Introduction to CRSP and Compustat via WRDS

Supporting materials

  • Slides/materials: workbook in two parts, part 1 and part 2
  • Online session materials: see part 1 for MCQ activity
  • Other materials used: multiple WRDS class accounts, Zoom, video from WRDS


  • Group: 150 (in 6 groups)
  • Length: 60 minutes
  • Room: Online
  • Discipline: accounting and finance (empirical finance)
  • Level: UG 3rd year

Learning outcomes

After engaging with this support, you will be able to:

  • Identify and use key databases in your discipline (WRDS)

Suggested online resources

Session content

Prerequisite task of watching a video from WRDS (embedded into Blackboard with captions) and practicing using the WRDS class accounts.

Two workbooks (Word):

  1. revealed by week 5 on Blackboard, with database step-by-step demos then 4 activity MCQs
  2. revelated after completing MCQs, with answers and feedback

Works asynchronously with a sync live series of workshops too.

  • Workshops run on Zoom with two hosts and Student Team assists.
  • Deliver database demos (follow the workbook) then allow time for activities
  • Show answers at the end (follow the second part of the workbook)

The database demos are:

  • Stock data from CRSP
  • Accounts data from Compustat North America
  • Market returns and Fama-French factor returns data from WRDS

These are covered in the workbook but we will have trained all the instructors beforehand.


The activities are included in the workbook, including the correct answers. Copied here:

1. What was the return on the common shares for General Motors Corp for the month of September 1983?

A. 0.010158 — incorrect, this is return on the S&P 500 Index

B. 0.048043 — correct

C. 0.052632 — incorrect, this is for October 1983

D. 0.083333 — incorrect, this is for Ford Motor Co

2. What was the return on the common shares of Citizens Inc on day 20170925?
Answer: 0.016949

A. -0.066074 — incorrect, this is from CRSP Daily for 29 September 2017

B. -0.023904 — incorrect, this is from CRSP Monthly for the whole of Sept 2017

C. 0.003026 — incorrect, this is for Citizens Financial Group Inc

D. 0.016949 — correct

3. What were the total assets of Citizens Inc at the end of year 2013?

A. $1,216.28 — incorrect, the millions unit is missing

B. $122,154.00 — incorrect, this is for Citizens Financial Group Inc, in millions

C. $1,216.28 million — correct

D. $122,154.00 million — incorrect, this is for Citizens Financial Group Inc

4. What was the amount of depreciation and amortization of General Motors Corp in year 2012?

A. $5,817 million — incorrect, this is ‘Depreciation, Depletion and Amortization (Accumulated)’

B. $5,888 million — correct

C. $12,787 million — incorrect, this is the value for the year 2019.

D. Data is not available — incorrect, the value for ‘Depreciation and Amortization (Cash Flow)’ is unavailable but not ‘Depreciation and Amortization’

Internal ID: R20–0720




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