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What is a working paper?
Working papers (also known as discussion papers) are pre-publication research papers which tend to be made available by the author’s employer, e.g. universities and research organisations. They are usually written at a relatively early stage of research and are often published formally as journal articles when the research is complete.
EconLit, the American Economic Association's electronic database and includes references to working papers from a number of research organisations.
RePEc (Research Papers in Economics)
RePEc is a collaborative effort from volunteers in 41 countries to increase the dissemination of research in economics. ECONpapers is recommended.
Key Working Paper Series
NBER Working Papers
The National Bureau of Economic Research is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community. This database provides full text access to NBER working papers.
Other Sources of Working Papers
Many universities and research organisations make their working papers freely available on their websites. If you are aware of a University department, research centre or think tank that is doing research in your topic area, try their website. Many websites list working papers under 'Publications'.