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Think Tanks

Peruse reports, news, and views of some well-known Canadian and American think tanks (research institutes, policy institutes, research & development centers, etc.)
Each is interested in economics, but goes well beyond that to discuss public policy, law, international development, education, health, welfare, and social issues.

Canadian Institutes: 

Acton Institute

          A Christian economics think tank for the study of Religion and Liberty.

AIMS: Atlantic Institute for Market Studies

A regional think tank that reflects an "Atlantic Canadian perspective on economic, political, and social issues".

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada

Aim is to provide "research, analysis and information on Canada’s transpacific relations". Promotes dialogue on economic, but also security, political, and social issues.

C.D. Howe Institute

The Institute's broad mandate is to improve the Canadian standard of living. It is widely regarded as the top domestic economic think tank. 

Canada West Foundation

A regional institute focuses on "policies that shape the west's quality of life". Their economic report bulletin - Currents - is available online, as are provincial budget reports and analysis.

Canadian International Council

A national research forum chiefly concerned with Candian foreign affairs. See the "Sections" tab for essays and reports. International Journal is the scholarly publication of the CIC, and can be searched from our Sage database.

Fraser Institute

One of the country's top think tanks, FI "publishes research examining the effects of economics and public policy on society". It examines taxation, public spending, health care, education and trade. Of its several research publications its best-known might be Economic Freedom of the World (find it through their Free the World page). 

North-South Institute

A well-regarded research group "dedicated to international development" - so their papers and reports will view topics in economics from the ID perspective.

American Institutes:

 Brookings Institute

Conducts research and reports on US and global economics, business, urban politics, and development.

Center for Economic and Social Justice

CESJ calls itself an "educational center, think tank and social action catalyst... We are dedicated to a free enterprise approach to economic and social justice for all". See their free material under the "Resources" tab.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Analyzes the effect of US budget policies on low and moderate-income families. Reports on the economy, poverty, income, taxation and welfare.Economic Policy Institute

The goal of this research and analysis institute is "to include the needs of low- and middle-income workers in economic policy discussions". To that end they publish economic reports and indicators, and their biennial flagship publication: State of Working America

Heritage Foundation

A conservative research institution that promotes public policy based on "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense". Reports, commentaries, factsheets and other resources available.

Pew Research Center

Call themselves a "nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about... trends shaping... the world". Interests include US politics, the media, social trends, technology, and religion. 

Tax Foundation

A US tax policy research organization that publishes news, articles, and reports on government fiscal policy and legal reform.

Urban Institute

Carries out economic and social policy research. See their factsheets, Issues in Focus reports, and videos. 

Internet Resources - Canada

Canadian Economic Information Sites

Bank of Canada Banking and Financial Statistics

This serial publication provides comprehensive monthly reports on Canadian banks & financial institutions, financial markets, economic statistics, foreign exchange, and trade information.

Bank of Canada Review

The BCR is a biannual periodical containing reviewed research articles on economic topics of interest to Canada. Other Government of Canada resources are also searchable here.

CIFP: Country Indicators for Foreign Policy

CIFP is particularly interested in what they call “failed and fragile states” and the links between state failure and poverty, under-development, and terrorism.

CIFP is interested in:

Monitoring and forecasting failed states

Evaluating country performance

Assessing state fragility and selected variables

RBC Economic Research

This Royal Bank page looks at Canadian national and provincial economic trends, budgets and fiscal policy, and housing statistics, as well as international economic and financial analysis.


Statistics Canada is the national database for all national statistics and economic indicators. The advanced search lets you refine your search.

See other related links to:

Internet Resources - International

International Economic Information Sites

 BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine)

Academic sources from Bielefeld University Library (Germany). About 75% of the results are free in full-text.  

This is a multidisciplinary web search site, so make use of the Advanced Search to refine and limit your results to topics in economics.

Commonwealth iLibrary

iLibrary publishes the resources and findings of the 53 member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. This is a subscription-based site, but many resources are available for free. You'll find economic data here, but also education, development, law, gender, etc. 

CORE (COnnecting REpositories)

CORE’s aim is to provide free access to scholarly publications (multidisciplinary, though its strength is science). It is a portal site that aggragates useful academic content from many sources. International in scope and reach.

Try the “standard” search, or from a results list go to the “advanced” page to limit and refine your search.

DOAJ Directory of Open Access Journals

DOAJ maintains high editorial standards to ensure academic quality. A database of full-text, scholarly journals. It is multidisciplinary so use technical, subject-specific vocabulary in searching.

The site is the collaborative effort of academic publishers, academies, and agencies.


The open-access (free) server of the National Library of Economics (Germany) provides access to academic literature in economics.

Use the Basic or Advanced search options, or browse by subject. 

Europa: the European Union

The official website of the European Union. Basic information on EU news, institutions, and agencies.

See also Europa's AMECO (annual macro-economic database). View the "AMECO online" link on this page to see comparative European country stats as far back as 1960 (where available). 

For EU statistics see Eurostat (the statistical office of the EU) 

Federal Reserve Archive (FRASER) (USA)

Archive of the US Federal Reserve System. Access their publications data, statistics, and reports.

Food and Agriculture Statistics (UN FAO)

The FAO maps out the terrain of world food production; shows connections to environmental, social, and economic variables.

FreeLibrary (Farlex)

multidisciplinary repository of free full-text academic journals, reports, and trade magazines. Searchable by keyword, author, title, and topic. A commercial site, not very comprehensive in some areas, but potentially useful.

