Skip to Main Content

Basic Sources of International Economic Statistics

Background Sources for Risk

Economic and Political Risk Assessment and Data

EIU Country Risk Service  (1996+) Continuously updated political, economic, and financial risk analysis for countries. Useful for measuring sovereign risk.
EIU Risk Briefing Provides comprehensive timely analysis, forecasts, alerts and background data covering a wide range of risk factors in 180 major markets. Updated daily. Useful for measuring operational risk.
EIU Markets Indicators and Forecasts Data begins in 1990 and forecasts out 5 years. In addition to social and economic indicators, includes summary measures of economic, market, and political risk. Under "Series" divided into 3 areas: politics, institutions and regulations, country credit risk, and business operations risk.
Political Risk Yearbook/International Country Risk Guide
JA1.P644 (current volumes in DR) (8 volume set)
As of 2018, 140 countries are monitored. Represents an "attempt to bridge the gap between the academic world and the real world of politics, government, and economics". The data portion of International Country Risk Guide can be found in Data is back to 1984. Country forecasts provide: a map, highlights of the year, current data, the most likely, 2nd most likely, and 3rd most likely five-year regime scenarios, players to watch, and political players. Country conditions provide: investment climate (overview, policies, legal framework, infrastructure, political violence, corruption, international agreements, and labor contracts), climate for trade (trade barriers, international agreements), and background geography, history, social conditions, government, political conditions, foreign relations). See the definitions and methodology.  Princeton's print holdings begin in 2002 but there is back coverage (select) through Nexis Uni   Dates back to April 1, 1987. Dates of coverage vary by country.
Economic Freedom of the World Data Fraser Institute assessment includes 5 major areas:  (1) size of government: expenditures, taxes, and enterprises; (2) legal structure and security of property rights; (3) access to sound money; (4) freedom to trade internationally; and (5) regulation of credit, labor, and business.  Data back to 1970.  "The Fraser Institute is an independent non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada."  "The Fraser Institute is a registered non-profit organization. We depend entirely on donations from people who understand the importance of impartial research and who support greater choice, less government intervention, and more personal responsibility."
Economic Policy Uncertainty Economic policy uncertainty indices for many countries.  Includes subindices on many topics including monetary policy, trade, firm-level political risk, geopolitical risk, financial stress, and immigration.
Financial Vulnerability Index

The Financial Vulnerability Indicator (FVI), developed by Fathom Consulting, is available for more than 170 countries in Datastream (part of the economics module).  By combining high and low frequency macro and financial market data in a rigorous analytical framework, the FVI measures a country’s vulnerability to four different types of financial crisis over time.  Looks at crisis risk for banking, sovereign, currency, and sudden stops (current account).  2001+ The modules for commodities, economics, equities, and futures are also available through WRDS.

Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI) Comprehensive ratings, analyses, and forecasts for over 140 countries. Includes Quality of Workforce Index (QWI). QWI for 1985, 1990-1999, 2005-2020 are on the DSS server.  Historical Rating Research Package 1980+
BMI Research Provides market research reports on 24 industries and 200 global markets, emphasizing emerging markets. Includes extensive economic and political risk ratings and analysis, and macroeconomic analysis and forecasts.
International Strategic Reports and Forecasts (ISA) Current source for international market analysis, country and regional intelligence, risk, and economic forecasting. Includes Sub-Saharan Africa.


Cross-National Time-Series Data Archive
Economic, social, and political indicators of nations and empires of the world including countries and empires that no longer exist. Select data goes back to 1815.
Index of Economic Freedom
HB95 .I48 (current volume in DR); 1995+
Includes country-by-country analysis on 186 countries and data on trade policy, fiscal burden, governmental intervention, monetary policy, foreign investment, banking and finance, wages and prices, property rights, regulation, and black market. Published by the Heritage Foundation (a conservative non-partisan think tank) in cooperation with Dow Jones. Data is available free of charge online. Detailed methodology is provided in the print volume along with topical essays. Scores range from 1 to 5 with 1 being best. The Heritage Foundation defines economic freedom as "the absence of government coercion or constraint on the production, distribution, or consumption of goods and services beyond the extent necessary for citizens to protect and maintain liberty itself". Datastream has the full run.


Freedom House Country Ratings
"Freedom House is a clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world. Founded nearly sixty years ago by Eleanor Roosevelt, Wendell Willkie, and other Americans concerned with the mounting threats to peace and democracy, Freedom House has been a vigorous proponent of democratic values and a steadfast opponent of dictatorships of the far left and the far right." Since 1972, Freedom House has published an annual assessment of the state of freedom by assigning each country and territory the status of "Free," "Partly Free," or "Not Free" by averaging their political rights and civil liberties ratings. The print version is Freedom in the World. JC571.xG3 (current volume in DR).   Also see their ceased publication (2004-2012), Countries at the Crossroads (JC423.C7196) that covered fewer countries but provided more in depth coverage.  Also produces Freedom of the Press and Freedom on the Net.
Transparency International Transparency International is "the only international non-governmental organisation devoted to combating corruption, brings civil society, business, and governments together in a powerful global coalition." In addition to news and special reports, ongoing surveys on various types of corruption including a global corruption barometer, a bribe payers survey, and a corruption perceptions index. Publishes Global Corruption Report which presents chapters on various forms of corruption as well as country reports for approximately 40 countries. (current edition in DR; older in Firestone Noncirculating) JF1081.G56  Also publishes the Bribe Players Index which "evaluates the supply side of corruption - the likelihood of firms from the world’s industrialised countries to bribe abroad."  The Corruption Perception Indices are also available in Datastream as annual time series typically starting in 2012.
Governance Indicators World Bank study providing aggregate governance research indicators for over 200 economies for 1996-2020, for 6 dimensions of governance: voice and accountability; political stability and absence of violence; government effectiveness; regulatory quality; rule of law; control of corruption.
Bertelsmann transformation index : towards democracy and a market economy
(DR) HN979 .B473
Global ranking that analyzes and evaluates development and transformation processes in 116 countries. Provides the international public and political actors with a comprehensive view of the status of democracy and a market economy as well as the quality of political management in each of these countries. Includes CD-ROM.


Sustainable Governance Indicators.  (SGI) (Bertelsmann Stiftung)
Cross-national survey of governance in the OECD. Identifies reform needs and highlights forward-looking practices, while offering full access to the data underlying 147 indicators.


Global Competitiveness Report
Recent years can be found at the World Economic forum website. In addition specialized reports on financial development, trade, information technology, travel and tourism, private equity, education, and certain regions of the world can be found at the same website.  Volumes back to 1996 are located in the Trustees Reading Room under call number HG1414 .G572q.


Mo Ibrahim Foundation.  Ibrahim Index of African Governance
Composite index, constructed by combining underlying indicators in a standardized way to provide a statistical measure of governance performance in all African countries.