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International Relations *

A guide to databases and scholarly online sources that support conducting research in international relations and comparative politics.

Economic Development Research Resources

Below are links to databases and electronic resources that support the study of international economic development and related areas of research.


Databases that offer multidisciplinary coverage of economic development literature from scholarly and non-scholarly sources.

  • Credo Reference -- comprehensive collection of highly-specialized dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks across all subject areas. Good place to go for succinct definitions, explanations, and analysis of concepts, theories, or topics.
  • Google Scholar -- the scholarly part of the Google empire. To set up Google Scholar with access to full-text journals and databases, go here.
  • JSTOR -- a multidisciplinary archive of scholarly journal articles covering most major disciplines in the social sciences and humanities. Useful for identifying historical research on a topic.
  • Oxford Handbooks Online -- contains in-depth, high-level articles covering a variety of disciplines. Entries offer a thorough introduction to topics and a critical survey of the current state of scholarship, creating an original conception of the field and setting the agenda for new research.
  • Policy Commons -- platform for objective, fact-based research from the world’s leading policy experts, nonpartisan think tanks, and intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations. The database provides advanced searching across millions of pages of books, articles, working papers, reports, policy briefs, data sets, tables, charts, media, case studies, and statistical publications, including archived reports from more than 200 defunct think tanks. Coverage is international in scope.
  • ProQuest Multiple -- comprehensive, multidisciplinary database of newspaper, magazine, and scholarly journal articles updated daily. Content is more focused and manageable in locating relevant research than Google Scholar.


Key Databases

  • ABI/Inform -- database that features access to full-text journals, dissertations, working papers, key business and economics magazines and trade journals as well as country-and industry-focused reports and downloadable data. Its international coverage gives researchers a complete picture of companies and business trends around the world. Covers research that examines the relationship between economic development and the worldwide private sector.
  • Columbia International Affairs Online [CIAO] -- provides the full text of a wide range of scholarship books, working papers from universities and research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, and proceedings from conferences.
  • EconLit -- provides thorough coverage of a wide range of economics-related literature derived from journal articles, books, working papers, conference papers, and research reports. Coverage if from the 1880s to the present. This is an important source of research on economic issues related to international development.
  • Eldis -- an online information service providing free access to a variety of diverse and pertinent research on international development issues, policies, and practice. The database includes over 50,000 summaries and provides free links to full-text research and policy documents from over 8,000 publishers.
  • International Monetary Fund iLibrary -- provides access to the IMF's periodicals, books, working papers and studies, and data and statistical tools. IMF includes information about macroeconomics, globalization, development, trade and aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, and poverty reduction.
  • Public Affairs Information Services [PAIS] -- indexes selective subjects and bibliographic access to periodicals, books, hearings, reports, gray literature, government publications, Internet resources, and other publications from 120 countries. Includes historical coverage from 1915 to the present.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts -- provides indexing of the international journal literature in political science and its complementary fields, including international relations, law, and public administration and policy. Over 1,700 titles are monitored for coverage and, of these, 67% are published outside of the United States.

