Articles & Reports
- Sociological Abstracts (Harvard Login)A core resource for researchers, professionals, and students in sociology, social planning/policy, and related disciplines.
- Urban Studies Abstracts (Harvard Login)Abstracts for literature in the area of urban studies, including urban affairs, community development, and urban history. Coverage back to 1973.
- US Health and Human Services, Poverty GuidelinesAccess to current poverty guidelines and links to historical poverty guidelines, reports and recent research on the topic.
- OECD iLibrary (Requires Harvard Login)Publications include OECD country studies, forecasting publications, reports, periodicals, and socio-economic databases.
- World Bank eLibrary (Harvard Login)Provides full-text access to all World Bank books, working papers, and journal articles published since the 1990s.
- The World Inequality Report 2022A biannual report that highlights new findings and research analysis emanating from the World Wealth and Income Database. Co-Authored by Thomas Piketty.
- J-PAL Evaluation databaseA MIT research center, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Site includes randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty with 605 randomized evaluations conducted by J-PAL affiliates in 64 countries.
- USAID Development Experience ClearinghouseThe largest online resource for USAID-funded technical and program documentation from more than 50 years of USAID's existence, with more than 155,000 documents available for viewing and electronic download.
To locate print books and other items (DVDs, microfiche) owned by Harvard Libraries, search in the Harvard Library Catalog, HOLLIS, using terms such as poverty, income inequality and wealth distribution.
The Social Security Agency is one of the few federal agencies that tracked some information on low-income US citizens prior to 1959. You may want to search in HOLLIS+ for annual publications authored by this agency (earlier name was Social Security Board) for annual publications such as the Social Security Bulletin and Social Security Yearbook.
Non-Harvard affiliates should try searching for government publications using an the WorldCat catalog. Contact your local university library's government documents group for assistance in retrieving materials.
- Opportunity InsightsHarvard center with focus on income inequality. Directed by Professor Raj Chetty
- Opportunity AtlasCreated by Harvard, Brown and Census researchers and faculty, A comprehensive Census tract-level dataset of children’s outcomes in adulthood using data covering nearly the entire U.S. population.
- Poverty, Inequality & OpportunityRecent scholarship, podcasts and videos about poverty and inequality research at the Harvard Kennedy School.
- Inequality.orgProject of the think tank, Institute of Policy Studies. Tracks inequality in U.S and world.
- Economic Hardship Reporting ProjectStories of poverty. Founded by activist and journalist Barbara Ehrenreich.
- Future of Middle Class InitiativeBrookings Institute site focusing on decline of U.S middle class.
Country Level Poverty Data
- Clio InfraFunded by Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, this site gathers interconnected databases of worldwide data on social, economic, and institutional indicators for the past five centuries, with special attention to the past 200 years. These indicators allow research into long-term development of worldwide economic growth and inequality.
- Global Price and Income History GroupIncludes global prices and incomes database, American incomes from 1650-1870, nominal GDP series and government budget historical series.
- LIS Complementary DatabasesLIS site that lists other datasets and databases that provide country-level indicators that might be useful to microdata users and other comparative researchers of income inequality data.
- Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) Cross-National Data CenterProvides access to the Luxembourg Income Study Database (LIS), and the Luxembourg Wealth Study Database (LWS). Datasets with income, wealth, employment, and demographic data from a large number of countries, harmonized to enable cross-national comparisons, and available for public use by providing registered users with remote access.
- Maddison ProjectIncludes datasets relating to historical economic growh including Angus Maddison's original dataset and 2018 release.
- World Bank, GINI indexThe Gini index measures the extent to which the distribution of income or consumption expenditure among individuals or households within an economy deviates from a perfectly equal distribution. Part of the World Development Indicators database.
- World Income Inequality DatabaseAvailable through United Nations University, this database collects and stores information on income inequality for developed, developing, and transition countries. Site includes extensive documentation about source and surveys used by country.
- World Wealth & Income DatabaseWith over fifty countries, this database is the largest one on income inequality.
Read the World Inequality Report 2018 for additional analysis of the data.
- AlfredHistorical data on population, labor and employment.Includes income distribution in the U.S and Gini ratios.
- Federal Research Economic Data (FRED)Includes state data on poverty, SNAP recipients and other indicators of poverty in the US.
