Quantitative public financial management research is limited by the lack of a common database for empirical analysis. The U.S. Census Bureau distributes government finance data that some scholars have utilized, but the difficult process of collecting, interpreting, and organizing the data has led its adoption to be prohibitive and inconsistent. On this website we offer a single, coherent resource that contains all of the census data from 1967 through the most recent update, uses easy to understand natural-language variable names, and can be extended when new data is available.

Because of the size of the data, the links below give you the option to download the entire database or only the set of governments you are interested in. Each download link includes a text file of the data, our research paper describing the data, and several appendices to help you work with it. We suggest that you cite our work as:

Pierson K., Hand M., and Thompson F. (2015). The Government Finance Database: A Common Resource for Quantitative Research in Public Financial Analysis. PLoS ONE doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0130119

Urban Institute’s State and Local Finance Initiative provides an interactive tool using state-level aggregates of nominal and inflation-adjusted revenue and spending data by level of government at this link: State and Local Finance Data

For More Information

Kawika Pierson
Assistant Professor of Accounting and Quantitative Methods

Michael L. Hand
Professor of Applied Statistics and Information Systems

Fred Thompson
Grace and Elmer Goudy Professor of Public Management and Policy Analysis

Willamette University

Atkinson Graduate School of Management

Salem Campus

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

Portland Center

200 SW Market Street, Suite 101
Portland Oregon 97201 U.S.A.

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