Skip to Main Content

Country Research

How Do I...

Note: all of these topics/categories can be found in multiple sources, so don't think anything listed here is remotely comprehensive! You may also find that its easier to get context for data through sources like scholarly books and articles. Need older data than what is available online? Many online statistical databases started out as books published by international organizations - look for them by title in Search It (i.e. CIA World Factbook or the Human Development report/Index). 

IMF Statistics are mentioned a lot here; check out this matrix for what resource/database has what information.

...Find an appropriate timespan for my country?

Start with the Background Resources tab - these sources will give basic information about things like when/if a country becomes independent, major governmental changes (i.e. dictators, revolutions, democratic government happens, etc), major economic events, etc. You can also look at books that provide general histories of particular countries, or look them up in online reference sources. 

...Conceptualize and measure economic globalization in my country over time?


Example Indicators:


Volume of international trade
  • World Trade Organization, UN's International Trade Statistics Yearbook
Number and level of trade barriers

World Trade Organization, including their publication Doing Business: Measuring Business Regulation; Investopedia's Primer on Currency Regimes (exchange rates). Note: Please use your phone to take pictures of any pages from the PRY and other reference books, rather than checking the volumes out!

International Monetary Fund (see:

Levels of capital (for banks)
control of foreign investment
  • World Development Indicators
presence of foreign multinational corporations
  • United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report (note country fact sheets, link to older editions of the series, also the Statistical annex link) 
  • World Development Indicators (?) 


membership in international government organizations

...Conceptualize and measure the welfare of my selected country? (*Most of this can be found in the World Development Indicators

Example Indicators 

look at aggregate economic indicators, i.e. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross National Product (GNP) - nationally, or per capita
  • International Financial Statistics 
  • United Nations UNStats: National Accounts
look at employment data such as unemployment rates or average wages
  • International Financial Statistics ; World Development Report/Indicators ; Human Development Report/Index
Look at measurements of equality/inequality (poverty, income, wealth, educational attainment, homeownership, etc)
  • Try the GINI Index (World Bank) or the World Income Inequality Database (see the Data/Statistics tab). You can also look at the World Bank's Poverty page (look for Poverty and related subjects under the Topics link on the World Bank's site - locate the World Bank in the Government/IGO/NGO tab) and the World Development Indicators and the United Nation's Human Development Report/Human Development Index.
Look at broad social indicators, such as literacy rates, life expectancy, health care quality. etc.

Look under the big international organization (i.e. UN, World Bank, OECD, etc) "topic" links for general categories.  

  • Try the United Nation's Human Development Report/Human Development Index
WSU Libraries, PO Box 645610, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-5610, 509-335-9671, Contact Us