2/15/2011 8:32:56 AM By
Is job-lock (the locking of a person into a specific job beyond when they would like to be there) occurring in the U.S.? Are entrepreneurs being forced to stay in wage jobs, working for someone else, because of the fear of losing their health insurance? Below are a few pieces of research/data sources that I've come across recently that are attempting to make research contributions to this question. But before I comment on them and their source data, it has to be said that all of these research efforts are attempting to get at the impact of health insurance provision on entrepreneurial entry in the United States but because of limitations in how the data is collected none of the efforts really gets at the real
issue. Simply put, there is a belief that more potentially innovative nascent entrepreneurs are kept from starting a business (or doing so full-time) because they are tied to a job in which they receive health insurance. None of these data sources/research is able to ask this exact question and realizing the limits of their data to the analysis is critical. Someday, I hope there will be some data that can really inform this question more directly, but I am not currently aware of any such data in development. I certainly am of the crowd that believes this problem to be huge.
- Two sets of authors (Maria Minniti and Yunwei Gai; Ian Michael Breunig) have papers out using the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey at Department of Health and Human Services. This data is rich in that it gives information on where the insurance is coming from and also the work experience of all primary members of the house. The downside of this data in my mind is that it forces the authors to use a self-employment measure for entrepreneurship, which is not typically associated with high-growth firms.
- Rob Fairlie, Kanika Kapur, and Susan Gates in a forthcoming journal article Is Employer-Based Health Insurance a Barrier to Entrepreneurship? take a look at the Current Population Survey and specifically make use of it's unique design to track transitions to self-employment around the age 65. As such the authors are able to infer inhibitions at the time individuals become eligible for government-backed insurance and make attempts to measure job lock more broadly from this population.
- Scott Shane and Alicia Robb have analyzed the Kauffman Firm Survey questions asked of its panel of new businesses started in 2004 and finds little evidence of significant annual change in health insurance provision among the panel.
Past posts related to health insurance:
2/9/2011 8:21:53 AM By
For those of you who are not experts in data dissemination but want a crash course, start with tomorrow's event in Washington, DC. "Responsible Data Sharing in the 21st Century"
will be hosted by University of Chicago NORC and the National Institute for Standards and Technology. Sadly, I can't attend in person, but am happy to report my colleague Alicia Robb will be presenting. She'll be discussing our private sector experience in disseminating the Kauffman Firm Survey
but most of the speakers are from government and will be discussing their various experiences.
I really hope people are coming to learn because the truth is that as a community of data stewards we are still making many more failures in disseminating our data than successes. Here I don't mean failure in the sense of a data breach but rather the science behind what scholars and communities need in addition to data access is still in its infancy. With the Kauffman Firm Survey we've tried to be a real-time laboratory on these activities, testing new modes of dissemination, programs to support outreach, as well as coaching and training. So we sincerely hope others can learn from our successes and failures in data dissemination and we look forward to hearing about similar experiences.
6/16/2010 12:53:00 PM By
June 16, 2010 update
The European Commission has released a new survey on internationalization of European small businesses which provides new insights into what types of international activities businesses are undertaking.
August 17, 2009 original post
Entrepreneurs have complex and not well understood ties to the global community. In Europe this issue has received more attention than here in the U.S., largely because the importance of cross-border interactions to growth, even within Europe. Indeed, this week I reviewed and provided comments on a survey and draft study from EIM for the European Commission on internationalization. I'll post on that when it is finalized and information public, but in the meantime, it got me looking for data which is available to look at international aspects of entrepreneurship. I can't say that I found a lot but I am grateful to Brian Headd of the Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy, for several of these resources. Know of something else? Shoot me an email.
NFIB 2004 Survey on International Trade
Survey of Business Owners
- The 2007 Survey of Business Owners by the Census Bureau has questions but data isn't available yet. Note that I think this data will be much more interesting now that this survey also added a question on immigrant status of the entrepreneur. Read the questionnaire. Information is available on the percent of firms that have exports (goods and services) as at least 10 percent of their sales.
