Thursday, April 12, 2018

IPUMS International

Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) International allow researchers to download censuses from various developing countries in the comparable format.

See Kugler and Fitch (2018) for detail.

See this page for the list of countries whose census is downloadable.

Bleakley (2006) uses censuses from Brazil, Columbia, and Mexico downloaded from this website.

Tarozzi (2011) uses the 2000 Mexico census downloaded from this website.

An agricultural survey for more than 9,500 African households

"conducted in the growing seasons 2002/2003 or 2003/2004 in eleven African countries: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ghana, Niger and Senegal in western Africa; Egypt in northern Africa; Ethiopia and Kenya in eastern Africa; South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe in southern Africa." (Waha et al. 2016)

Roads and cities of 18th century France

Constructed by Perret et al. (2015) from scanned maps.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Bilateral trade data for 1850-1900

Compiled by Pascali (2017) from primary sources. See its section II.C for detail and alternative datasets.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Monday, January 29, 2018

Cross-country "years of education" datasets

Penn World Tables 9.0

See this document, which reviews the academic debate on the quality of Barro-Lee dataset.

Cohen and Soto (2007)
provide an alternative data to Barro and Lee (see below)

Barro-Lee dataset

A well-known dataset on average years of schooling (i.e. stock of human capital) by 5-year age group for 146 countries from 1950 to 2010. See Barro and Lee (2013) for detail. To download the data, visit For data sources, see Appendix Notes.

For details on the data construction, read Robert J. Barro and Jong-Wha Lee, "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications" (CID Working Paper No. 42, April 2000). This 2000 paper is an updated version of Barro and Lee (1993). Both papers compare various measures of human capital.

The average years of schooling is available for the six sets of the population: male over 25, female over 25, all over 25, male over 15, female over 15, all over 15.

Population over the age of 15 "corresponds better to the labor force for many developing countries." (Barro and Lee 2000, p.2)

Percentages of those who attained/completed each level of school in the total/male/female population are also available. Note that the sum of variables LU, LP, LS, and LH is 100; Lx-LxC, where x is either P, S, or H, is the percentage of those dropping out before completing primary, secondary, or higher school, respectively. In other words, the percentage of ".... school attained" contains the percentage of "... school complete".

Downloadable at this page by Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID).

The data file in the panel dataset format is best avoided because it excludes countries not in Penn World Table 5.0 (e.g. former socialist countries).

Note that variable SHCODE (numerical country code in Penn World Table 5.0) is different from the one in Penn World Table 5.6.

A very minor point, but the data entries for USSR/Russia in 1990 seem unreliable. Population seems to refer to USSR while educational attainment figures seem to refer to Russia.

Papers using this dataset include Acemoglu et al. (2005) and Glaeser et al. (2007).

For other datasets on average schooling years, see Kyriacou (1991), which is used by Benhabib and Spiegel (1994, JME), and Nehru et al. (1995), which is used by Pritchett (2000).

See Krueger and Lindahl (2001, JEL) for critical reviews on average schooling year data.

Cross-country school enrollment ratio data

Lee and Lee (2016) compile historical school enrollment ratios by gender since 1820 for 111 countries.
  • Downloadable here
  • This is an updated version of the dataset compiled by Barro, Robert J. and Jong-Wha Lee (2015) Education Matters: Global Schooling Gains from the 19th to the 21st Century (Oxford University Press) 

Aaron Benavot and Phyllis Riddle (1988) compiled cross-country data on the primary school enrollment ratio in the late 19th century and the early 20th century.