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Subject Guides

Economics

Other public websites

Your online guide to finding resources for your research

Research societies

Adam Smith Institute - The Adam Smith Institute has played a crucial role in the development of policy including privatization, regulatory reform and government restructuring". Site provides information about institutional publications, links to other organisations and an interactive weblog of debates on economic issues.

American Economic Association - Site includes information about membership, meetings and publications (e.g. Journal of Economic Literature).

Association for Social Economics - Site includes information about membership, meetings and publications.

Centre for European Reform (CER) - CER is a think-tank based in London. CER publications are a mixture of documents available to purchase and material freely available online.

European Economic Association - Site includes information about the EEA's congresses, summer schools and awards.

Institute for Fiscal Studies - Site includes details of IFS research and publications and a guide to job opportunities. Especially useful are the UK Budget Analyses: after each Pre-Budget Report, Budget and Spending Review, the IFS publishes analysis of the Chancellor's proposals.

Institute of Economic Affairs - Site includes background information on all areas with which the IEA is involved e.g. environment, health, development, plus a section especially for students.

National Bureau of Economic Research - Site includes a searchable archive (1994-) of full NBER Working Papers (accessible on the University of York campus network), a range of online data series (currently no restrictions on access), plus links to other relevant sites.

National Institute of Economic and Social Research - Site includes full texts of Discussion Papers which can be downloaded without restriction, plus information about research programmes and other publications.

Royal Economic Society - Site includes information about membership, conferences and publications (e.g. Economic Journal, Econometrics Journal), plus an archive of recent media briefings.

International organisations

Bank for International Settlements - An international organisation which fosters cooperation among central banks and other agencies in pursuit of monetary and financial stability. Includes a directory of links to websites of the central banks of 130 countries.

Central Bank Research Hub - A facility to promote the dissemination of economic research published by central banks. Produced by The Bank for International Settlements (BIS)

European Central Bank - background information, press releases and publications, plus links to the websites of national banks of European countries.

European Union - Information in all EU languages includes news, full texts of official documentation, and background on key issues such as the Euro, legislation, employment etc.

GATSwatch - A collection of background texts, official publications, news items and links relating to the WTO's General Agreement on Trade in Services. Compiled by staff of the non-governmental organisations Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute.

GATT Digital Library 1947-1994 - Provides access to over 30,000 full text documents and reports published by and about the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) and may be searched by keyword or date. A collaboration between Stanford University and the WTO. 

International Labour Organization - Includes the full text of many official reports and publications, such as the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

International Monetary Fund - Provides background information, press releases and country reports.  Also includes substantial free-to-access financial data, such as an archive (1995-, updated daily) of tables of exchange rates in terms of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - Site offers background information on the OECD (including the full text of the latest annual report), considerable amounts of free-to-access statistics.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development - UNCTAD offers an intergovernmental forum for debate, undertakes research, policy analysis and data collection to support debate, and provides technical assistance tailored to the requirements of developing countries. Site includes the full text of the annual Trade and Development Reports 1996-, and World Investment Reports 1991-.

World Bank - Site includes background information on publications and projects, regional and national profiles, summary data including sample tables from the current edition of World Development Indicators, plus the full text of annual World Development Reports 1992-.

World Institute for Development Economics Research - News about research and conferences, full text of recent Discussion Papers, and instructions on how to download data files from the UN Development Programme World Income Inequality Database.

World Trade Organization - Site includes many publications free to download, a substantial directory of links to related sites and links to resources such as working papers, annual reports and the International Trade Statistics for the current year.

Effective Web Searching

The amount of information on the Internet is already huge and is growing rapidly all the time. Search engines such as Google can be helpful in some instances but have serious limitations for scholarly research. You should plan your searches carefully to avoid obtaining too many irrelevant results.

Top tips:

1. Use professional and governmental websites e.g.

Bank of England - detailed information about the Bank's operations and publications, statistical series compiled by the Bank plus the texts of recent press releases.

Department of Trade and Industry - ministers' profiles, texts of recent speeches and publications, and information for the business community and the general public.

H.M. Treasury - texts of the Chancellor's recent speeches and statements, White/Green Papers, press releases and other official documents and reports.

National Audit Office - The independent Government Office which scrutinises public spending on behalf of Parliament and audits the accounts of all government departments and agencies as well as a wide range of other public bodies. Site includes full text of Annual Reports, Press Notices and other publications.

2. Use specific Internet portals e.g.

Biz/ed - A dedicated UK-based business and economics information gateway for students, teachers and lecturers. Incorporates company facts, national and international economic and financial data and the Virtual Worlds interactive case studies.

Intute - Economics - a gateway to free Internet resources which can be browsed by subject or searched. Detailed descriptions are provided by subject specialists based in UK higher education institutions. Intute hosts the online tutorial Internet Economist: an annotated tour of the range of sites available to support HE research and learning.

WWW Virtual Library for Economics - two separately maintained but cross-searchable databases of free-to-access websites:

  1. Resources for Economists on the Internet -  a collection of more than 1600 sites which can be searched or browsed by theme. An explanatory description is provided for each site. Edited by Bill Goffe, State University of New York and sponsored by the American Economic Association
  2. WebEc - A collection of websites with an emphasis on websites intended to support academic study. Edited by Lauri Saarinen of the Helsinki School of Economics.

3. Always make sure you evaluate websites that you use:

Accuracy: can you rely on the information provided on the website?
Authority: who has written the webpages and do they have the necessary knowledge or qualifications to do so?
Currency: are the pages up-to-date and regularly maintained?
Objectivity: Is there any inherent bias in the pages that you need to be aware of?
Coverage: Does the website provide enough information or will you need to look at a range of websites?

Scholarly societies

Econ Journal Watch - a triannual peer-reviewed journal for scholarly commentary on academic economics, which publishes comments on articles appearing in economics journals and serves as a forum about economics research and the economics profession.

EDIRC (Economics Departments, Institutes and Research Centers in the World) - a classified index to websites of economics departments, associations and societies. Maintained by Christian Zimmerman of the University of Quebec at Montreal.

Economic and Social Research Council - The UK's leading agency for funding research and training in social and economic issues . Site includes a directory of ESRC publications, some of which are free-to-download.

Economic growth resources -  Provides links to data sets and working papers which can be accessed without restriction plus websites of institutions and individuals involved in this research area. Not searchable, but resources are classified and described. Compiled by Jonathan Temple at the University of Bristol.

E-economics -  An online laboratory, conducting research on behavioural economics. Maintained by Mike Shor of Vanderbilt University.

Glossary of International Economics - an index of terminology covering concepts from international economics at the introductory level. Compiled by Prof. Alan Deardorff, University of Michigan.

Higher Education Academy Economics Network - one of 24 publicly-funded subject networks for UK higher education. Hosts the free-to-access electronic journals International Review of Economics Education and Computers in Higher Education Economics Review (CHEER), plus teaching resources, book reviews and discussion lists.

Internet Economist -  a free tutorial which lets you practice your Internet Information Skills. Written by staff of the University of Bristol as part of the HEFCE-funded Intute: Virtual Training Suite.