- Some information from the 2002 survey has been published. Read more detailed report.
International Trade Association, Department of Commerce
Kauffman Firm Survey
- Beginning in year four, we asked the following question. What percent of [NAME BUSINESS]’s total sales were to individuals, businesses, or governments outside of the United States? Get overview statistics from this question.
Panel Study on Entrepreneurial Dynamics
- I've never seen this data used but in theory they include the following question in at least the first wave: Within the first two to three years of operation, what percent of your customers do you expect to be...) international – that is, they normally reside outside the US?
And lastly, in international commerce, Brad Jenson
seems to be a leading U.S. figure. Brian referenced him and I've heard others in Census and government reference Brad although I have never talked with him. For actual studies and better insight on international trade, you can try Brad Jenson.
5/7/2010 12:18:10 PM By
We have released 2008 data for the Kauffman Firm Survey panel of new businesses (public-use data
and NORC Data Enclave confidential version
). Covering the fifth year of operations, this data will provide new insights into how the recession has impacted young businesses in the U.S. We will be releasing an overview report on the data next week.
I wanted to point out one area of inquiry that we added to the questionnaire in 2008
that I am anxious for people to examine - investments in intangible assets. Specifically, we added the following series of questions:
- F19b. Investments in intangible assets are expenditures expected to produce long-term benefits for businesses. I'm going to read you some types of intangible assets. When thinking about each category, please consider the cost of in-house activities in these areas including the time of the business owner(s), as well as services or license fees from outside providers. Did [NAME BUSINESS] have expenditures in [ITEM] in calendar year 2008?
a. The design of new and improved products and services
b. Investments in software or databases?
c. Brand development such as advertising or marketing?
d. Organizational development such as company formation expenses or
e. Worker training?
f. Any other intangible asset investments? (SPECIFY)
- F19c. Thinking about all the intangible asset expenditures [LIST IF NECESSARY] you just told me about, please estimate [NAME BUSINESS]'s total expenses on intangible assets for calendar year 2008.
And the initial summary findings from 2008 on this topic are:
- Half of firms made investments in intangible assets in 2008, compared with just 14 percent of firms investing in research and development (R&D). Intangible asset spending averaged $28,000 in 2008, while average R&D spending was more than $54,000. High-tech firms are much more likely to have patents, copyrights, or trademarks. R&D investment and investment in intangible assets also were much higher for high-tech firms than for non-tech firms in 2008.
If you are interested in reading more about the conceptualization behind these questions or other international work in this area, there is a working paper presented at the American Economic Association
available and I believe future iterations of it are planned. In 2009
we will repeat the questions used here and expand the expenses question so that it is asked about each subcomponent reportedly used by the firm. Understanding further what sorts of investments businesses are making in what they perceive to be long-term payoffs is an important contribution to the more accurate measurement innovation so I can't wait to see what researchers make of this information!
I want to give a big thanks to the Kauffman Firm Survey team for their continued outstanding work on this eight-year effort. Alicia Robb continues to show tremendous leadership as principal investigator and Dave Des Roches at Mathematica runs a tight ship in collecting the data. The fact that he and his team have been able to maintain an above 80 percent response rate in the fifth year of the panel is amazing. Tim Mulcahy and team at NORC have a great product in the Data Enclave. We are really excited to have Juan Carlos Suarez Serrato helping out as a part-time research assistant and John Mueller and Chris Crawford helping to develop the KFS Data Wiki (more on that in the next few weeks).
3/30/2010 3:00:00 PM By
Changes to the questionnaire for the fifth follow-up of the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS)
have been finalized following an open solicitation for suggestions, as well as expert feedback and vetting. The KFS, our eight-year panel survey on new businesses started in 2004, will gather data in 2010 (on the 2009 activities of the businesses), and will be available to the research community in the spring 2011.
