Article in the March 31 New Yorker cites French economist Thomas Piketty and his new book Capital in the Twenty-first Century, being hailed as a major intellectual event. While Piketty himself is interesting, I was drawn to the economic portrait described in the article. These statistics would be utterly astonishing … were it not for the fact that I’ve read something like them before. For example, author John Cassidy writes that in 2010 the richest 10% of American households owned 70% of the nation’s wealth, while the bottom 50% owned a mere 5%. The top 1% alone owned 35% of the wealth. According to Piketty, 95% of all the income growth in the U.S. economy between 2010 and 2012 accrued to the top 1%. Piketty avers that, in the level of inequality in terms of income generated by work, America is “probably higher than in any other society at any time in the past, anywhere in the world.” I will leave that for economists to decide. No doubt Piketty has his critics — and Cassidy himself offers a critique — but the article is still a sobering read. (This New Yorker issue is on the Library’s magazine rack on the entry floor.)
Did you know that one easy way to get quick access to lots of free government data on many subjects is through the US Census Bureau homepage? Just go to the Bureau’s page via our Database A-Z list (or go to their URL directly) and then click on ‘Index A to Z’ in the upper right. You’ll get a prodigious alphabetical list of topics for which statistics are available, ranging from Advance Monthly Retail Sales to Child Support to Health Insurance to Small Business Statistics. The Census site is not just about people — it can be a shortcut to finding data you need without trying to figure out what part of the Government provides it.
Doing financial research using empirical data? Need runs of prices for commodities or stocks, fixed income data, or historic national indicators? Check out our financial databases comparison chart. This table is a quick way to compare the content of some of our major financial / economic data sets: Bloomberg, Datastream, FactSet, CRSP and Global Financial Data. And if you have any questions, please contact our Library staff, either at the front desk or via the Ask Us interface, and we’ll be happy to help.
I ran across an interesting blog published by the World Bank called Open Data. The blog’s focus is “This blog is a forum for discussing development data issues and open access to data. Open access to data is a key part of the World Bank’s commitment to sharing our knowledge to improve people’s lives.”
The most recent blog entry is talking about how some of the World Bank staff decided on a pilot project to collect and present more timely price data. They realized one important fact: our parents, neighbors, friends and the rest of the crowd can collect price data! However, would this price data be reliable and timely? We set out to examine the feasibility of this approach.
4th floor Bass Center
Come join us for the evening with wine and cheese.
Great Books. Great Room. is a new event series hosted by the GSB Library to showcase faculty publications and encourage GSB community interaction and engagement. The Library’s beautiful reading room on the 4th floor of the Bass Center sets the scene for an inviting yet informal reading, Q&A, and book signing. There will be books available for purchase. We look forward to seeing you at the event.
It was reported today the the U.S. consumer sentiment rose to it’s highest in five years. The article reports that, “What changed was how they (consumers) evaluated economic conditions,” survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement. “Economic conditions during the year ahead were expected to be ‘good’ by more consumers, and more consumers expected ‘good’ economic times over the next five years.”
If you wanted to check out the Consumer Sentiment Survey and/or other websites about consumer please go to the library’s Business Web Sites: Economic Data: Consumers.
There are lots of juicy sources of free data available from the U.S. Government. Well, sort of — it’s produced and paid for by We the People. Anyway, among sites highlighted in a recent issue of Information Advisor magazine are Exports, Jobs, and Foreign Investment, a Dept of Commerce site offering information on the impact of international trade on individual states. Also from Commerce is Trade Data & Analysis, providing trade data for industries such as aerospace, construction, greentech, healthcare, tourism, finance and more. From the U.S. Copyright Office comes a tool to search 20 million copyright records for works recorded with the Office since 1978. And finally, TESS, the Trademark Electronic Search System, with more than 4 million pending, registered — and dead — federal trademarks. Happy hunting!
Feel the need to ramp up fast on cleantech or the housing crisis? Check out the Library’s Hot Topics page (it’s under Resources on our home page.) There you will find an instant assortment of articles, books and great websites in areas like healthcare, cleantech, corporate social responsibility (CSR), women executives, and the financial crisis. On the CSR page, for example, notice our list of 22 websites that can boost your learning curve on the topic. Or review a quick list of books about women in the boardroom on the Women Executives and Career Tracks page. We can give you everything you need to be conversant at the next cocktail party – except the martini.