I found that one of the most valuable parts of an economics education was learning about the available data and major surveys. The NIPAs and the Integrated Nstional Accounts (which I believe will gradually superceed the NIPAs over the next few decades), the Survey of Consumer Expenditures and the survey of Consumer Finance, the Flow of Funds form Z.1, the Current Population Survey, KLEMS datasets, the American Community Survey household one percent sample (which has taken the place of the Decennial Census Long Form) and the rest. Most of the important Federal data sets are publicly available and free or cheap, with the important exception of IRS SOI data and OASDI data and a few other examples of data from administrative records rather than surveys, although anonymized sub-samples are somtime available, and subject to application with a lot of special limitations, data may be available to other givernment agencies or to researchers who come into the agency and agree to be bound by its confidentiality rules, or face ferocious penalties.

The Federal surveys (and modern computers of course) really are what make economic research possible, especially for someone like me, without the infrastructure and financial muscle of a university behind me.

All this by way of introduction.

Recently I have become interested in nowcasting and other economic phenomena at daily or higher frequencies. I would like to find bubbles before they pop, and more generally look for risk of large-scale credit defaults, looming recessions, and other important economic hazards, on a time scale that could present opportunities for prevention, and not just labeling or mitigation.

But I have been notably unsuccessful in my quest for daIly or intra-day economic data. Of course there is price data for securities and commodities, but historic high-frequency data from the Exchanges and resellers is, by my standards, pretty expensive. I went so far as to ask ChatGPT to find inexpensive data on various subjects, but got back nothing of value except the Fed nowcasts.

Back when I was a freshman and dinosaurs roamed the earth, there were a number of websites that provided very helpful guides to sources of free or inexpencive economic data.

Does anyone know of a good source on the availability of daily and higher-frequncy data, ideally at prices an unfunded independent scholar might be able to afford?



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