Data Overview: Health and Retirement Survey

For many years now, Kauffman has played a role in connecting and improving research on entrepreneurship through advancing data on the topic. And while we often are highlighting newly released data or big announcements of our own, we strive to keep abreast of data and data advancements related to entrepreneurship and innovation of others. To that end, one of the new products we are excited to announce today is the Kauffman Compendium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Data.

The Compendium is meant to serve several purposes:

  • To serve as a data reference guide for academics, other data providers, or anyone interested in new research developments in entrepreneurship.
  • To be in one place which gives short, up to 2 pages, overviews of a data set which point to lots of relevant information but are highly curated and edited to ensure brevity and clarity.
  • To be updated continuously online and also used for in-person trainings – such as doctoral seminars – to serve as a new resource in training and outreach on entrepreneurship research.

This week was the Kauffman Foundation’s annual State of Entrepreneurship event in Washington, DC; and, in the accompanying report, the Foundation focused on two key demographics and some of the trends pointing towards optimism and pessimism for these group’s entrepreneurial contributions in the coming years – Millennials and Baby Boomers.

One dominates the labor market currently but is entering traditional ages for labor market exit; and, the other is just fully entering the labor force and the years in which we might hope for their bigger entrepreneurial contributions.

So, in announcing the compendium and posting our first data overview example, I wanted to highlight one specific data set which is associated with research on Baby Boomers, specifically – University of Michigan Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

The HRS is a longitudinal panel study that surveys a representative sample of more than 20,000 Americans over the age of 50 every two years. Since its launch in 1992, the study has collected information about income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, disability, physical health and functioning, cognitive functioning, and health care expenditures.

Want to know more on the HRS? Read the attached data overview, which includes a bibliography highlighting some of the most prominent entrepreneurship research published using HRS.

The HRS data overview is the first in an updated product from Kauffman which will become part of the Kauffman Compendium on Entrepreneurship and Innovation Data. This is a resource which builds upon past work the Foundation has done and highlights new and emerging data sets available for the study of our core areas.

Over the course of the next year we will be building out this compendium through our own work and with the partnership of the community of scholars and data providers passionate on advancing entrepreneurship and innovation measurement.

Further detail on HRS is available in the data overview in the sidebar to this article. Data providers interested in having their data included in this compendium can submit content for us through this short survey.

Early release of the 2014 HRS wave is expected in July 2015. 

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