Banks Cross-National Time-Series (CNTS) Data Archive--The Banks CNTS Data Archive is
a very comprehensive collection of
political, economic, and demographic variables, including regime type, legislative effectiveness,
the nature of the executive, and cabinet size. Depending on the country and variable, the data
go back to 1815. A version covering the years 1815-1997 is available from the Data Center
here. To access a
more recent version of the dataset, please
the Data Center staff.
Bureaucratic Structure and Economic Performance--This site houses data and documentation for a
project by James E. Rauch and Peter B. Evans on bureaucratic quality and structure and
"meritocracy" in 35 developing countries.
- Comparative Political Data Sets (CPDS)--The
CPDS were produced by scholars at the University of Berne.
They are similar to the Database of Political Institutions
dataset (see below) but focus on OECD countries and post-communist countries and have more emphasis on
demographics, electoral results, and ideological compositions of governments. Please note the authors' preferred
Comparative Welfare States Data Set (CWSDS)--The CWSDS is a joint effort by comparative
welfare-state scholars such as Evelyne Huber, Charles Ragin, John D. Stephens, and Duane Swank. The
data cover 18 OECD countries from 1960 onwards and include many economic, political, and policy
variables, including the structure of political institutions and of wage-bargaining institutions.
- Cingranelli and Richards (CIRI)
Human Rights Dataset--The CIRI Human Rights Dataset contains data on government practices with
regard to human rights, including variables on torture, religious freedom, "disappearances," and
workers' rights. The data cover the years 1981-2004. While registration is required to access
the data, the registration is free.
- Database of Political Institutions--This database
was put together in part by Phillip Keefer at the World Bank and provides data on the political institutions and
structures of different countries in the world from 1975 to 2006. Additional documentation are also available
here. Please note the authors' preferred
format for citing their data.
- "Democracy Indicators
Cross-national Time-Series Dataset"--This dataset was compiled by Professor Pippa Norris at
Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and contains various measures of democratic government from
sources such as
Freedom House and
(referenced elsewhere on this page). The documentation identifies the sources for the variables;
users need to consult those sources for more information. In addition to the time-series dataset,
Dr. Norris has also compiled a "Shared Global Indicators Cross-national Database" which is also available at
- "Democratic Electoral Systems Around the
World"--This site is maintained by Matt Golder at NYU. The data cover electoral institutions (e.g. electoral
formulas, numbers of constituencies, effective numbers of parties) for presidential and legislative elections from
1946 to 2000.
- Freedom House--Freedom
House's annual Freedom in the World reports score countries on a 1-7
scale for both politcal rights and civil liberties. Users can download Freedom Houses' annual
rankings via an Excel file with data going back to 1972; click on "Publications" and then choose
"Freedom in the World."
- Institutions and Elections Project Dataset
(IAEP)--The IAEP, which is housed at
SUNY-Binghamton, contains data on political
institutions for both democratic and non-democratic states. The data cover the period 1972-2005 and
measure institutions such as legislatures, executives, judiciaries, central banks, and electoral systems.
- International Human Rights Studies Center
(IHRSC)--The IHRSC at the University of North Texas hosts Steven Poe and Neal Tate's much-cited
human-rights datasets. The data and documentation are available for free.
- Inter-Parliamentary Union
(IPU)--The IPU website contains much information about both national and supranational
PARLINE database includes general information on the structure of parliaments (e.g. chambers,
constituencies, electoral systems, political mandates). The IPU also provides data on
female representation in national
parliaments from the late 1990's onwards.
Constraint Index (POLCON) Dataset--The POLCON dataset is managed by Professor Witold Henisz at the Wharton
School of Management. The dataset measures political constraints on the executive in the form of
multiple political actors (e.g. legislative chambers, courts). The dataset and codebook
are downloadable upon provision of contact details.
- Political Database of the
Americas (PDA)--The PDA's data holdings are mainly for elections, but the site also has
information on local governance and decentralization, political parties, and executive, legislative,
and judicial institutions for the countries of North, Central, and South America.
- Political Particularism Around the World--This dataset contains
cross-sectional time-series data on electoral systems and the extent to which they create
incentives for politicians to cater to "particularlistic" interests.
- Political Risk Services
(PRS) Group Risk Data--The Data Center's
holdings include data resources from the
PRS Group and other sources that measure "risk" in
the form of political (in)stability and institutional quality
(e.g. levels of corruption).
- Political Terror Scale (PTS)--
Gibney at UNC-Asheville has created a
5-point "political terror scale" that codes countries on human-rights conditions and the rule of
law, based on reports from Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department. The data cover the
years 1980-2005 and are available for downloading.
IV Project Homepage--The Polity Project data contain information on
regime type and political structures (e.g. constraints on executive power, competitiveness of political participation)
of states since 1800. Registration is required to access the data.
- The Polyarchy
Dataset - Vanhanen's Index of Democracy--The Polyarchy Dataset was compiled by Tatu Vanhanen and scores countries
on political competition, political participation, and an overall democracy index. The data
coverage is from 1810 to 2000.
References in EC Law--This dataset was compiled by Alec Stone Sweet and Thomas L. Burnell and
contains information on all the preliminary references filed with the European Court of Justice
from 1961 to 1998. The data and documentation are also available
- Quality of Government (QOG) Institute--The QOG Institute
is hosted by members of the Department of Political Science at Göteborg University in Sweden and is devoted to
"the causes, consequences and nature of 'good governance.'" The Institute has created two collections of data on
governance indicators: a global collection of governance
indicators and a more narrow collection that focuses on
social policy in wealthier countries. The Institute has also compiled a very nice
collection of links to other
governance-themed data (some free, some fee-based) compiled by various sources.
- State Failure
Dataset--The Political Instability Task Force at the University of Maryland has compiled
datasets with variables on ethnic wars, revolutionary wars, genocide, "politocide," and regime
change in 96 countries for the years 1955-2005.
- Transparency International--Transparency
International ranks countries based on perceived levels of corruption and publishes those rankings
in annual reports. The reports also include rankings on the propensity of firms in different
industrialized countries to bribe officals in developing countries. The reports are in
.pdf format and go back to 1995. Transparency International's data are also accessible via the
Internet Center for Corruption Research.
- World Bank Governance
Data--The World Bank hosts a website devoted to data on governance and institutional quality and
their relevance for economic development and performance. In addition to the main data page, the Bank
also has a web inventory of data pertaining
to institutional quality.
World Bank Public Sector Governance--This World Bank site provides
a variety of data and non-data resources relevant for the study of institutions. Amongst the
features of this site include a page devoted to
indicators of governance and institutional quality. This site also has a page devoted to
that includes a cross-national time-series dataset on measures of fiscal decentralization.
World Bank Institute Governance Indicators--This dataset covers 200 countries biannually from
1996-2007. The six governance indicators include government effectiveness, rule of law, and
World Governance Assessment (WGA)--The WGA project focuses on governance and institutional
quality as they pertain to development in less-developed countries. The project includes a
derived from surveys conducted in 30 LDC's in 1996 and 2000. The dataset contains variables measuring
transparency, accountability, participation, and efficiency in six government arenas - civil
society, political society, government, bureaucracy, the judiciary, and economic society.