10/14/2009 8:05:01 AM By
In a new report just released today, the Kauffman Foundation (with leadership from Rob Fairlie) partnered with Fortune Small Business
to examine the best places to launch a company in the United States. Growing economies, affordable workers, stable housing markets, and low crime are just some of the features that led to the top cities in the list:
Fortune Small Business
- 1. Oklahoma City
- 2. Pittsburgh
- 3. Raleigh
- 4. Houston
- 5. Hartford
- 6. Washington, D.C.
- 7. Charlotte
- 8. Austin
- 9. New York City
- 10. Baltimore
has developed a lot of online content to supplement
this release including lots of data listings which will be of interest to many.
10/13/2009 8:59:54 AM By
10/9/2009 8:58:52 AM By
Although there is little doubt that households have undergone incredible changes to their spending, investment, and other activities as a result of the current recession, data on this topic are not readily available. A new HNW/Forbes Wealth Pulse survey
gives insights into a hard-to-reach population but one of great interest - high-net worth individuals. It finds respondents who expect a recovery soon and see opportunity in the current economy to grow investments. Interestingly, it finds many millionaires are cutting back on charitable giving (28 percent) but even more (51 percent) plan to give as much or more to charity.
The Survey of Consumer Finance
(SCF), the Federal Reserve's seminal research product in this area, is only available through 2007 (and for every three-year period before that for several cycles). But, there is hope that in mid-2010 the Fed will have some information available on consumer finance in 2009. What the Fed has done, to the best of my current understanding, is to refield the SCF in 2009 on the same sample that it used in 2007. As such, they will be creating a short longitudinal panel of households which should allow for in-depth analysis of the effects of the current recession. This was a brilliant methodological move in my estimation but one that really should be a part of the ongoing design of the program. The next wave of the SCF will collect data on a new sample in 2010, and I believe in that wave forward, they plan to implement an intentional longitudinal design. This should prove very useful to researchers and policymakers in this area as we can actually examine the factors which appear to drive change at the microlevel. Incidentally, the SCF has an oversample of wealthy households (who are disproportionately households which own businesses) so some of what HNW/Forbes attempted to capture here will be possible to analyze in a more robust sample through the SCF.
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.
10/2/2009 12:20:46 PM By
The Alliance for Science & Technology Research in America (ASTRA)
has released a new tool
aimed at allowing regions in the United States to compare innovation locally to other regions. After some initial concern, I have corresponded about the tool with ASTRA's Vice President for Research, Robin Gaster. Robin explained, and should be updating the website, that this was a demonstration project and data hasn't been updated in two years. With that, on the positive, the interface is flexible at letting you create custom reports comparing different regions. On the negative, I have had some difficulty in navigating their interface, particularly in finding details such as what the source data is for a particular variable. As such, I am going to comment on one component of their index, firms and establishments, which are listed as outputs of the innovation process.
For the firms and establishments component, ASTRA appears to use the following data (although I can't find series names, in most cases the actual series are obvious because of limited data availability on the topics):
- Nonemployer firms - number, Published: 2005
- Nonemployer firms - receipts, Published: 2005
- Business closings (% of all firms), Published: 2005
- New companies per 1000 workers, Published: 2005
- Firms by state - 0 employees - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 0000 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake)
- Firms by state - all firms - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 1999 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake since data is through 2002)
- Firms by state - 100-499 employees - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 1999 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake since data is through 2002)
- Firms by state - 10-19 employees - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 1999 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake since data is through 2002)
- Firms by state - 1-4 employees - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 1999 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake since data is through 2002)
- Firms by state - 20-99 employees - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 1999 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake since data is through 2002)
- Firms by state - 5-9 employees - 1995-2002 Firm Size Data by State and Metropolitan Statistical Area, Published: 1999 (although this is what they state it must be a mistake since data is through 2002)
- Business bankruptcies by state Department of Justice, Published: 2006
I am troubled that regions will not heed Robin's warning and take this data as demonstrating what they can pull because in most cases the data presented are several years out of date. On all the state level firm size data, much better information is available from the Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy
, in most cases going through 2006. Nonemployer statistics should be available through 2006 or 2007
. And relatively recent data available at the state level which should allow for tracking of business dynamics patterns from Census
or the Bureau of Labor Statistics
don't seem to be considered.
Thus I see this Regional Innovation Index tool as a good exploratory tool on the types of data one might consider in evaluation innovation at the regional level but users should realize that new data developments are not included here. .
9/30/2009 10:23:42 AM By
Immigrant entrepreneurs continue to be a hot topic for study (see posting from February
), but recently came across a survey in Mexico that I would like to highlight. According to the Mexican Family Life Survey (MxFLS)
website, "MxFLS is the first Mexican survey with national representation departing from a longitudinal design, tracking the Mexican population for long periods of time regardless of migration decisions with the objective of studying the dynamics of economy, demographics, epidemiology, and population migration throughout this panel study of at least, a 10-year span." The Mexican Family Life Survey has collected two waves of data on more than eight thousand households with a ninety percent rate of recontact between 2002 and 2005. Additionally, the survey appears to be agnostic to relocation decisions of the participating households, in particular, reporting to continue to follow households which relocate to the United States.
I applaud the organizers of this effort for their ambition and hope that the data collected can help to shed light on immigrant entrepreneurship. One of the common criticisms of research in this area is the inability to track previous job activities before immigration occurs and to compare that to later job activities. Tracking people across such long distances and for such a length of time should prove very interesting indeed.
Special thanks to a colleague, Cristina Fernandez, who helped with some research and translation on this post.
9/30/2009 7:27:12 AM By
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.
9/29/2009 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.
9/25/2009 10:45:59 AM By
The 2008 American Community Survey (ACS)
is now available from Census. It includes some limiited information on occupation and work status over the last year, including self-employment.