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Economics & Public Policy Extra


The latest Library news and information for economists and political scientists


Archive for the 'Sources of data' Category

Statistics Learning Centre

Kieron LJones16 April 2013

StatsLC provides support for learning and teaching statistics in various settings and media.

Our materials are correct and based on current research on how statistics is best taught and learnt. StatsLC provides support for learning and teaching statistics in various settings and media.

Over the years we have developed over 15 teaching videos related to statistics and Excel. They receive over 1000 hits a day. You can see them at Creative Heuristics on YouTube and UCMSCI on YouTube.”

Coutts Million Pound Donor Report

Kieron LJones17 December 2012

The Coutts Million Pound Donor Report is the first study to focus exclusively on UK charitable donations worth £1 million or more. It aims to capture and track trends in major giving, including the size of donations above a million pounds, the type of donors making gifts of this size and the causes that are benefiting.

There is currently very little reliable data to help us understand what is going on at this end of the UK philanthropy sector. General surveys capture information on giving by the general population, but there is a widely accepted need to plug the data-gap on the size, source and impact of the largest charitable donations.

In addition to presenting and analysing the findings, this report includes case studies of million pound donors and million pound recipients, to help contextualise the data and bring to life the experience of giving and receiving donations worth a million pounds or more.”

Introduction to OECD iLibrary

Kieron LJones2 October 2012

New support material now available on the OECD iLibrary YouTube channel – http://www.youtube.com/OECDiLibrary:

  • We have posted updated thematic videos providing Key Facts on thematic content available on OECD iLibrary. The playlist is available  here.
  • The first video tutorial providing an Introduction to OECD iLibrary is now also posted. It outlines the main elements of OECD iLibrary and explains the various content items and features in an overview. Follow the direct link to view it.  We will post soon more tutorials exploring the various features of OECD iLibrary in greater detail.

You will also find links to all support material on the Help page of OECD iLibrary.

OECD iLibrary Customer Services – Publishing Division
Public Affairs & Communications Directorate

User survey: Help define the UK Data Service identity

Kieron LJones13 September 2012

As you may know, the ESRC are establishing a new UK Data Service which integrates several existing services including the Economic and Social Data Service (ESDS), the Census Programme and the Secure Data Service.

Work is now underway to establish an identity for the new service. To make it a cohesive and meaningful brand, we’d like to hear from data users – those who currently use digital research data, and those who might use it in the future.

Below is a link to a short survey designed just for data users. It’s a quick and fun questionnaire – not a research study, but a way to get some initial indications of what you think should characterise the UK Data Service’s ‘brand’. It should take less than 10 minutes of your time, and all responses are anonymous.


If interested, please complete the questionnaire by Sunday evening, 16th September.

EU-SILC survey

Kieron LJones10 September 2012

“Eurostat is currently evaluating the usefulness of EU-SILC, and examining the options for the future of the survey.  They have commissioned a small team at ISER to write a report on one aspect of the EU-SILC, namely the design of the longitudinal component of the survey.

As part of this exercise, we have prepared a survey for the research community, asking researchers about their experiences with the EU-SILC data, and what they think about the different options for changing the design.

I would be extremely grateful if you could complete the survey – we have tried to keep it short and simple.  It may be found at https://essex.eu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eQC5D4XtnOmzE0t

Dr Maria Iacovou (maria@essex.ac.uk)
Director of Graduate Studies
Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), University of Essex

IMF videos

Kieron LJones6 September 2012

The IMF have produced outreach videos to add visual content to the data they generate and to help students understand current issues.  One of the latest videos deals with defining recessions:


and youth unemployment:


All current videos are available through:


The YouTube version (if you prefer):


And, are downloadable:


First ONS Annual Experimental Subjective Well-being Results

Kieron LJones26 July 2012

This report presents experimental estimates from the first annual Subjective Well-being Annual Population Survey (APS) dataset, April 2011 to March 2012.  Overall estimates of people’s views about their own well-being are provided as well as estimates for: key demographic characteristics (such as age, sex, ethnic group), different geographic areas and countries within the UK, aspects which are considered important for measuring national well-being (such as personal relationships, health and work situation).  These first annual estimates of subjective well-being are considered experimental statistics, published at an early stage to involve users in their development.  ONS is
collecting subjective well-being estimates to complement existing socio-economic indicators to allow a fuller statistical picture of the nation’s well-being.

Passport GMID

Kieron LJones3 July 2012

We now subscribe to Passport GMID.  Passport is Euromonitor International’s global market analysis software platform, that analyses industry in countries around the world.  It monitors industry trends and gives strategic analysis, market size and market share for many products across countries.  It provides unique data sets developed specifically for the industry, complete coverage of all relevant channels and products, long historic and forecast data series, comparable across countries, and reports by local analysts analysing the characteristics of each country.

New R guide

Kieron LJones15 June 2012

ESDS Government has produced a new guide, The R Guide to ESDS Large-Scale Government Surveys.  The aim of this guide is to provide an introduction to analysing large scale government surveys with the help of the R statistical software package.  This document is targeted at two categories of users:

1.  Those outside higher education, or who do not have access to one of the commonly used statistical packages such as Stata, SPSS or SAS (as R is free of charge) but who would like to conduct their own analysis beyond what is usually published by data producers such as the Office for National Statistics (for example statistics for specific groups of the population).

2.  More advanced users who are already familiar with one of the aforementioned packages but would like to learn how to carry out their analyses in R.  The guide, therefore, focuses on providing step-by-step examples of common operations most users carry out in the course of their research: how to open data sets, do basic data manipulation operations, produce simple descriptive statistics or weighted contingency tables.  This is meant to provide the first category of users with a range of procedures that will help them produce straightforward and robust analyses tailored to their needs without spending too much time on learning the inner workings of R.  The second category of users will find a number of familiar operations from which they will be able to further expand their R skills.

It should be noted however that this guide is not an introduction to R.  Beginners should use it in conjunction with one of the more comprehensive guides available online.  Links and information about R resources are available at the end of the guide, which is available from http://www.esds.ac.uk/government/resources/analysis/

The Economist – Graphic detail

Kieron LJones12 June 2012

The Economist now hosts a number of blogs, and like The Guardian and other media organisations, includes a data blog with a ‘daily chart’.  The following links include the US presidential election.  Look out for a contemporary example of Florence Nightingale’s rose or coxcomb diagram, which gives me an excuse to link to the Understanding Uncertainty site’s great animation on this topic.