Related Research Resources

  • AccessUN -- provides access to documents and decisions of the United Nations and from from the six main bodies of the United Nations: the General Assembly, Security Council, Economic and Social Council, Trusteeship Council, Secretariat and International Court of Justice. Searches will also retrieve information about publications from other UN organizations including various programs and commissions. Also provides full text of resolutions and some other document series. Coverage begins in 1945 so this is a key source of historical information about the UN's economic development activities.
  • AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics -- collects, indexes, and electronically distributes full text copies of scholarly research in the broadly defined field of agricultural and applied economics including sub disciplines such as agribusiness, food security and supply, energy and natural resource economics, environmental economics, policy issues, international trade, and economic development.
  • Central Banks of the World -- maintained by the Bank for International Settlements, this is an alphabetical directory of national central banks, monetary authorities, regulatory authorities, and supervisory agencies throughout the world.
  • Development Banks
    • African Development Bank -- a multilateral development finance institution founded in 1964 to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries, contributing to poverty reduction and economic transformation by providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts throughout the continent.
    • Asian Development Bank -- the Bank's mission is to support efforts to create a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its goal to eradicate extreme poverty in the region. ADB assists its 68 members and partners by providing loans, technical assistance, grants, and equity investments to promote social and economic development.
    • Caribbean Development Bank -- committed to helping Borrowing Member Countries reduce inequality and halve the incidence of extreme poverty by the end of 2025, through supporting inclusive and sustainable growth and promoting good governance. The bank assists member countries in optimizing the use of their resources, developing their economies, and expanding production and trade and promoting private and public investment, encourage financial upturn in the Region, and facilitate business activity and expansion.
    • Central American Bank for Economic Integration -- bank’s objective is to promote the economic integration and the balanced economic and social development of the Central American region by focusing on the promotion of sustainable competitiveness, directing contributions towards the strategic axes of social development, competitiveness and integration. Currently the bank concentrates on supporting the areas of human development and social infrastructure, productive infrastructure, energy, rural development and the environment, financial inter-mediation and development finance, and competitiveness services.
    • East African Development Bank -- established in 1967 under the treaty of the then East African Cooperation, the bank’s mandate is to provide financial and related assistance to enterprises in the member States which, by their activities, are expected to make a positive contribution to socio-economic development in East Africa by providing development finance, support, and advisory services and playing a catalyzing role in regional integration through provision of development finance.
    • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development -- active in 38 economies across three continents, from the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, to Central and Eastern Europe, to Central Asia, the bank furthers progress towards market-oriented economies and the promotion of private and entrepreneurial initiative through implementation of projects, business services, and involvement in high-level policy reform.
    • Inter-American Development Bank -- the largest source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, the Bank provides financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality. These efforts currently focus on three development challenges--social inclusion and equality, productivity and innovation, and economic integration--and three cross-cutting issues: gender equality and diversity, climate change and environmental sustainability, and institutional capacity and the rule of law.
    • West African Development Bank -- an international public institution whose purpose is to promote the balanced development of its member countries and foster economic integration within West Africa by financing priority development projects. Forms of intervention include contributing to the creation and operation of a West African capital market, establishing a fund or a long-term credit to compensate for the lack of adequate resources to finance regional projects, and contribute to the overall integration of the economies among the member states.
  • Directory of Charities and Nonprofit Organizations -- link to International Development and Relief Services U.S. charities and other nonprofit organizations maintained by GuideStar, an organization that gathers, organizes, and distributes information on non-profit organizations.
  • Factiva -- a good source for international business and company news. It includes full text news reports from more than 10,000 sources from 159 countries and available in 22 languages. This is another good database for locating current information and scholarly analysis of private sector involvement in economic development and sustainability.
  • Human Development Report Library -- summaries of development conditions from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for countries around the world. The site provides a searchable portal to all volumes of the annual reports from 1990 to the current year.
  • IBFD – produced by the Amsterdam-based International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, this resource provides tax information for countries throughout the world, including the Global Tax Surveys, Tax Treaties Database, Tax News Service, World Tax Journal, Bulletin for International Taxation, IBFD ebook Library, and other resources useful for international tax research. Access is limited to five concurrent users.
  • International Monetary Fund -- an organization of 189 countries created in 1945 working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world. The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system—the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries (and their citizens) to transact with each other. The Fund's mandate also includes all macroeconomic and financial sector issues that bear on global stability.
  • OECD iLibrary -- this is the full-text publications portal of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). As well as collecting comparable statistics and economic and social data, OECD monitors trends, analyzes and forecasts economic developments and researches social changes or evolving patterns in trade, environment, agriculture, technology, taxation and more.
  • Organization of American States -- the OAS brings together 35 independent states of the Americas and constitutes the main political, juridical, and social governmental forum in the Hemisphere. Among its goals is to promote, by cooperative action, their economic, social, and cultural development and eradicate extreme poverty.
  • United Nations iLibrary -- the database brings together full-text access to books, magazines, and journals published by the UN Secretariat, agencies, funds, and programs covering a broad range of social and economic topics  dating back to 2013.
  • United Nations Development Programme -- the lead agency for the UN development system that supports efforts to build inclusive, sustainable and resilient societies. The program maintains a presence in 176 countries and territories, and provides expert advice, training and financial support. Special attention is paid to the needs of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and countries emerging from conflict. Also interest are UN Regional Commissions, including:
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Goals -- official web site describing the seventeen interlinked global goals designed to be a "shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future" adopted by all UN Member States in 2015, as part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which set out a fifteen-year plan to achieve the Goals. A useful selection of scholarly databases, data sources, programs, news, and targeted information resources about the Goals can be found HERE.
  • United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research -- a unique blend of think tank, research institute, and UN agency that provides economic analysis and policy advice with the aim of promoting sustainable and equitable development. The 2019–23 UNU-WIDER work program focuses on the interlinked development challenges of transforming economies, states, and societies and maps them against the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals 5, 8, 10, 16, 17.


Database that offers the opportunity to understand and contemplate the implications of economic development through the eyes of people who may be most impacted by those decisions.

  • AgeLine -- focuses exclusively on issues of aging and the population of people aged 50 years and older from individual, national, and global perspectives. Contents cover the social, psychological, economic, policy, and health care aspects of aging derived from journal articles, books and chapters, research reports, and dissertations.
  • Women’s Studies International -- an interdisciplinary database that covers issues in women's studies including feminist theory and history and the areas of sociology, history, political science and economy, public policy, international relations, arts and humanities, business and education. Key database for locating studies about the role of women in areas of economic development and on topics such as microfinance and social entrepreneurship.


  • Google Dataset Search -- facilitates searching approximately 25 million datasets provided by government, public, and private groups. Users can filter results based on the type of data desired [e.g., images or text]. Data availability is based on the original source being formatted using standards, an open discovery standard for data on the web.
  • National Statistical Offices -- a directory of country-specific statistical agencies maintained and updated by the United Nations Statistics Division. Also included is a list of countries and organizations which includes a brief history of the country's statistical system, legal basis, the statistical program and much more.
  • UNData -- searchable statistical database provided by the United Nations Statistics Division that provides access to current statistics. The database covers a number of different areas such as employment, industry, and trade. A single interface facilitates the creation of customizable tables and the use of various filters and search options to sort and locate specific statistical information.


