11/13/2009 9:18:05 AM By
Looks like I will be heading to Connecticut on Saturday, November 21 for a one day event at the Yale Law School on Data and Code Sharing in Computational Science. This is the first event I have ever been to which is being completely organized by wiki which means that the agenda, attendee list, and other logistics are all password protected. So, to give a sense of the event, I pulled down a PDF of the agenda
(realizing that it is being constantly edited). It is part of something called the Information Society Project
. We have worked for some time to try to make research data more accessible so the particular focus here on making data available to encourage replicability will be of great interest. I've pulled down the "resources and readings
" page, as well, as it is the most authoritative list of articles, blogs, and important background material
on data sharing that I have ever seen in this area.
11/9/2009 2:52:27 PM By
Update 11/9/2009: The New York Times has a nice piece today from this event. Most of the focus is on how statistics on productivity could appear rosy as a result of outsourcing.
Just came across what looks like a fascinating conference examining the effect of globalization on measurement. Unfortunately, it is happening tomorrow at the Upjohn Institute. Too bad nobody thought of doing a paper on entrepreneurship as there is likely a significant but unknown effect on how increasing globalization of companies affects the numbers of new firms reported in different countries.
Measurement Issues Arising from the Growth of Globalization; November 6-7, 2009; Washington, DC
10/7/2009 11:32:30 AM By
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently held a brainstorming workhop on how innovation conceptually could be measured in education
. From the presentations shown online, I can't tell if there were major conclusions reached, but I found one document interesting for summing up particular possible directions
. I would be very hesitant to implement a Community Innovation Survey-like direction for education because I just have a hard time conceptualizing the theoretical model and questions from that line of work in the education environment. Education and public services more generally are very different concepts for measuring innovation. It is good to see the conversation but I have trouble seeing much progress made here unless there is an institutional player driving this conversation which I am not aware of.
9/29/2009 6:27:40 AM By
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) has released 2008 statistics on Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by metropolitan area
nearly a year ahead of previous schedules. Just two years ago, this program was on the chopping block because of budget cuts, but today, it seems hard to fathom that this data would not be available. The discontinuation of GDP statistics by metro area will in my estimation mark one of the low points in federal economic statistics. Many local economic development officials desperately need more timely local data and should be pleased with this development. The recession is having very different effects on local economies and this data helps to illuminate some of that picture. That said, acceleration will come with some costs to accuracy. Here is more on the methodological change from their press release:
This is the first release of accelerated GDP-by-metropolitan-area statistics. These accelerated statistics for 2008—released one year earlier than previous statistics—are prepared for NAICS sectors and are based on a more limited set of source data and on an abbreviated estimation methodology compared to the data and estimation methodology used to prepare the new 2007 statistics and the revised statistics for 2005-2006. The accelerated GDP-by-metropolitan-area statistics are based primarily on preliminary earnings-by-industry data from BEA's regional economic accounts, released August 6, 2009, and on advance GDP-by-state data released June 2, 2009.
More information on the methodology used to produce the accelerated 2008 statistics, on the new statistics for 2007, and on revisions to the GDP-by-metropolitan-area statistics for 2005-2006 will appear in an article in the October 2009 issue of the Survey of Current Business, BEA's monthly journal.
9/16/2009 8:06:06 AM By
9/15/2009 12:45:39 PM By
A month or so back I did a post on the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust Employer Health Benefits Annual Survey
which is a survey of employers on benefits issues. Today, I thought I would highlight the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey. The most recent survey was completed in 2007 and the survey instrument
and other summary reports
are available online. A specific report on small business
was released last week.
Right away, one thing which is different about the Commonwealth survey is that it is a household survey, not a business survey. This has some major advantages when looking at this issue since health care is often a topic which is not well understood without full information on all members of a household. How is entrepreneurship measured in the survey?
ASK IF EMPLOYED FULL OR PART-TIME (D4=1,2)
D6 Are you now SELF-employed or are you employed by someone else? [IF HAS MORE
THAN ONE JOB: Please think about your MAIN job, where you work the most hours.]
(Trend 2001 D5, 2003 D5, 2005 D6)
2 Employed by someone else
8 Don’t know
ASK IF SELF-EMPLOYED (D6=1)
D7 Do you work by yourself, do you employ other people, or do you work with other people?
(Trend 2005 D7)
1 Just self
2 Employ other people
3 Work with other people
8 Don’t know
So, self-employment and size of business are the two main cuts. No business age is collected or if the people involved in the smaller businesses are actually owners or founder.
And what have the results shown? They really tend to highlight the potential improvements for many involved in entrepreneurship if some sort of improved health insurance options can be worked out. Currently, the self-employed and those working for smaller firms are the most likely people to report going without insurance at some point in a given year.
Read more from the source report
It'd be great to look at an oversample of nascent entrepreneurs with this population to consider if anything new could be learned.
