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Data Resources and Support: Sources for "Risk" Data

Support for locating and working with datasets, statistical information, and geographic data.

Governance and Institutional Quality - Sources for "Risk" Data

This page contains links to resources for "risk" data and for data on quality of governance more generally. Some of the data are from the Political Risk Services Group, while other data come from sources such as the World Bank.

We encourage users of any of the data resources listed on this page to read Uses and Abuses of Governance Indicators, which is available in .pdf format from the OECD iLibrary. This publication provides an overview of different indicators of "risk" and of quality of governance more generally, including discussions of the methodologies behind the construction of such indicators. To quote the OECD's abstract for the publication:

"Rapidly rising attention to the quality of governance in developing countries is driving explosive growth in the use of governance 'indicators' by international investors, donors of official development assistance, development analysts and academics. This study helps them find their way through the jungle of existing governance indicators, and shows how they tend to be widely misused both in international comparisons and in tracking changes in individual countries."


Political Risk Services Group Data (Emory Patrons Only):

The Political Risk Services Group produces various data products that measure the level of "risk" to international business operations present in different countries across the globe. The Data Center's holdings include two data resources from the PRS Group that focus on aspects of "political risk" in the form of political sources of risk to the profitability and security of investments abroad. These sources provide various measures for political (in)stability and institutional quality (e.g. levels of corruption).

International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) Table 3B Data:

PRS' ICRG rating system assess countries based on political, economic, and financial sources of risk. The Table 3B Data that are available via the Data Center provide ratings of twelve different components of political risk used by PRS to assess countries' political stability. Those components include government stability, socioeconomic conditions, internal and external conflict, corruption, "Law and Order," and ethnic tensions. The data are in monthly increments and cover the years 1984-2014. The Table 3B Dataset is accessible to Emory faculty, students, and staff only. It is available for research and educational use and is not to be used for commercial purposes. The data (in Excel) and documentation are available here. The PRS Group also makes some data samples from the ICRG available for download at Note that while the downloads from this PRS site are free, they are usually only for the most recent data and require user registration.

IRIS-3 Dataset:

"The IRIS Dataset was originally constructed in 1993 by Steve Knack and Philip Keefer for the IRIS Center at the University of Maryland, based on data obtained from the International Country Risk Guide. The dataset includes computed scores for six variables: corruption in government, rule of law, bureaucratic quality, ethnic tensions, repudiation of contracts by government, and risk of expropriation. Knack produced subsequent issues of the data for an ongoing series of working papers from the IRIS Center. In its current form, IRIS-3 contains data for the period 1982-1997." (Description taken from the PRS Group's site at The IRIS Dataset is accessible to Emory faculty, students, and staff only. It is available for research and educational use and is not to be used for commerical purposes. The data (in Excel and in a .prn text file) and documentation are available here.


Other Sources for Risk Data:

In addition to our PRS data holdings, users may find the following sources useful for data on "risk" in the form of political (in)stability and/or institutional quality. Some of these sources are free to the public; others are licensed resources that are only accessible via the Data Center.

World Bank World Development Indicators 2004 CD-ROM (Emory Patrons Only):

The 2004 edition of the World Bank's World Development Indicators included an ICRG composite-risk indicator with data for the years 1984-2002. Subsequent editions of the WDI dropped this variable, according to the documentation on the WDI website, but users can still access the data from the 2004 edition via the CD-ROM version that is available in the Data Center or via the archive for WDI data at the World Bank DataBank. The World Bank's source for data was the Politcal Risk Services Group itself. To quote the internal documentation for the 2004 WDI:

Series: ICRG composite risk rating (0=highest risk to 100=lowest)

Composite International Country Risk Guide (ICRG) risk rating is an overall index, ranging from 0 to 100 (highest risk to lowest), based on 22 components of risk.

PRS group, monthly International Country Risk Guide ( Prior written consent must be obtained for third-party use of these data.

World Bank - "A New Database on Foreign Direct Investment:"

The World Bank's collection of globalization-related data sources at (link via the Internet Archive) includes a collection of data pertaining to foreign direction investment. To quote the Bank itself, "[The] World Bank recently combined available data from other institutions and national sources, and complied a FDI database. This database provides comprehensive information on FDI related issues, including data on annual FDI stocks and flows from source and destination countries, as well as on country risk ratings by 2 major rating agencies. The data cover the period 1970-1998. The database also includes an introductory overview note explaining various definitions and conceptual issues related to the measurement of FDI and policy and risk ratings" (emphasis added by EDC staff). The rating agencies in question are Institutional Investors magazine and the Political Risk Services Group. The PRS Group data are from older editions of the International Country Risk Guide and are not identical to the data above because of changes in methodology employed by the PRS Group.

World Bank Institute Governance Indicators:

The World Bank's Governance and Anticorruption Group has assembled the Worldwide Governance Research Indicators Dataset, which covers 200 countries biannually from 1996-2014 (annually from 2004 onwards). The six governance indicators include "Voice and Accountability," "Political Stability," "Government Effectiveness," "Regulatory Quality," "Rule of Law," and "Control of Corruption." The underlying source data that the Bank uses to construct its governance indicators are available for download, along with documentation and papers about how the Bank constructs the indicators. Note that the sources the Bank relies on include rescaled data for some of the PRS Group's sub-components of political risk.

Datastream (Emory Patrons Only):

Datastream, which is available on public workstations in both the Data Center and the Goizueta Business Library, contains data for the Economist Intelligence Unit's "Overall Risk Rating" covering about 100 countries in both monthly and quarterly increments, generally starting in 2000.

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