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Showing posts from February, 2014

Programmatically download political science data with the psData package

A lot of progress has been made on improving political scientists’ ability to access data ‘programmatically’, e.g. data can be downloaded with source code R. Packages such as WDI for World Bank Development Indicator and dvn for many data sets stored on the Dataverse Network make it much easier for political scientists to use this data as part of a highly integrated and reproducible workflow . There are nonetheless still many commonly used political science data sets that aren’t easily accessible to researchers. Recently, I’ve been using the Database of Political Institutions (DPI) , Polity IV democracy indicators, and Reinhart and Rogoff’s (2010) financial crisis occurrence data. All three of these data sets are freely available for download online. However, getting them, cleaning them up, and merging them together is kind of a pain. This is especially true for the Reinhart and Rogoff data, which is in 4 Excel files with over 70 individual sheets, one for each country’s data.