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Data Resources for Political Science: Elections, Institutions, and Voting Behavior

This is a compilation of commonly-used data resources for Political Scientists. The "Classic Rock" of Data, if you will.

Elections, Institutions, and Voting Behavior

Comparative Study of Electoral Systems
This site contains data and documentation for a cross-national collection of election studies. The CSES combines microdata on respondents with data at different levels of geography (i.e. data on respondents' electoral districts and on the political institutions of their countries) and focuses on themes such as how macro-level variables such as electoral systems affect political attitudes.

Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA)
The CLEA is a project hosted by the University of Michigan's Center for Political Studies and is "a repository of detailed results - including votes received by each candidate/party, total votes cast, number of eligible voters, and seat figures where available - at a constituency level for the lower house legislative elections that have been conducted around the world."

Democratic Electoral Systems Around the World, 1946-2016
This collection compiled by Matthew Golder provides data for "some of the more important electoral institutions used in all legislative and presidential elections during democratic periods in 199 countries between 1946 (or independence) and 2000 (...) The dataset covers a wide range of institutional features including regime type, the electoral formula, the average and median district magnitude, the number of constituencies and upper tier seats, assembly size etc." The data were recently updated to provide coverage up through 2016. The data are also available via Golder's DataVerse.

European Elections Database (EED)
The EED, which is hosted by Norwegian Social Science Data Services, "publishes regional election results according to the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics (NUTS), level 1 to 3" for a selection of 35 European countries for 1990 onwards. Data are available for parliamentary, presidential, and European Parliament elections.

Manifesto Project Database
The Manifesto Project Database "provides the scientific community with parties’ policy positions derived from a content analysis of parties’ electoral manifestos. It covers over 1000 parties from 1945 until today in over 50 countries on five continents." The geographic coverage includes Western Europe, Central/Eastern Europe, the Americas, and other selected countries. The database provides access to both the text of party manifestos and data derived from those manifestos that code parties on issues such as welfare spending, state intervention in markets, globalization, gender equality, and European integration. There are also tools for using the data in R or in Stata.

National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy (NELDA)
The NELDA collection at Yale provide election-event-level data on the outcomes and characteristics of individual elections for national legislative and executive elections between 1960 and 2012. The data cover topics such as the presence of election monitors, measures of electoral manipulation, and whether there was any post-election violence.

ParlGov - Parliaments and Governments Database
"ParlGov is a data infrastructure for political science and contains information for all EU and most OECD democracies (37 countries). The database combines approximately 1500 parties, 920 elections (8400 results), and 1400 cabinets (3500 parties). "

Party Government Data Set (PGDS)
The Party Government Data Set, hosted by J.J Woldendorp at the University of Amsterdam, "covers 39 parliamentary democracies from 1945, or the year these countries became a parliamentary democracy (again), through 2008." The geographic focus is on countries in Western and Eastern Europe. The data cover topics such as reason for government termination, ideological orientation of government, names of parties in government, and size of governing coaliation (e.g. minority governments).

Political Risk Services (PRS) Group Data
The Data Center's holdings include data resources from the PRS Group and other sources that measure "risk" in the form of political (in)stability and institutional quality (e.g. corruption, accountability, bureaucratic quality). Our data from the PRS Group are monthly and cover the years 1984-2016.

Quality of Government (QOG) Institute
The QOG Institute is hosted by members of the Department of Political Science at Göteborg University in Sweden and is devoted to "the causes, consequences and nature of 'good governance.'" The Institute has created four collections of data on governance: a broad collection of governance indicators that is global in coverage; a more narrow collection that focuses on social policy in wealthier countries; data from expert surveys on politicization and professionalization of public administration in individual countries, and a new data collection on perceptions of corruption in individual regions within EU members. The data are compiled from multiple sources, including the Polity Project, the Cingarelli-Richards Human Rights Data, Transparency International, Freedom House, various international organizations, and datasets produced by various academics. The QoG data are available in SPSS, Stata, and comma-delimited (.csv) formats.

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