial data, most data does not exist in electronic format.  Historical data in electronic format prior to 1950 is rare. Most governmental links provide current data only.
  • The basic question to ask when looking for economic data is "who cares about what I am studying?"  Unfortunately, the answer will often be no one. Ideally, look for an organization that is concerned with your research as part of its mission. Examples include the International Labor Organization focusing on labor research; the International Monetary Fund focusing on monetary and fiscal concerns; the World Bank focusing on development; and the World Health Organization focusing on health.
  • What exists for one country may not exist for another country. Data is generally inconsistent across borders.
  • Always look at the methodology.

Research Help?

Nancy Pressman Levy
pressman@princeton.edu
international affairs, public policy

Joann Donatiello

jdonatie@princeton.edu
immigration, demography, health policy, census

Elana Broch
ebroch@princeton.edu

immigration, demography, education, csnsus

 

Contact all  three: piaprlib@princeton.edu