This guide lists selected major resources that you can use to begin researching your topic in economics. For assistance with navigating these resources, or for more information about economics research material at Boston University and beyond, please contact the guide author.

Core Databases

Description: Applied Science & Business Periodicals Retrospective contains indexing and abstracts for core English-language, scientific and technical publications back to 1983. Full text of articles is available from periodicals dating back to 1997. Content includes coverage of a wide variety of applied science specialties--acoustics to aeronautics, neural networks to nuclear and civil engineering, computers and informatics and much more. The database includes the complete contents of Industrial Arts Index, published 1913 to 1958. Content from 1958- comes from Applied Science & Technology Index and Business Periodicals Index.

BU Libraries Search
Our search represents by far the most comprehensive grouping of resources we’ve ever been able to provide.  You can find extensive search tips on our site, build an eShelf, and export citations to RefWorks.

Business Source Complete
Contains indexes, abstracts and full text of business publications, scholarly publications and peer-reviewed journals. Among the sources covered in this database are EIU (Economist Intelligence Unit) country economic reports, company profiles and industry profiles from MarketLine (Formerly Datamonitor), and monographs.

Description: Available on a terminal inside the Pardee Library and in the PC Lab on the 4th Floor of the Economics Department.

Description: Time series data from 1980-present detailing the value of merchandise exports and imports between each country and all its trading partners. Includes total bilateral and multilateral exports and imports aggregated at national or regional group levels. The database contains approximately 100,000 time series covering more than 190 countries and areas.

EconLit (1992)
Note: Comprehensive indexed bibliography with selected abstracts of the world’s economic literature (over 300 major economic journals and collected volumes) compiled from the American Economic Association’s Journal of Economic Literature and the Index of economic articles in journals and collective volumes.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)

The EIU database provides access to the Economist Intelligence Unit Publications such as the Country Reports. Each country page in the database provides forecast updates and featured analysis on economic and political events, as well as content pertaining to market opportunities, government regulations, and the financial services sector. Types of reports vary country by country. Type the country name into the search box and select the reports tab to access the latest country reports.

Description: "Even though Global Development Finance (GDF) is no longer listed in the WDI (World Development Indicators) database name and bulk download file names, all external debt and financial flows data continue to be included in WDI. The GDF publication, formerly Word debt tables, has been renamed International Debt Statistics (IDS). The Global Development Finance (GDF) is a comprehensive overview of development. It is the statistical benchmark that helps measure the progress of development. It focuses on financial flows, trends in external debt, and other major financial indicators for developing countries."

Google Scholar
Off-campus users need to make two changes under “Settings” to take advantage of library subscriptions: type “Boston University” in Library Links and choose RefWorks next to Bibliography Manager (if you are using RefWorks).

Handbooks in Economics
Description: Provides access to handbooks published by Elsevier North-Holland and available online via ScienceDirect; access is limited to affiliates of Boston University.

Description: Formerly known as Global development finance (GDF) online. Focuses on financial flows, trends in external debt, and other major financial indicators for developing and advanced economies (data from Quarterly External Debt Statistics and Quarterly Public Sector Debt databases)."

International Financial Statistics (IFS)

Note: International Financial Statistics (IFS) from the International Monetary Fund includes data on exchange rates, international interest rates, prices, production and international transactions (including balance of payments) as well as individual country government, finance and national account data for individual countries.

Description: Provides comprehensive access to International financial statistics (IFS), Balance of payments statistics (BOPS), Direction of trade statistics (DOTS), and Government finance statistics (GFS) databases. View and download predefined data reports or create and share your own views of IMF data.
Note: Provides access to Direction of Trade Statistics, International Financial Statistics, etc.

Description: The essential online resource for social science and interdisciplinary research. Subject coverage: anthropology, archaeology, cultural studies, demography, economics, education, ethnology and ethnography, political science, religious studies, sociology. Coverage: Begins in 1951.

Provides full-text access to hundreds of prominent journals in the field of economics.  Coverage ranges by publication.

