Data and Resources for Empirical Work

Here I collect resources that can be useful for TU Delft master students setting out to do empirical research. It’s a start - more resources and tips to be added over time.


EUI Library Data Portal. The European University Institute library team maintains a list of useful data sets and describes the contents and access conditions.

OData API of Statistics Netherlands. Learn how to access publicly available tabular data sets from the CBS using R and Python packages.

Access to different kinds of Statistics Netherlands’ microdata. Understand the CBS microdata access options (public and scientific use files).

BACI (product-level bilateral trade data). The United Nation’s Comtrade is the primary source for detailed product-level data on international trade flows. The raw Comtrade data, however, needs some cleaning and processing before it can be used. Competent researchers have done this work for you. For product-level trade data, use either the BACI database or the trade flows underlying the Atlas of Economic Complexity.

MISSY setup routines for the EU-LFS. The Microdata Information System, MISSY, makes Stata do files available for importing and processing the European Labor Force Survey (EU-LFS) and the Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey. This is more a note to myself, because I believe master students generally do not receive permission to work with these data sets.

Classification systems

UN Statistics Division. The UN Statistics Division maintains several classification systems for traded products and economic activities.

Classification of industries: ISIC, NACE, NAICS.

Classification of products: BEC, SITC, HS.

Classification of occupations: ISCO, SOC.

Lecture note on crosswalking. Merging data sets that come in different classification schemes (e.g. merging a set of products and a set of industries) is known as crosswalking. Brendan Price explains the dark art and unglamorous science of crosswalking.

Correspondence tables can help you do the crosswalking. The UN Statistics Division publishes correspondence tables, and the World Integrated Trade Solution does, too.


Nick Huntington-Klein’s Econometrics Resources. NHK, author of the online textbook The Effect”, suggests useful R packages and data sources.

May 8, 2024