  • AidData -- a research lab at William & Mary's Global Research Institute intended to equip policymakers and practitioners with better evidence to improve how sustainable development investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. A team of economists, political scientists, geographers, developers, program evaluators, policy analysts, and media and communications professionals use various methods, tools, and granular data to answer the question: who is doing what, where, for whom, and to what effect?
  • Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Data Explorer -- a portal to data and analysis at regional, sub-regional, and country levels on Sustainable Development Goals statistics for Asia and the Pacific. The data portal can be searched by keyword or indicators can be browsed by the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals, themes, or by countries and territories, by continents and the world, or by regional groups.
  • Economic Transformation Database -- provides comprehensive, long-term, and internationally comparable sectoral data on employment and productivity in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The database contains measures of economic growth and labor inputs for 51 economies covering twelve sectors of the total economy. The time series includes annual data from 1990 until 2018 and data on value added, price deflators, and persons employed.
  • EuroStat -- provides comprehensive statistics from and about the European Union member states covering the economy, population, industry, trade, services, agriculture, environment, energy, science and technology for the purpose of enabling comparisons between countries and regions.
  • Global Financial Data -- comprehensive economic and financial time-series database covering 150 countries and 6,500 different data series. It includes data on stock markets from 1690, exchange rates from 1590, interest rates from 1700, commodities from 1500, and inflation from 1264. Users can download data into spreadsheet format or use the graphing features. Database includes the GFD Encyclopedia that provides information on the data series, including time period covered, frequency, sources, historical changes that have affected the series, background information, and other explanations about changes in the composition in the indices. Coverage varies by data series and country.
  • Government Revenue Dataset -- produced by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research, this site includes data on government revenue, tax, and its sub-components for over 190 countries. It presents a complete picture of trends over time at the country, regional, and cross-country levels. Where possible, figures are expressed both inclusive and exclusive of natural resource revenues, which helps to overcome a major obstacle to cross-country comparisons in existing data sources. The GRD Explorer tool allows users to access the dataset, compare countries, regions, and indicators, and visualize the data. The dataset is also available for download in Stata and Excel formats.
  • ILOSTAT -- produced by the International Labour Organization, this site provides international information on wages, employment rates, cost of goods, hours worked, and other key indicators.
  • International Monetary Fund Data -- source of international statistics on all aspects of international and domestic finance. The database contains approximately 32,000 time series covering more than 200 countries and areas. Coverage is from 1948 to the present.
  • Land Matrix -- an independent global land monitoring initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in decisions concerning any intended, concluded, or failed attempt to acquire land through purchase, lease, or concession for agricultural production, timber extraction, carbon trading, industry, renewable energy production, conservation, and tourism in low- and middle-income countries across the world.
  • Millennium Development Goals Indicators -- presents the official data, definitions, methodologies and sources for more than 60 indicators to measure progress towards the 2015 United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Site also includes official progress reports and documents produced by the Inter-agency and Expert Group (IAEG) on MDG Indicators. There are links to related sites and documents and news about ongoing activities on MDG monitoring.
  • OECD International Development Statistics -- comprised of several databases that cover bilateral, multilateral aid, and private providers’ aid and other resource flows to developing countries. Data is presented under three sub-themes: “Flows by Provider”, which provides comprehensive aggregate data on the volume, origin and types of aid and other resource flows; “Flows by Provider and Recipient”, which provides comprehensive aggregate historical and forward-looking data on the volume, origin and destination of resource flows (including country programmable aid); and, “Flows Based on Individual Projects,” which encompasses the Creditor Reporting System that provides detailed information on individual aid activities, such as sectors, countries, and project descriptions, used to derive aggregate data.
  • Statistics on Public Expenditures for Economic Development -- managed by the International Food Policy Research Institute, this tool allows users to explore spending data for the period 1980–2012 collected from 147 countries. The data covers nine economic sectors: 1) agriculture; 2) communication; 3) education; 4) defense; 5) health; 6) mining; 7) social protection; 8) fuel and energy; and 9) transport. The interactive tool allows users to compare overall public spending among countries and public spending across different sectors within a country’s economy.
  • World DataBank -- a data source published by the World Bank that includes information on the global economy, finance, gender, education, health, natural resources, and environmental indicators. It contains statistical data for over 600 development indicators and time series data from 1960 to the latest compiled for over 200 countries as well as 18 country groups. Databases include: World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, Gender Statistics, Education Statistics, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics, Africa Development Indicators, Global Economic Monitor, and Millennium Development Goals.
  • World Income Inequality Database (WIID) -- presents information on income inequality for developed, developing, and transition countries. It provides the most comprehensive set of income inequality statistics available and can be downloaded for free. The latest version of the WIID covers 200 countries (including historical entities) through 2019, with over 20,000 data points in total. There are now more than 3,700 unique country-year observations in the database.

Descriptions of resources are adapted or quoted from vendor websites