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Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes

In: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data

  • Steven J. Davis
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Ronald S. Jarmin
  • C.J. Krizan
  • Javier Miranda
  • Alfred Nucci
  • Kristin Sandusky

We develop a preliminary version of an Integrated Longitudinal Business Database (ILBD) that combines administrative records and survey data for all employer and nonemployer business units in the United States. Unlike other large-scale business databases, the ILBD tracks business transitions from nonemployer to employer status. This feature of the ILBD opens a new frontier for the study of business formation, early lifecycle dynamics and the precursors to job creation in the U.S. economy. There are 5.4 million nonfarm business firms with employees as of 2000 and another 15.5 million with no employees. Our analysis focuses on 40 industries that account for nearly half of nonemployers and 36 percent of nonemployer revenues. Within these industries, nonemployers account for 14 percent of business revenues. About 220,000 of the seven million nonemployers in our selected industries hire workers and migrate to the employer universe over a three-year horizon. These Migrants account for 20 percent of revenue among young employers (three years or less since first hire). Compared to other nonemployers, the revenue of Migrants grows very rapidly in the year prior to and the year of transition to employer status.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, 07.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 0491.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0491
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
    2. Holmes, T.J. & Schmitz, J.A., 1992. "On the Turnover of Business Firms and Business Managers," Working papers 9211, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    3. Richard E. Caves, 1998. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1947-1982, December.
    4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
    5. Davis, Steven J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1999. "Gross job flows," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 41, pages 2711-2805 Elsevier.
    6. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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