Resources for academic research in economics.


Three library subscription databases offer Johns Hopkins users the most comprehensive source for business location data.  Included are over 75 million active establishments along with retrospective listing that extend back to 1969.  Each business listing includes standard information including company name, street address, and contacts.  For some business, additional components including business owner, sales volume, number of employee, years in business,  standard industrial classifications codes and latitude/longitude.

Data Axle Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) (1997 - present)

  • Description: Data source Is the InfoGroup Inc. owner of the Data Axle (formerly ReferenceUSA) databases.  Includes business location (i.e. address and latitude/longitude) for each establishment and  offers many variables including sales volume, number of employees, owner/manager information including gender and on and on…..
  • Search by: Offers both NAICS codes (North American Industry Classification System) and SIC (Standard Industrial Classification) for all businesses.
  • Download Limitation: 500 records at a time.  One can download more than 500 records.  However, each batch of downloads is limited to 500.  For unlimited downloading of same data see WRDS database below.


Mergent DataExplr (1969 - present, NO data available for the years 1981 and 1984)

  • Description:  Data source is business data collected by Dunn and Bradstreet Inc.(D&B), and the DataExplr file is called "Dun & Bradstreet Company Listing"   DataExplr is Mergent’s repository and portal for bulk downloading of data.  Due to data collection issues at D&B, no data exists for the years 1981 and 1984.  The D&B data does not offer as many business variables as the InfoGroup Inc. data found in the Data Axle database.
  • Search by: SIC only
  • Download Limitation: Unlimited
  • Account Required:  Login via JHED ID and password, plus a user defined additional account registration.  There is no fee to create the additional account.  Mergent DataExplr  is a subscription database paid for by the library. 


WRDS - Wharton Research Data Service (1997 -  last year, does not include current year)

  • Description:  InfoGroup data is one of the files available in WRDS.  The InfoGroup business location variables are the same as those found in Data Axle (formerly ReferenceUSA).  The Wharton School, via their WRDS repository and portal offers bulk downloading of data.  
  • Search by: Offers both NAICS and SIC codes.
  • Download Limitation: Unlimited
  • Account Required: First-time users must click on the "Register" link in the black menu bar at the top of the WRDS website and complete the registration form, which can take up to 48 hours to process.