5/2/2009 9:03:00 AM By
Someone is doing some really progressive work with the Economic Census at the U.S. Census Bureau. They continue to make solid improvements in their presentation of information to respondents as well as now for researchers and others in combing through the mounds of materials they produce. I am hopeful that they will continue this trend by making more of this data searchable in upcoming interfaces, but...
For now, I wanted to highlight that the main Survey of Business Owners website (part of the Economic Census) has been overhauled and is worth a look. While there are a lot of great reports here, two of the most helpful are towards the bottom of the page: Company Summary and Characteristics of Businesses. Many of the questions we get from reporters and local officials center on questions answered in these documents like how are minority-owned firms fairing? How are start-ups funded? (although I take some issue with this data because of its strong survivor and recall biases) and what are the receipts of businesses by race and gender of the business owner?
The second new feature of the Economic Census is the ability to sign-up for industry-specific nofications. NotifyMe is a pretty simple service to use and allows for a great deal of granularity in the industry classifications one subscribes to, but that's also probably my only critique of the service. The North American Industry Classication System (NAICS) is sufficiently complex even for researchers (let alone many entrepreneurs and the general public) that offering a web-based system which requires check boxes for each NAICS category is cumbersome. It might be nice in the future if they offered a means of searching the titles of these industries. This might also provide a means by which Census could look for emerging industries or how to improve their list as search data can provide a real insight into what users are looking for. Even with that criticism, I think this service will be useful for entrepreneurs who want real-time, really-specific information.
5/1/2009 5:21:00 AM By
4/30/2009 11:52:00 AM By
Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW), the KfW Bankengruppe and Creditreform are in their second wave of collecting data on a new panel of business start-ups in Germany. Much of their design is similar to the Kauffman Firm Survey in that it tracks brand new businesses over more than six years to look at financing, innovation, labor, and firm strategies. The group will be presenting at a June 23/34 OECD/Kauffman event
which has a large focus on survey research design and we should get more of an overview of their data.
FragebogenALL_EN.pdf (65.33 kb)
4/29/2009 6:50:00 AM By
The World Bank recently completed what looked to be an interesting event on "Measurement, Promotion and Impact of Access to Financial Services." There are several interesting papers, including one looking at experimental survey work in Ghana by Cull and Scott that examines the types of financial questions one might need to ask the head of a household rather than each individual in the household to get an accurate picture of financial services used, as well as looking at issues of asking about specific products used rather than companies. Household surveys can play an important part in entrepreneurship research, particularly for those looking at the self-employed, but then ironically, also for those looking at the very successful entrepreneurs or angel investors.
One additional takeaway of the event was the need for more accurate and comparable data across countries, not just at the time of crisis, but in an ongoing manner. This is a similar problem we see in developed economies and will be addressing at an upcoming OECD event.
4/28/2009 9:33:00 AM By
4/27/2009 3:18:00 AM By
A new paper outlines some of the insights that can be learned through matching of patents and business databases as a complement to much of the Community Innovation Survey work in Europe. While I didn't find the paper to go very deeply into the issue, its pan-Nordic scope of consideration was unique to the papers that I have seen in this area.
One issue which the researchers didn't deal with in very much detail was the impact on their research of having to use Amadeus data instead of business register data for two countries. While researchers have little choice except to mix data sources, I do wonder what impacts this has on our understanding. Amadeus is becoming so heavily used in Europe, in international organizations, and even now by U.S. scholars doing cross-country work, but I would still like to understand more about its similarities and differences by country to other data sources. If anyone has references here, I'd welcome them.
4/21/2009 1:50:00 PM By
The World Bank looks to be opening up some of their vault of data through the World Bank Open API
. For anyone that's also a developer, this should be very interesting now. For the rest of us, look for interesting mashups and new means of visualizing World Bank data soon. The World Bank Business Planet website
offers some semi-interesting ways of viewing their entrepreneurship database, but there remains plenty of room for improvement.
4/21/2009 3:32:00 AM By
The Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, a fairly new publication, but one with an A-list set of editors that should entice most academics in this area, has released a call for a special issue on "Knowledge Spillovers and Strategic Entrepreneurship."
This special issue provides an opportunity to advance our understanding of the inter-linkages between knowledge spillovers and strategic entrepreneurship. Accordingly, we call for papers that help achieve one or more of the following objectives:
- Enhancing our understanding of how knowledge externalities link to literature in strategic management and entrepreneurship to identify boundary conditions relating to value creation and appropriation.
- Creating inter-linkages between knowledge spillovers and theoretical lenses such as networks, real options, technology and innovation strategy, spatial agglomeration, organizational learning and diffusion of innovations among others in order to explore issues fundamental to strategic entrepreneurship
- Developing insights into mechanisms that facilitate or inhibit knowledge spillovers across or within organizational boundaries, including but not limited to individual level mobility, employee entrepreneurship, co-location in geographical or technological space, inter-firm and intra-firm networks, and investments to facilitate vicarious learning
- Identifying the potential of knowledge spill-ins, where incumbent organizations may effectively benefit from knowledge spillovers that originate from entrants, and in the process enhance their own competitiveness.
- Exploring the linkages between intellectual property, organizational learning and knowledge spillovers to explain innovation outcomes in inventor networks, and growth dynamics in emerging technology clusters, or across national borders.
StrategicEshipJournal.pdf (144.41 kb)
4/20/2009 3:06:00 AM By
Last week, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) held its semi-annual meeting of the Innovation Policy and the Economy working group. While I wasn't in attendance, I've heard from several who were that the session was of good quality. These meetings are held in DC each year to try to engage the policy audience and the research community on important topics in the area. Among this year's papers are some new work by Paula Stephan on immigration and innovation
, as well as Marie and Gerry Thursby which looks at the effects of Bayh-Dole on research
. Read all the papers.
4/17/2009 2:58:00 AM By