Data Initiatives at the Kauffman Foundation. “Every individual that we can inspire, that we can guide, that we can help to start a new company, is vital to the future of our economic welfare.” — Ewing Kauffman. OECD Entrepreneurship Indicators Steering Group
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“Every individual that we can inspire, that we can guide, that we can help to start a new company, is vital to the future of our economic welfare.”
— Ewing Kauffman
OECD Entrepreneurship Indicators Steering Group
June 25-26, 2007
Business Dynamics, and Performance
Sponsored by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
and conducted by the Committee on National Statistics
Census and BLS should increase the sampling of younger business units in their business surveys.
BLS and Census should expand their development of statistical programs that measure business formation and dissolution, business dynamics, and job creation and destruction
Census and BLS should exploit their administrative-records data to produce public-release statistics with breakdowns of economic activity by business age.
Readily available indicators of business age include:
The Census Bureau should periodically add a module to the American Community Survey (or possibly the Current Population Survey) to identify nascent entrepreneurs. A method should be developed for linking this survey information with subsequent business identifiers in a longitudinal household-business data infrastructure so that transitions from nascent to active status (and vice versa) and from nonemployer to employer status (and vice versa) can be measured and studied.
The Census Bureau’s SBO should be conducted on an annual basis. The survey should include both a longitudinal component and a flexible, modular design that allows survey content to change over time. In addition, the Census Bureau should explore the possibility of creating a public-use (anonymized) SBO or a restricted access version of the data file.
The Census Bureau should develop a fully integrated longitudinal household-business data infrastructure from administrative data to serve as a platform for tracking business formation, for integrating household and business survey data for measuring economic activity associated with the business formation process, and for developing samples for new surveys of business dynamics. The integration should include the master household address files, the job frame from linked employer-employee administrative records, and data for firms (including those with no paid employees, but with receipts) from the Census Bureau business register.
BLS and the Census Bureau should jointly develop intermittent topical modules for their business surveys. These topical modules should be designed to allow periodic measurement in the same survey and with the same business sample of variables usually collected in separate surveys and at different frequencies.
The Census Bureau and BLS should explore and actively pursue opportunities to acquire microdata sets—on venture capital investment, business financing, and small business lending—from commercial sources and from other government statistical agencies. Once acquired, these data sets should be integrated with existing business-level data sources at the Census Bureau and BLS to produce new public-release statistics on business activity by source and type of financing and to provide new tools for statistical analysis by qualified researchers.
The Office of Management and Budget should investigate the possibility of developing a common taxonomy, based on the extensible business reporting language (XBRL) to allow common definitions to be used in surveys and administrative sources that can be automatically extracted from accounting and other business management software. In so doing, they should work with the statistical agencies, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), accountancy organizations, and software providers. This will help meet the goals of paperwork reduction and may have applications for similar purposes beyond the statistical system.
BLS and the Census Bureau should explore the possibility of continuous, real-time integration of payroll and employment data that are maintained by third parties into their systems; this could streamline data collection and, ultimately, possibly reduce respondent burden.
BLS and the Census Bureau should cooperate under the auspices of the current and an enhanced Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act to create a reconciled, consolidated integrated business establishment list
The quality of research based on business data produced by the statistical agencies would improve with greater interaction between outside researchers and businesses and the statistical agencies. Research that informs social and economic policy should be considered a valid reason for accessing confidential data.
It would be highly desirable if the business registers were available to federal agencies for the purpose of constructing sampling frames
BLS and Census should develop anonymized, public-use versions of their existing longitudinal business data sets.
Measures should be taken to facilitate the expansion of CIPSEA to increase the kinds of information that could be shared among the statistical agencies for the purpose of reconciling the business list and for the design of special surveys
Interagency sharing agreements should extend to data on nonemployers. Data on sole proprietors and partnerships must also be included, whether they have employers or not.
Read the executive summary
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