Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Choose a Topic
- Examples of past Economics Honors Theses can provide some ideas for topics that you might want to pursue.
- The JEL Classification Codes provide an outline of subjects in economics. You can drill down from a broad to a narrower topic to get ideas for a theses topic. The Journal of Economic Literature Literature (JEL) organizes its reviewed articles using this system, and these descriptors are assigned to articles and books indexed in EconLit.
- North-Holland Handbooks in Economics includes at least 40 titles, each focusing on a broad area of economics and with many in-depth survey articles.
- Recent NBER Working Papers can be a good way to browse current research. The "Bibliographic Search" box searches words in titles, and the "Full Text Search" looks for terms in the entire paper (good if your term is not so common or is a narrow subject). Give them your.edu email address to get free copies.
Key Literature Indexes and Collections
EconLit with Full Text
Index of academic literature back to the 19th century (articles, books, working papers, conference papers, and reports).
Full text online of all issues of important core journals (with a 3-5 year lag) back to 19th century, including many in economics, finance, statistics, and business.
Journal of Economic Literature (JEL)
Besides articles, includes extensive book reviews, an annotated list of new books, table of contents of current periodicals, and selected abstracts of articles.
NBER Working Papers
Working Paper Series (National Bureau of Economic Research)
Indexes public policy literature back to 1915, including articles, government documents, and grey literature.
Articles and reports on education, including economic and policy aspects.
Web of Science
Good for following citations (material cited by an author, plus later articles that cite that work).
Set preferences to "Duke University Libraries": choose Settings, then Library Links. you'll have the "Get It @ Duke" link in your search results.
Business and economic literature index, including many trade publications and market research report as well as academic literature. From ProQuest.
Business Source Complete
Business and economic literature index, including many trade publications as well as academic literature. From EBSCO.
Selected Data Sources
Data by Subject or Topic
- ProQuest Statistical Insight: an index to publications from governments, IGOs/NGOs, and trade associations that include statistical data, usually fairly aggregated
- ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research): a data archive of more than 250,000 files of research in the social and behavioral sciences. When you create an account, identify yourself as an affiliate of Duke University to gain free access.
- Detailed data in standard statistical formats (SAS, Stata, SPSS, etc.).
- You need to create an account while running VPN (or be on campus) in order to download data. After you create an account, you can access the service from outside of VPN.
- Thematic collections provide convenient topical access
- A bibliography that connects ICPSR data to publications
- The American Economic Association (AEA) archives the data used in its journals at ICPSR
US Economic Data
Besides the voluminous documentation that installs locally with Stata, help can be found online and in books.
Selected Print Resources
- OIT Software Distribution (one-year license usually costs $50 for students, staff, and faculty, but Stat is free for students working on Honors Thesis)
- All machines in the CDVS lab in The/Edge have Stata installed. During the COVID-19 pandemic the lab is closed, but Stata16 SE is available through a virtual machine. Please read our guide or watch a short video demonstration for step-by-step instructions.