8/28/2009 11:28:50 AM By
The Wall Street Journal
has a really good article today on the topic of science, non-traditional data (non-survey based), and projects/methods for capturing the data as well as beginning to analyze. I was first introduced to this topic by David Kirsch at the University of Maryland
in a meeting with an official from the National Archives. David, who has training as a historian but deals mostly in entrepreneurship and related topics, has done some very innovative work to secure interesting potential data from being lost. Indeed, there should be a new call for research proposals coming out soon on some data which David helped to preserve. I will post the call as soon as I see it officially released. At some point it might be worth codifying some of what our scholarly community is learning here. It strikes me that there are actually more people doing work here than I'd realized, including Jon Eckhardt from Wisconsin
, and I suspect many scholars more from the industry studies community.
August 29 ammendment:
I neglected to hit one key point in my original post. A huge amount of potentially helpful electronic data stands to be lost unless proactive steps are taken to preserve it.
8/26/2009 11:06:41 AM By
One of the newer global developments in surveys is the Gallup World Poll
. While I can't find an exact starting point, I know that I have seen some data from the World Poll going back to 2005, although the data is only now making its way into academic and non-academic publications.
Currently, Gallup reports at least bi-annual coverage on the core survey instrument
for more than 150 countries. The World Poll seems to have very promising possibilities for future research and policy work in entrepreneurship because Gallup is collecting data on entrepreneurship in several different portions of their instrument, including on general population perception questions like, "Is the city or area where you live a good place or not a good place for entrepreneurs forming new businesses," or "If someone wants to start a business in X, can they trust their assets and property to be safe at all times?"
Indeed the hardest part about Gallup's data is getting access as the current subscription price is quite substantial. There is no doubt that they've put together a very powerful instrument and their execution seems as top-quality as we would expect from Gallup. My main criticism of them thus far, and I've shared this directly, is that many of the questions focus mostly on the smallest of entrepreneurs or entry while what we are most lacking globally are real perceptions about growing businesses. That said, if someone out there does end up subscribing to the data and needs coauthors, I know of several people who would be interested.
8/21/2009 3:02:16 PM By
When I first saw the term "shared capitalism" I was a little puzzled but the more I have looked into the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Shared Capitalism Project the more interesting I found it. Shared capitalism is defined as "employment relations where the pay or wealth of workers is directly tied to workplace or firm performance." Funded by the Russell Sage Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation and spanning more than 10 years, this project is just getting to the stage where you will soon see a finished University of Chicago publication. But in the meantime, you can find many of the chapters of this book in near final versions online. According to Joseph Blasi, one of the principals on the project:
The Introduction chapter which you can download at this web site (in the top position) will explain the project in some detail including the theoretical background, what we did, and our main empirical findings. In brief, we surveyed over 40,000 employees in 14 firms and hundreds of separate work sites and established a national random sample of the US working population using the General Social Survey (GSS) with a special shared capitalism set of questions on the 2002, 2006, and now 2010 GSS, as a control group.
In Appendix A, they define some of the terms that are common throughout the book. I thought it appropriate to highlight how innovation outcomes were defined:
- Culture for Innovation: Mean of following items, all measured on a 1-4 scale (1=never or almost never, 2=sometimes, 3=often, 4=always or almost always) "How often do the following things occur in your facility?"
a) “Ideas for developing innovative products and services are put forward”
b) “Meaningful time is invested in testing good ideas for innovative products and
c) “Innovative ideas are carefully considered and fairly evaluated”
d) “Resources are made available to support and develop a good idea that could lead to
an innovative product or service”
e) “People who have an innovative idea receive recognition for it”
f) “People who have an innovative idea receive financial rewards for it”
g) “My ideas for innovative products and services have been taken seriously”
- Innovative Ideas: Mean of following items, all measured on a 1-4 scale (1=not at all, 2=very little, 3=to some extent, 4=to a great extent)
a) “I would be willing to be more involved in efforts to develop innovative products and
b) “I have good ideas for innovative products or services”
c) “I have good ideas for improvements in existing products and services”
8/19/2009 8:03:43 AM By
For some time, the debate in the survey research community about how to respond to the increasing nonrepresentativeness of phone line-based surveys has been raging, but based on data I read in the Economist
which puts more than twenty percent of households in the United States as being "mobile only," I think this debate can only be getting ready to escalate. The article has a much fuller presentation of the issues than I can offer, but it does raise in my mind the difficulty of pursuing any household surveys in the future which rely solely on random digit dialing. In the past, efforts like the Panel Study on Entrepreneurial Dynamics, have used such techniques to arrive at a representative sample of the U.S. population. For efforts which are aimed at a business population, I suspect there is less of an issue as it is my suspicion that most businesses larger than a couple of employees still maintain some form of land line phone, although I don't believe we have data on that.