Improving the Accessibility of the NBER's Historical Data
AbstractDuring the early years of its existence, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) assembled an extensive data set on all aspects of the pre-WWII macroeconomy. Until 1978, this data set existed only on the handwritten sheets to which the early NBER researchers copied the data from original sources. In 1978, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) transferred the data to magnetic tape. A number of researchers have used the ICPSR tape, but two key problems discourage many from taking advantage of this unique data set. The first is that modern econometric software does not have the ability to read the obsolete ICPSR format. The second is that the process of transferring the data from the NBER's handwritten sheets to the ICPSR tape introduced a number of mistakes. We have eliminated these two impediments to the use of the NBER data set by converting the ICPSR tape to a portable format and by verifying the accuracy of the data using the NBER's original handwritten sheets. The data set is now available on the Internet and can be accessed using standard gopher or web-browser software.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5186.
Date of creation: Jul 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Vol. 15, no. 3 (July 1997): 293-299.
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Other versions of this item:
- Feenberg, Daniel & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1997. "Improving the Accessibility of the NBER's Historical Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 15(3), pages 293-99, July.
- Daniel Feenberg & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1995. "Improving the Accessibility of the NBER's Historical Data," Macroeconomics, EconWPA 9507001, EconWPA.
- C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
- E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
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