Call for Proposals, Entrepreneurial Dynamics: Evidence from the Kauffman Firm Survey

Conference Organizers and Special Issue Editors:

Alicia Robb
University California, Berkeley, University of Colorado, Boulder & Kauffman Foundation

Sharon Matusik
University of Colorado, Boulder

David Robinson
Duke University 

There has been increasing interest in the factors that lead to new firm formation, growth, and decline. Research shows startups face daunting economic factors that result in their high exit rates. Our understanding of early entrepreneurial dynamics and firm exits remains quite limited. While entrepreneurial activity is an important part of our economy, data about U.S. businesses in their early years of operation have been extremely limited. Only recently has it become clear that new and young businesses make important contributions to job creation and innovation activities.

As part of an effort to understand the dynamics of new businesses in the United States, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation sponsored the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), a panel study of new businesses founded in 2004 that were tracked annually over their first eight years of operation. The KFS is currently the largest longest longitudinal survey of new businesses in the world. Data are available through calendar year 2011, the eighth year of operations for continuing businesses.

Tracking businesses over time allows us to follow business evolutions that would not be apparent in cross-sectional snapshots, the more typical collection method. The KFS dataset provides researchers with a unique opportunity to study a panel of new businesses from startup to sustainability (or exit), with longitudinal data centering on topics such as how businesses are financed; the products, services, and innovations these businesses possess and develop in their early years of existence; and the characteristics of those who own and operate them. Additionally, since our panel came into existence before the most recent recession, following these businesses allows us to get a picture of how young businesses in the U.S. were affected by the crisis.

The Kauffman Foundation is pleased to announce a special conference in Boulder, Colorado during the summer of 2016 to bring together researchers using the Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS) and highlight new KFS research. Selected researchers will be invited to the two-day conference to present final papers. Airfare, some meals and hotel accommodations will be provided. Authors of papers that are selected for a special issue for Small Business Economics and/or inclusion in an edited volume published by the Kauffman Foundation will be provided a research honorarium of $5,000. A $10,000 best paper prize will be awarded to the author of one selected paper.

Thus, we encourage research proposals from the academic community that focus on early firm dynamics, team formation and owner human capital, firm financing, innovation, and firm exit, among other topics. We seek to publish a special journal issue in addition to a collection of chapters with original ideas and theoretical advances that will provide the foundation for future research projects on entrepreneurial dynamics.

We hope the conference and these research products will provide a forum for thought-provoking empirical research and new theoretical ideas. We are open to theoretical papers and empirical submissions using different methodological approaches and diverse macro and micro perspectives, as long as they use the KFS. Priority will be given to those researchers seeking to use the confidential version of the KFS, which is housed in the virtual data enclave at the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center (NORC). Seat sponsorship will be provided.[1] 

Submission Information

Academic conference for revised papers accepted for consideration: June 16-18, 2016 (held at University of Colorado, Boulder)
Submission deadline for revised papers: August 15, 2016.
Submission deadline for final papers: October 15, 2016
Publication date of volume and special issue: November 15, 2016.

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