A Description and Analysis of Evolving Data Resources on Small Business

by Amelia Haviland, Bogdan Savych

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This paper describes the main government and private data sources currently available or under construction for research on small business and entrepreneurship. It also provides a listing of resources researchers can use to gain more information about each data set. Of particular importance are new longitudinal data sets created by the Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics, which allow for the study of business entry and exit (which is especially relevant to small business policy) as well as changes within establishments and firms to be studied over time. The most notable gap in current small business data sources is the lack of a publicly available source of longitudinal data. In the next five years, this gap will be at least partially addressed by the Kauffman Firm Survey of new businesses. Information on this survey design and instrument is available now and researchers can begin to design research studies that would take advantage of the data when they become available.

The research described in this report was completed under the auspices of the Kauffman-RAND Institute for Entrepreneurship Public Policy and was funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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