Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Regional ethnic diversity

Alesina and Zhuravskaya (2011) construct ethnic diversity measures at the sub-national region level for 97 countries. The data is available here (click "Download Data Set").

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

China Urban Household Surveys

The repeated cross-sectional surveys of urban households in China. The annual data for 1992-2007 is used by Ge and Yang (2014). (See section 2.2 for detail.)

An indicator of government efficiency

Chong et al. (2014) "mailed letters to non-existent business addresses in 159 countries (10 per country), and measured whether they come back to the return address in the United States and how long it takes." This cross-country data can be seen as an objective indicator of government efficiency.

Monday, April 7, 2014

UCDP Peace Agreement Dataset

A civil war dataset on concessions made by the government to rebels in peace agreements. Compatible with the Armed Conflict Dataset.

See the UCDP website for more detail.

Friday, March 7, 2014

DMSP-OLS Nighttime Lights Time Series Version 4

Downloadable here.

The spatial resolution is 30 arc-second (about 1km).

To understand how this dataset is constructed from the original satellite images and the potential data issues, see Elvidge et al. (2001) and Elvidge et al. (2010). Noor et al. (2008) is also useful to understand this data.

Min et al (2013) compare this measure with survey-based electricity access measure.

The data is becoming popular among economists. Recent examples include Henderson et al. (2012), Papaioanno and Michalopoulos (2013, 2014).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

World Input-Output Database

Input-output tables for 40 countries, including Brazil, Mexico, China, India, Turkey, Indonesia, Russia, and former East European countries in EU, annually from 1995 to 2011.

Visit www.wiod.org for more detail.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Democracy Indices

For comparison of different democracy indices, see Munck and Verkuilen (2002) "Conceptualizing and Measuring Democracy: Evaluating Alternative Indices," Comparative Political Studies, 35(1): 5-34. This is a very well-written survey.

Most of the following democracy datasets are combined in the country-year format by Pippa Norris at Harvard KSG

1. POLITY IV by Ted Robert Gurr, Monty G. Marshall, and Keith Jaggers

See this entry.

2. Democracy-Dictatorship (DD) Data

Cheibub, Gandhi, and Vreeland (2009) recently update the Democracy-Dictatorship (DD) Data by Przeworski et al. (2000) Democracy and Development: Political Institutions and Material Well-Being in the World, 1950-1990 (Cambridge University Press). The data can be downloaded at Jose Cheibub's website. (Dead link corrected on 29 May, 2013)
Przeworski's website has links to what they call Democracy and Development Extended Data Set, covering 199 countries from 1946 to 2002. This should be overridden by the above updated dataset.
Their definition of democracy is clear-cut: (1) the executive is directly elected or indirectly elected via the legislature; (2) the legislature is directly elected; (3) there are more than one parties; (4) the executive power alternates between different parties under the same electoral rule. Cheibub, Gandhi, and Vreeland (2009) keep these component variables in the dataset so that researchers can look at the impact of, say, the presence of elected legislature.

Wright (2008) compiled the presence of legislature under dictatorship after 1990 since the updated DD data was unavailable. See the paper's Web Appendix (Table 3).
3. Boix-Miller-Rosato's Complete Dataset of Political Regimes, 1800-2007 new!

See their forthcoming Comparative Political Studies article.

This dataset appears to be an update of Carles Boix and Sebastian Rosato (2001) "A Complete Data Set of Political Regimes, 1800-1999."
This is a dataset extending Przeworski et al. (2000) before 1950 to 1800 with one more qualification added to the definition of democracy (over 50 % of male population have the right to vote). See Boix (2003) for detail. 
Used by Persson and Tabellini (2006).

4. Freedom House (also known as Gastil Index)
Years available: 1972-present
Downloadable here

This index provides information on civil liberties as well, unlike other measures of democracy.

Heavily criticised by Munck and Verkuilen (2002) (see above).

5. Vanhanen Polyarchy Dataset
Downloadable at PRIO's website
Competition measured by the percentage of votes going to the largest party
Participation measured by voter turnout
Frequently criticised as a democracy index (see Munck and Verkuilen (2002), pp.16-7.

6. Papaioannou and Siourounis "Democratization and Growth"
The paper is downloadable at Papaioannou's website.

Provides the exact year of permanent democratization taking place (defined as the adoption of democratic constitutions after a long period of autocratic rule).

7. Suffrage Data by Paxton, Bollen, Lee, and Kim (2003)

Years 1950-2000 covered.
Downloadable at Bollen's website

For years after 2000, the Comparative Constitutions Project dataset (variables 426-430) may be helpful to recode who have the voting right in each country-year.

For Western democracies today, the history of franchise extension is well documented by section VI of Llavador and Oxoby (2005).