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Q&A: Number of Women employed by industry

Question: I'd like to find statistics on number of women employed by particular industry in European countries.

Answer: The International Labor Organization (ILO) collects employment data by industry. You can access via UN data or directly from Labour Statistics Yearbook Database (LABORSTA). If you go to UN data, you will see employment in the database coverage block. From there, go to International Labor Organization (ILO) data. Under ILO, you will see LABORSTA where you'll find Employment by sex and industry branch for each country. You should be able to choose by country, industry sectors, gender, etc.

How accurate are polls?

A recent article in Knowledge@Wharton (the Wharton School's online business journal)tackles the issue of the accuracy and reliability of polls. In Polling the Polling Experts: How Accurate and Useful are Polls These Days?, leading statisticians discuss (in laymen's terms) the strengths and weakness of different kinds of polling data and questions. An excellent read for those who want to be more informed consumers of polling data.

Knowledge@Wharton is also a great source for other interesting business related topics.

The November 2007 Oil Spill in the Bay Area Data

There are a number of websites with information related to the November 2007 spilling 58,000 gallons of bunker oil in the Bay Area when the container ship M/V Cosco Busan struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Spills and Events: Cosco Busan Spill site run by the California Department of Fish and Game contains information and updates about the environmental impacts and mitigation responses to the November 2007 oil spill. It includes fact sheet, maps, and links to slideshow of oil spill response images.

Citizen Oil Spill Response website maintained by Baykeeper, a nonprofit organization concerned with the protection and restoration of water quality in the San Francisco, provides details about volunteer activities. It includes alerts about training opportunities and action alerts, and links to background about the spill and cleanup and restoration efforts.

Incident News site "provides publicly available information related to oil and hazardous material spills, both current and historical." It lists various documents for the incident in Bay Area, rescue of wayward humpback whales in California's Sacramento River, and many other incidents back to 1967. It is developed and maintained by the Emergency Response Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Response and Restoration.

Oiled Wildlife Care Network Frequently Asked Questions address topics about the effect of oil on birds and marine mammals, such as toxicity, long-term effects, wildlife reproduction, and rehabilitation time for oiled birds. It provides an overview of the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, which "is a joint program between the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response and the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Wildlife Health Center," and includes network organization through the state.

National Response Center website would be a good source of information regarding past environmental disasters; however the most current info listed there is from October, 2007 and does not include the Bay Area incident yet. It contains background on the response system, summaries of significant environmental and terrorist incidents reported to the center (back to 2004), incident statistics (including by type and by cause, back to 1991), and related documents and data.

From: Internet Librarians' Index

Thanksgiving data

Facts and statistics about turkeys, cranberries, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, holiday shopping, places named Plymouth, and more. Includes quotes and audio clips, and a brief history of the holiday can be found at the U.S. Census Bureau news site.

From: Librarians' Internet Index

Q&A: historical Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) statistics

Question: I am looking for historical data on levels of foreign direct investment, particularly investments made by the various colonial powers in their colonies. I am told the post 1947 data exists on some Department of Commerce web site, but don't know the URL, and have no idea about any of the earlier stuff. Do you have any ideas about how to proceed?

Answer: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is collected in many places and by many government agencies, primarily the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the World Bank and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). For the historical data, you'll want to use Direction of trade statistics historical (1948-1980) available on CDROM in Data Services, Velma Denning Room, first floor of Green Library.

Here are some other routes to explore:

  1. The World Bank's "World Tables of Economic and Social Indicators" has net FDI data for over 180 countries from 1950-1992. A Socrates search will lead you to it here in the library. It's also available via the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), a data repository to which Stanford belongs.
  2. UNCTAD's World Investment Reports and its FDI database also has data and statistics that include FDI. Country Factsheets for 188 economies are also available for current data.
  3. OECD's International Direct Investment Statistics Yearbook as well as the individual country OECD Reviews of Foreign Direct Investment, one of which is the U.S., also will help. The yearbook collects data from 1992 - present.
  4. IMF's International Financial Statistics will give additional data and stats.
  5. World Bank's Global Development Finance may also help as well as looking generally at the Bank's International Economics Dept. titles.
  6. On the US side of things, you can find Frederick M. O'Hara's Handbook of United States economic and financial indicators located at the Green Information Center and at Jackson Business Library (HC106.8 .O47 2000). There's a 1985 edition and a 2000 revised edition available.
  7. The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has good statistics and data. In particular, for the U.S., the single largest FDI in total $$ volume and total FDI cases between 1940s - 1980s, you might look at:

    U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Survey of Current Business, February 1981. "Trends in the U.S. Direct Investment Position Abroad, 1950-79."

  8. Scan through articles in Business America, which is a Dept of Commerce magazine. It's print and online and has good summary pieces on international trade -- including FDI -- such as John Rutter's "Recent and future trends in international direct investment", Business America, August 6, 1984. It's indexed in ABI/INFORM, a business database.
  9. Go to Department of commerce. International Trade Administration. Trade Policy Information System for trade statistics of over 170 countries (from the United Nations); and multi-country statistics on international finance, direction of trade, balance of payments and developing country debt.
  10. Last but not least, most of the above can be found in EconLit or Google Scholar using phrases like "FDI" and "direction of trade".

One final note: If you go back into colonial history much before 1945 the concept of Foreign Direct Investment doesn't really apply as a form of statistical analysis. But there is a large body of scholarly work on the economics of colonies. A general Subject keyword search of Socrates for "economic" and "colonies" will yield a large number of books on the economic history of imperialism and colonialism, plus many monographs on specific colonies of the various European powers.

Please contact the Information Center if you need more help.

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