- IRS, Tax StatisticsA wide range of tables, articles, and data that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system. Links to IRS Statistics of Income (SOI) products.
- Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID)Longest running longitudinal household survey in the world. Directed by University of Michigan faculty.
- United States, Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)Includes personal income and GINI datasets on national, regional and local level.
- United States Census Bureau, Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (SAIPE)Estimates of income and poverty in the United States on the county and state level; also (partially) traces child poverty by school districts.
- United States Census Bureau, IncomeUS Census site providing access to reports, data and tools for researching survey results on income in the US.
- United States Census Bureau, PovertyPoverty site on US Census page. Includes links to pdfs and reports and data tools that can be used to locate poverty and income inequality data.
- United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor StatisticsDownload data on county wages, income, unemployment, pay & benefits,
Living Wage Calculators
- Living Wage CalculatorDeveloped by Dr. Amy K. Glasmeier at MIT
- Self Sufficiency StandardCreates “bare bones” family budgets that detail the minimum amount of income required by families to meet their basic needs without public or private assistance. Includes state reports and calculators.
- State of Working AmericaPublished by the Economic Policy Institute. Site includes data on family income, wages, jobs, unemployment, wealth, and poverty that allow for a clear, unbiased understanding of the economy’s effect on the living standards of working Americans. Includes downloadable data sets.
- ALICEReports use a standardized set of measurements to quantify the cost of a basic household budget in each county in each state, and to show how many households are struggling to afford it.
- PolicyMap (Harvard Login)Generate reports, create tables and maps. Includes demographics, home sale statistics, health data, mortgage trends, school performance scores and labor data like unemployment, crime statistics and city crime rates.
- Social Explorer (Harvard Login)Create maps and tables of data from the decennial Census and the American Community Survey from 1790-2010+.
- Measure of AmericaProvides "easy-to-use yet methodologically sound tools for understanding well-being and opportunity in America."
Think Tank Search
Think Tank Search
Search using Google conventions (i.e. putting quotation marks around phrases).
Think Tank Search searches the websites of institutions that generate public policy research, analysis, and activity. These sites are affiliated with universities, governments, advocacy groups, foundations, and non-governmental organizations. Inclusion is based upon the relevancy of subject area to HKS coursework and scholarship, the availability of the think tank’s research in full-text on the website, and the think tank’s reputation and influence upon policy making. The list represents a mixture of partisan and non-partisan think tanks.
- Policy File Index (Harvard Login)Abstracts of and links to domestic and international public policy issue published by think tanks, university research programs, & research organizations.
- Policy Commons: Global Think TanksCollection of research from the world’s leading policy experts, think tanks, IGOs and NGOs. At last count it contains over 3 million publications from more than 24,000 organizations.
- Open Research Reports from JSTORMore than 39,000 research reports from over 140 policy institutes around the world are freely accessible to everyone on JSTOR. The open research reports are discoverable alongside journals, books, and primary sources, and are clearly labeled as their own content type.
- Find PolicyA side project of Transparify, search think tank sites grouped by topic and location.
- Open Think Tank DirectoryA global collection of 2700 think tanks and related organisations.
- Think Tank Review
Repository of think tank publications on EU affairs from the Library of the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU.
- Harvard Kennedy School, Malcom Wiener Center for Social Policy, Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social PolicyIncludes news stories, commentaries and links to full-text articles and reports on poverty and income inequality authored by scholars at the Malcom Wiener Center for Social Policy.
- Stanford Center on Poverty and InequalityStanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI), one of three National Poverty Centers, is a nonpartisan research center dedicated to monitoring trends in poverty and inequality, explaining what's driving those trends, and developing science-based policy on poverty and inequality.
- Center for Poverty & Inequality Research, University of California - DavisThe Center for Poverty Research at UC Davis is one of three federally designated centers whose mission is to facilitate non-partisan academic research on poverty in the U.S., disseminate this research, and train the next generation of poverty scholars.
- Institute for Research on Poverty, University of Wisconsin - MadisonThis University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of the three research centers funded by the federal government that is devoted to the study of poverty. Site includes news stories, articles and other publication on the topic.
- Center on Poverty and Social Policy, Columbia UniversitySeeks to "to advance our understanding of poverty and the role of social policy in reducing poverty and promoting opportunity, economic security, and individual and family wellbeing in New York City and the United States." The website offers research reports and data tools, among other things.