Penn World Table (PWT) - in purchasing power parity since 1950
See here for my rough summary of data construction.
See Nuxoll (1994) for the validity of using economic growth rates from Penn World Table.
See also Feenstra et al. (2004)
For version 5.6, there is an augmented version constructed by Fearon and Laitin (2003). Which is used by Miguel et al. (2004), hence contained in their dataset.
Comparison of WDI vs PWT
Discussing PWT version 6, Johnson et al. (2013) argue that while PWT is good at cross-country comparison, economic growth is better measured by WDI. See also Ciccone and Jarocinski (2010).
See Pinkovskiy and Sala-i-Martin's working paper "Newer Need Not Be Better: Evaluating the Penn World Tables and the World Development Indicators Using Nighttime Lights" for how much PWT versions 7 and 8 do any better.
Angus Maddison (2003) The World Economy: Historical Statistics (Paris: OECD)
Annual data entries, wherever possible, from 1820 until 2001.
Data for 1500, 1600, and 1700 is also available, used by Acemoglu, Johnson, and Robinson (2005)'s "The Rise of Europe" paper.
Downloadable from the book's website (you need username and password written at the end of Table of Contents in the book)
Used by Acemoglu and Johnson (2006) for their analysis on the effect of life expectancy on economic growth between 1940 and 1980.
Used also by Persson and Tabellini (2006).
For the latest data, see Bolt, Jutta, and Jan Luiten van Zanden, “The Maddison Project: Collaborative Research on Historical National Accounts,” Economic History Review, 67 (2014), 627–651.
Barro-Ursua Macroeconomic Data
An attempt to correct Maddison's data. Used by Barro and Ursua "Rare Macroeconomic Disasters" and Barro "Convergence and Modernization Revisited".
Downloadable from Robert Barro's website.