Description: Contains the full texts of publications of the National Bureau of Economics Research. The NBER covers four areas of empirical research: developing new statistical measurements, estimating quantitative models of economic behavior, assessing the effects of public policies on the U.S. economy, and projecting the effects of alternative policy proposals.

OECD iLibrary (2000)
Description: "OECD iLibrary is OECD's Online Library for Books, Papers and Statistics and the gateway to OECD's analysis and data. It replaces SourceOECD, and hosts all content so users can find- and cite- tables and databases as easily as articles or chapters"--OECD iLibrary About page.

Description: Cross-searchable library containing the full text and abstracts of classic and newly published Oxford books in the areas of biology, business and management, classical studies, economics and finance, history, law, linguistics, literature, mathematics, music, neuroscience, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, public health and epidemiology, religion, and social work.

Note: The World Bank is the largest single source of development knowledge. The World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (OKR) is The World Bank’s official open access repository for its research outputs and knowledge products. Through the OKR, The World Bank collects, disseminates, and permanently preserves its intellectual output in digital form.

Description: "The primary World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially-recognized international sources. It presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates."

For more databases, check Business Databases: A-Z or Mugar Library’s Databases A-Z page.

Working Papers

Working papers are often the first place of publication for many economic research projects. The material may eventually be published in academic journals.

AgEcon (Research in Agriculture & Applied Economics)
CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research) Discussion Paper Series
CEPR Publications (Center for Economic and Policy Research)
Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics

EPI (Economic Policy Institute)

Fed in Print

IMF Working Papers

Peterson Institute for International Economics

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics)

Social Science Research Network (Economics Research Network)

SSRN Working Paper Series (via ABI/INFORM Complete)

Economic Indicators & Data

Economic Indicators

ALFRED (Archival Federal Reserve Economic Data)
Beige Book

BLS Indicators

Conference Board (Business Cycle Indicators)


ESA Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators back to 1948 (FRASER)

Economic Statistics Briefing Room (White House)

FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data)

GDP (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Housing Starts

Inflation Calculator

Interest Rates

Monthly bulletin of statistics.
U.S. Economic Accounts

Data Sets

General Social Survey (GSS)
ICPSR – Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
LIS Cross National Income Study
Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)
UN Comtrade Database

Books & Journals


BU Libraries Search – Search for printed material, electronic resources and more.
Interlibrary Borrowing – If we don’t have what you need, you may be able to borrow it from another library.
eBooks for Business and Management – Search for eBooks by collection.
eBooks – Search a variety of subjects across several eBook collections.


Find e-Journals at Boston University (or use BU Libraries Search)
EconLit Expanded Journals List (AEAweb)
Economic Journals on the Web

Web of science

Recommend a Book

If you would like to suggest a book or journal for the economics collection, please contact the guide author or go to Suggest a Purchase.

Metasites and Current Awareness

Dismal Scientist
Dr. T’s

IDEAS: Economics and Finance Research


Resources for Economists on the Internet (RFE)

WWW Virtual Library in Economics

Yahoo Economics Subject Directory

Reference Online

Economics A-Z (The Economist)

EH.Net Encyclopedia of Economic and Business History
Handbooks in Economics
International Encyclopedia of Statistical Science

New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics
The OECD Glossary of Statistical Terms


Financial Times Blog (Martin Wolf – NYU)
Freakonomics Blog (NY Times)

Gary Becker-Richard Posner Blog

Greg Mankiw’s Blog
Paul Krugman’s Blog (New York Times)

Real Time Economics: Blog from WSJ

The Economist’s Economic Focus Columns

EconSpeak: Annals of the Economically Incorrect

Undercover Economist – Tim Harford

Suggested Websites
Human Progress

Organizing Your Research

Bibliographic Management Tools

Create Bibliographies

Citation Styles and Formats

Citing Business Sources (Pardee Library)
Citing Your Sources (BU Libraries)