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A Comparison of Firm Age in the Survey of Business Owners and the Longitudinal Business Database

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Listed:
  • William D. Lastrapes
  • Ian M. Schmutte
  • Thor Watson

Abstract

In this note, we use restricted-access data from the 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners (CBO) and the 2002 and 2007 Surveys of Business Owners (SBO) that are linked to the Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) and compare how firm age is reported across sources. Our analysis shows considerable agreement between administrative and survey measures. However, we also find meaningful discrepancies. The SBO measures generally suggest an earlier date of founding than is revealed in the LBD. For researchers, caution should be taken when using these sources in studies that rely on a particular interpretation of the firm age measure.

Suggested Citation

  • William D. Lastrapes & Ian M. Schmutte & Thor Watson, 2020. "A Comparison of Firm Age in the Survey of Business Owners and the Longitudinal Business Database," CES Technical Notes Series 20-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:tnotes:20-08
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2008. "Race and Entrepreneurial Success: Black-, Asian-, and White-Owned Businesses in the United States," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026206281x, February.
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