IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Defining and Tracking Business Start-Ups


  • Michael Luger


  • Jun Koo



This paper addresses a curious disjuncture between one aspect of regional development theory and the empiricism required to test its implications.On the one hand, researchers long have argued that firm births fuel the growth and development of regional economies. Just as long, however, they have employed different, often ad hoc, approaches to the definition and measurement of key concepts and relationships. The inconsistency among the studies in this literature creates a validity problem. We begin by providing an omnibus definition of a start-up that applies to some degree to all the articles we reviewed, namely, that it is new, active, and independent. We explain why all three criteria should be applied, rather than a subset. Second, we review the data sources that are commonly used to identify start-ups, and compare them using seven criteria. We conclude that ES202 data is the best source. Third, we develop a step-by-step tracking system for identifying new firms. By matching ES202 files from two different years and applying direct enumeration techniques, it is possible to identify newly created establish-ments during that time period with accuracy. This article serves both to explain the differences among the published studies of new firms and economic development, and to provide a common standard that can enhance the validity of future work on the topic. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Luger & Jun Koo, 2005. "Defining and Tracking Business Start-Ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 17-28, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:24:y:2005:i:1:p:17-28
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-005-8598-1

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Highfield, Richard & Smiley, Robert, 1987. "New business starts and economic activity : An empirical investigation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 51-66, March.
    2. Gorecki, Paul K, 1976. "The Determinants of Entry by Domestic and Foreign Enterprises in Canadian Manufacturing Industries: Some Comments and Empirical Results," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(4), pages 485-488, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:rss:jnljms:v6i7p4 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. C. Praag & Peter Versloot, 2007. "What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 351-382, December.
    3. James Derbyshire & Garry Haywood, 2007. "Schumpeterian 'Creative Destruction' and Strengthening the Business Stock Through Firm Formation," Research Papers 200739, University of Liverpool Management School.
    4. Arvid Raknerud & Mirjam van Praag, 2014. "The entrepreneurial earnings puzzle. Evidence from matched person-firm data," Discussion Papers 789, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    5. Tristan Boyer & RĂ©gis Blazy, 2014. "Born to be alive? The survival of innovative and non-innovative French micro-start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 669-683, April.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:24:y:2005:i:1:p:17-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.