Most of the changes this year are attempts to gather additional details on innovation activities of the businesses in the panel. Suggestions in this arena came from colleagues in Germany at ZEW who are collecting data on German start-ups as part of the KfW/ZEW Start-up Panel, scholars looking at user innovation, and also scholars studying competitive advantage. Also in the area of innovation, we are expanding the question we asked last year on investments in intangible assets to disaggregate firm-level investments by type.
Besides innovation, we have added several questions in the finance area. Given the recent financial crisis and subsequent changing terms of credit for many small businesses, we are trying to get information on collateral required for loans as well as attempts to seek equity investments. We already have data on attempts to seek debt investments. These are questions I wish we'd been asking before the current crisis but hindsight is always more clear.
This will likely be the last time we make changes to the Kauffman Firm Survey questionnaire since there are only two additional years of collection left. We were very pleased to receive so many quality suggestions from scholars this year.
10/22/2009 9:56:09 AM By
I am really excited to be participating in a November 18, 2009, workshop that NORC is putting on titled "Assessing the Results of Microdata Access
" in Washington, DC. It should be an interesting session in that it will have several different data producers discussing aspects of their strategies for making data available for research. More information is available on the NORC Data Enclave website
9/29/2009 12:54:23 PM By
The Clemson University, College of Charleston, and George Mason University are hosting a two-day symposium on business creation in Washington, DC, on October 23-24, 2009
. This event will include research that focuses on nascent entrepreneurship, with a large number of studies that utilize the Panel Study on Entrepreneurial Dynamics, as well as other research on the early years of a business. A special half-day session will be held in Chinese.
9/18/2009 6:53:35 AM By
The Kauffman Firm Survey
data collection continues to progress well. Currently in its fifth collection period, we have received initial tabulations from Mathematica, the survey research firm executing the collection, that show continued responsiveness from our panel but also that the new or modified questions we added in the fourth survey (covering 2008 activities) are working well and getting interesting information. It was an oversight on my part that I never posted the questions changes we made previously
. We expect to close data collection by the end of the year and to post the data for researchers a couple of months into 2010.
With that said, even though we are still finishing collection on the 2008 data, we are kicking off plans for the survey covering 2009 activities. We have posted a call for suggestions on the questionnaire
. We have done this for three years and have gotten some interesting responses, some of which have been added. While we would love nothing more to collect all the questions which researchers want to collect, we have a really high standard for accepting changes to the questionnaire. We judge the questions based on relevancy to the rest of the data in the survey, the validity of collecting data on the time period we are currently surveying on (2009) vs. earlier activities, expected incidence within the KFS population, and other factors such as if the questions have ever been tested on other surveys or would help to demonstrate concepts which could be picked up by other ongoing surveys if successful.
In addition, we are seeking a part-time research assistant
on the KFS.
8/11/2009 10:28:06 AM By
Alicia Robb, Denny Dennis, and I did a Professional Development Workshop at the Academy of Management
a couple of days ago. Here I am posting the slides from that workshop, which focused on data available for entrepreneurship research, along with notes from my comments at the event, which I had not put into slides.
Alicia Robb, Kauffman Foundation and University of California, Santa Cruz
Denny Dennis, NFIB
E.J. Reedy, Kauffman Foundation
Additionally, at the meeting, hard copies of the proceedings of the 2007 Kauffman Symposium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Data
were handed out. Additional copies were requested by some but electronic versions of each paper are available on line
. The 2008 proceedings
, which focused on ideas for improving data are also available.
And lastly, we highlighted a few ways in which scholars could connect with Kauffman and other scholars in this area. There is this blog, Data Maven
, for tracking data developments. On Facebook, join the Kauffman Entrepreneurship Scholars group
. Subscribe to entrepreneurship emails from Social Science Research Network
. Or participate in Kauffman's emerging scholars programs
8/10/2009 6:10:54 PM By