Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysts

This guide provides selected resources for your PLCY 818 and other quantitative methods assignments.

Key microdata resources

Abacus Database Network Web-based data exploration, direct data downloading service: Social survey files, DLI data, GIS datasets, and geospatial data.  Start with this resource

Nesstar WebView (Statistics Canada) Provides access to Statistics Canada and select other surveys at the variable level along with metadata and other related material.  Alternate access

Microdata Analysis and Subsetting with SDA: interactive access to a growing list of selected microdata files via SDA (Survey Documentation and Analysis) software. See also YouTube tutorial Introduction to SDA 

See also  SFU's Datasets listing, as well as the Research Commons page on Microdata resources, for links to data portals and more

Key statistical resources

Data (Statistics Canada) formerly CANSIM
Provides fast and easy access to a large range of statistics in Canada

CANSIM via Chass
CANadian Socio-economic Information Management
See: Video tutorials on the new OLAP view (CHASS Data Centre)

World Development Indicators (World Bank) annual
Interactive access tool for over 600 development indicators including economic, social, environmental, business, & technology for more than 208 countries

OECD iLibrary (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development)
Country studies, forecasting publications, reports, periodicals, and socio-economic databases.  Help: quick guide

IMD World Competitiveness (1995-)
Measuring the competitiveness of nations, with data based on statistics from the World Bank, OECD and the United Nations as well as the IMD's Executive Opinion Survey. See also IMD world competitiveness yearbook (print and online)

See also SFU's  databases for statistical sources

Other useful databases

World Governance Indicators  (World Bank 1996-present) 
Reports aggregate and individual governance indicators for the following dimensions: violence and accountability; political stability and absence of violence; government effectiveness; regulatory quality; rule of law; control of corruption.
Help guide: Using the World Bank's World Development Indicators on YouTube

International Monetary Fund (1945-)
Comparative international economic data: time series summarizing every country's balance of payments, as well as  data on trade and reserves, monetary expansion and contraction, government surpluses and deficits, production, prices and interest rates

Human Development Statistics  (UN Development Programme)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Public Use Data Archive

American Economic Association
Resources for Economists on the Internet: Collection of US Regional and Macro data as well as links to other relevant data.

Other links

Citing guide: Statistics Canada, PCensus, E-Stat, and CHASS Data

Research guide for Finding Statistics on British Columbia

See also Statistical resources: Data & statistics information


If you need help, please contact Nina Smart, Liaison Librarian, at 778.782.5043 or nsmart@sfu.ca (Monday (wfh) to Thursday ) for assistance on data discovery and finding secondary sources. For detailed research questions on data and statistics, contact the  Data Services Librarian Team at data-services@sfu.ca