For the first time, approved academics and other researchers will be able to access the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ confidential, company-specific trade and investment data from secure locations around the country, making it more convenient for them to do research.
The economic statistics BEA produces, such as gross domestic product and international trade data, are open to everyone. However, as part of its statistical work BEA collects company data that must be kept confidential by law. Researchers who meet specific criteria can be granted access, but until now, they could only access these data at BEA’s headquarters.
Now BEA is part of the Federal Statistical Research Data Centers (FSRDC) network with locations for accessing data spread across the United States.
Researchers who obtain approval can access company data from BEA’s international surveys at FSRDC locations including: Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Dallas; Lexington, Kentucky; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Columbia, Missouri; and several cities in New York and California. Researchers who prefer to work on-site at BEA’s headquarters in Suitland, Maryland, retain that option.
To be eligible to use the data, researchers must meet certain requirements, including being a U.S. citizen. Data can only be used for analytical or statistical purposes and projects must advance scientific knowledge and further the mission of BEA.
There’s a fee for researchers accessing BEA data through the FSRDC network to defray BEA’s costs to participate in the network.
BEA collects company data under the International Investment and Trade in Services Survey Act. The law protects the confidentiality of the data and specifies that it may only be used for statistical and analytical purposes. Available data cover the operations and financing of multinational companies and international trade in services.