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FOI as a data collection tool for economists

Joanna Clifton-Springg, Jonathan James and Sunčica Vujić ()

Working Papers from University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics

Abstract: This paper sets out a method of generating a unique data set that has been underused by economists – a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. The FOI Act came into force in 2005 in the UK and allows the public to make requests of publicly held data. We explain how they can be made and provide suggestions on how to make effective data driven requests, those most frequently made by economists. Finally, we document the determinants of one particular FOI request. We applied for crime data from all police forces in the UK and examine the determinants of that request. In general, we find that observable characteristics of the local area or the police force neither determine whether the request was fulfilled, nor the speed at which it was responded to.

Keywords: Data collection; Data access (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C80 C81 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 13 pages
Date: 2017-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eur
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Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2017008