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ECON 495S/496S: Honors Seminars I & II: Getting Started

Profs. Connoly, Kim, and Kimbrough

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 email address to get free copies.

Key Literature Indexes and Collections

Selected Data Sources

Data by Subject or Topic
Data Citation
General Sources
  • Statista
  • Quandl 
  • 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
Financial Data
International Data

Library Contact

Mark Thomas's picture
Mark Thomas
233C Perkins Library

Library Contact

Library Services

Stata Resources

Besides the voluminous documentation that installs locally with Stata, help can be found online and in books.

Web Resources
Selected Print Resources
Obtaining Stata
  • 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.