Documents Without Borders: Show Me the (International) Data!

Dory Shaffer


Some research is done in carefully controlled environments—where researchers painstakingly alter variables to determine how their change affects certain outcomes. These experiments, designed to test various theories and hypotheses, are dependent on the ability of researchers to control potential variables. Yet other methodologies focus on situations where the change in variables were dictated by policy, business, or social shifts. When these shifts happen on a large scale, international data is an invaluable tool for determining actual effects. In this column I will explore several international government data sources and their use in academic research.

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