'Tis but thy name that is my enemy: On the construction of macro panel datasets in conflict and peace economics
The empirical analysis of datasets covering a large number of countries and time periods has become an integral part of conflict and peace economics. As such, numerous studies examine relationships between and among macroeconomic, political, and conflict variables and this often involves the merging of disparate datasets to combine relevant variables for which the country unit of analysis, however, is not necessarily the same. This article highlights difficulties in the data merging process and, by way of example, presents detailed country coding unit comparison for two economic (UN Comtrade and World Development Indicators), two democracy (Polity IV and V-Dem), and two conflict datasets (UCDP/PRIO Armed Conflict Dataset and COW Militarized Interstate Disputes Dataset). We find that merging datasets can result in the elimination of very large numbers of observations due to unmergeable records and that dropped observations often include the very countries or territorial entities most of interest in conflict and peace economics.
Comparative economic history; international economic history; multicountry studies; data sets
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