Professionally researched country reports provide an excellent starting point for investigating the economic, social and political environment of a country of interest. The Country Reports of the Economist Intelligence Unit set the standard for this kind of document. The background obtained from reading the country reports can be expanded by doing article searches in the literature databases suggested on the section for Social/Economic/Policy Analysis in this guide.
PAIS International: Indexes the social sciences with emphasis on contemporary worldwide social, economic and political issues, and public policy. Covers journals, books, government publications, and directories. Good for country information.
OECD Economic Surveys: annual economic reviews prepared for the members of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development) and for their significant world trading partners. Contained in pdf in the database SourceOECD; look for the link to the OECD Economic Surveys on the blue sidebar. Coverage is from 1998 to date. The Economic Surveys are also received in print and can be found in the catalog. The print volumes extend farther retrospectively than do the online editions.
Global Insight: detailed analysis and forecasts arranged by country with some industry analysis.
OxResearch: is an independent international consulting firm based at Oxford but drawing upon faculty and researchers from major universities and research institutes around the world. Oxford Analytica research provides global strategic analysis of geopolitical, macroeconomic and social developments. Change the search field to "location" to target specific countries.
Political Risk Yearbooks: probability forecasts for political, social and economic trends for 100 countries. The PRS website outlines the methodology used.
The database Business Source Complete contains the text of the political risk country reports beginning with 2003. In the Advanced Search, search for Political Risk Yearbook and the name of the country.
vol.1: North & Central America - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JL1416 .P65
vol.2: Middle East & North Africa - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JQ1858 .A1 P64
vol.3: South America - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JL1866 .P65
vol.4: Sub-Saharan Africa - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JQ1871 .P64
vol.5: East Asia & the Pacific - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JQ21 .A1 P64
vol.6: West Europe - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JN12 .P645
vol.7: East Europe - Perkins/Bostock Ref. JN96 .A1 P64
vol.8: Central & South Asia - Perkins/Bostock Ref. HF1410 .P7525
CountryWatch Country Reviews: thorough annual reports on each of the recognized countries of the world. The database Business Source Complete contains the Country Reviews. On the Advanced Search screen, click on the link to country reports in the right sidebar.
The Europa World Year Book : contains current economic, social and political overviews of all nations of the world (not just Europe). At the Reference Desk in Perkins Library are regional Europa yearbooks (e.g. The Middle East and North Africa or South America, Central America and the Caribbean) which contain more extensive country reviews.
The Global Competititveness Report: The most recent report is available online and at Perkins/Bostock Ref. HF1414 .W674. Earlier volumes in stacks. Compiled by the World Economic Forum since 1996, this annual publication assesses and ranks the economic competitiveness of over 130 economies based on an array of economic, social and political indicators.
World Bank: the website of the World Bank provides free access to much of the data and many of the publications issued by the World Bank. The full array of data is available through the paid subscription database WDI Online (see below). The most important single publication of the World Bank is the World Development Report which is published annually and is available gratis online. Also useful are the annuals Global Economic Prospects and Global Monitoring Report as well as interactive services such as the Online Atlas of the Milennium Development Goals and the Prospects for the Global Economy.
WDI Online (part of World Bank Data Catalog): WDI=World Development Indicators; choose "Databank" next to WDI choice. Access to more than 900 development indicators, with time series for over 200 countries and 18 country groups from 1960 to date, where data are available. Data includes social, economic, financial, natural resource, and environmental indicators. Allows comparison between countries, and the option to export data to Excel. The annual print publication World Development Indicators (pdf's are online 2005+) contains thematic overviews as well as tabular data (latest year in Perkins/Bostock Ref. HC59 .W62, earlier years in stacks).
Passsport: (Euromonitor's GMID=Global Market Information Database). A source of demographic, economic, and marketing statistics and research reports for over 200 countries.
ISI Emerging Markets: provides news, company intelligence and economic data for emerging markets.
World Economic Outlook: online 1989 to date. Annual survey of the world economy prepared by the International Monetary Fund. (latest at Perkins/Bostock Ref. HC10. W7979, earlier years in stacks); Also available at the IMF web site.
International Labour Organization (ILO): an increasingly useful website for analytical and statistical information on international labor. The LABORSTA portion can yield helpful country-level information largely extracted from the Year Book of Labour Statistics (Perkins Ref. Desk. HD4826 .I63) which provides more detailed breakdowns. Disaggregated industrial data can also be located in the UNIDO Industrial Statistics Database available on CD-ROM in the Data & GIS Services Department in Perkins Library. UNIDO=United Nations Industrial Development Organization.
UNdata: provides selected time series relating to industrial production, international trade, population, etc. from specialized national data sources for all available countries and regions. Data contributed by agencies of the U.N. as well as by other IGO's.
Industrial Commodity Statistics Yearbook: The UNdata service has production data by commodity for countries and world regions starting with 1995. For prior years, use print (Perkins/Bostock Ref U.N. ST/ESA/Ser.P) or the CD, Industrial Commodity Production Statistics Database, in the Perkins Library Data Services department
Business Monitor: excellent economic/political country risk profiles for the major industries covered.
Trade Policy Reviews: periodic detailed reviews of the national trade policies prepared for all members of the World Trade Organization. The frequency with which a country is reviewed varies with its share of the world trade. The Reference collection in Perkins/Bostock Library houses the latest print editions of the Trade Policy Reviews which can be found using the online catalog.
Globus & NTDB: a component of the U.S. Dept of Commerce's service STAT-USA. NTDB-National Trade Data Bank. Focus is on market research but note the many Industry Sector Analysis Reports by country. Included as well are the Country Commercial Guides and the county Background Notes published by the U.S. State Department and the CIA World Factbook.
National Statistical Services: Most countries have governmental agencies responsible for collecting statistical data, as do the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the U.S. Many of these agencies have a web presence (e.g. Statistics Canada, China Data Online, or IndiaStat.com). In addition, Perkins Library receives many of these national statistical publications in print and on microfiche.
American Fact Finder: a demographic and economic database from the U.S. Census Bureau. Find the link to the Annual Economic Surveys for employment and enterprise data down to the county level.
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