From the homepage choose “Science” > Economics

GPO (US Government Publishing Office)

See USGPO Economic Indicators here

The Economic Indicators page "provides economic information on gross domestic product, income, employment, production, business activity, prices, money, credit, security markets, Federal finance, and international statistics" from 1995-present. For pre-1995 data see the "Federal Reserve Archive" listed above.

IMF International Monetary Fund 

A lot of published IMF data is only available by purchase or subscription. But this page offers some free economic and financial data to the patient researcher. See the World Economic Outlook Reports.

See also IMF Country Information.


A very useful place to locate macroeconomic and social statistics on many countries. Tables provide about ten years of statistics; graphs go back farther in time (and provide accurate numbers when you roll the cursor over the screen). 

Ludwig von Mises Institute

The Institute calls itself “the world’s largest, oldest, and most influential educational institution devoted to promoting Austrian economics, freedom, and peace in the tradition of classical liberalism”. 

Many books, articles, and essays are available for free, as well as thousands of hours of audio and video 


This is a statistical website that let's you see key numerical data for countries of the world. It also allows you to view "Categories" of statistics for comparative purposes among countries. See one example of NationMaster's data below.

 NBER: National Bureau of Economic Research

A “private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research” group. Many of its articles are free.

A keyword searchable database (see top-right) on economics, business, international trade, politics & health economics.

OAJSE (Open Access Journals Search Engine)

OAJSE is an open-access (free content) e-journal portal created by the Krishna Kanta Handiqui State Open University. It has links to hundreds of multidisciplinary journals that are divided into two collections: international titles; and Indian titles. Search both.

Choose the "Economics" subject heading to view its journal titles list.

The Google Custom Search appears to be non-functional, so you might need to open individual titles to search their contents.

The project was closed in 2012 so has lost its dynamic element, but the site retains value.

OECD iLibrary (Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development)

OECD is made up of 34 member states. Many of its tables, reports, statistics, papers, and other resources are available for free (some are by subscription-only). Browse by 'Theme', 'Country', 'Theme & Country', or through the many databases and indicators under the 'Statistics' tab. See also their "Main Economic Indicators" link for datasets on member states' national accounts, balance of payments, composite leading indicators, finance, trade, labour, prices, etc.

Economics is featured, but the site also treats other topics - education, development, environment, migration, etc.

OpenDOAR (Directory of Open Access Repositories)

OpenDOAR’s main benefit is that it provides access to numerous good quality, full-text academic resource collections around the world. OpenDOAR requires that its partner sites offer open-access (free) academic resources.

Search using the Google Custom Search for OpenDOAR’s resources: .

This is a multidisciplinary site so use precise technical economic vocabulary to avoid irrelevant results.

Penn World Tables

PWT is a set of national accounts (measuring the economic activity of a country) that compares GDP across countries and over time. The period covered is much larger than the World Bank's indicators, with data tracked to 1950, when available. PWTs are complicated enough that user guides are necessary for novices. The Macro Data Guide says: "the core of the dataset is...variables measuring gross domestic product at purchasing-power parity (GDP at PPP) and national income accounts converted to international prices". See Wikipedia's comparison lists of GDP (PPP) per capita.

RePEc (Research Papers in Economics)

The RePEc project is a group-effort to create a (mostly) free repository of academic articles, papers, book chapters, and books on economics. To navigate a search try the "Ideas" or the "EconPapers" links (under "RePEc Services").

Some material is available only on a "pay-for" basis, but the majority of the collection is free.

RFE: Resources for Economists

The site “lists more than 2,000 resources in 97 sections... (that are) of interest to academic and practicing economists” (Bill Goffe, ed.)

The guide is sponsored by the American Economic Association.

SSOAR (Social Science Open Access Repository) 

Contains resources from the social sciences as well as the humanities and interdisciplinary studies.

Keep in mind that since it is German initiative there is a lot of non-English language material.

SSRN (Social Science Research Network)

SSRN is a database containing about half a million free full-text academic papers across several disciplines (there are also some 'pay-for' articles).

Since it is multidisciplinary use technical, subject-specific language to focus your search.

UNCTADstat (UN Conference on Trade & Development)

A collection of statistical data on trade, economic trends, population, finance, etc. Time series in some cases go back to 1950, and cover most economies of the world.

United Nations Data (UNdata)

UN datasets (and subsets) are listed at this site (e.g. energy, industrial commodities, international financials, labour markets, etc.)

You can also choose the “Topics” tab on this page to see data organized by subject (e.g. finance, industry, labour, national accounts).

See also UN Statistical Databases:

See also links to economic data from the five regional commissions of the UN:

Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific 

Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia

Economic Commission for Africa

Economic Commission for Europe

Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean

US Bureau of Labour Statistics

The BLS is a vast reservoir of US data, but this page also links you to the national statistical webpages of many countries around the world.

World Bank

The World Bank (a UN institution) is interested in foreign investment, international trade, and capital investment.

The home page provides links through the “Data” tab to data sets of economic indicators, country information, and other topics of economic interest. See also their Open Knowledge Repository, a storehouse of books, reports, articles, links, studies, etc.

World Economic Forum

International institute aimed at promoting public-private cooperation.

Under the "Reports" tab there are numerous studies on many topics - economics included.

World Factbook (CIA)

Along with a lot of other national data, the CIA Factbook provides economic data under many categories for each country of the world.