Firm Entry and Exit in the U.S. Retail Sector, 1977-1997
The development of longitudinal micro datasets in recent years has helped economists develop a number of stylized facts about producer dynamics. However, most of the widely cited studies use only manufacturing data. This paper uses the newly constructed Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) to examine producer dynamics in the U.S. the retail sector. The LBD is constructed by linking twenty-six years (1975-2000) of the U.S. Census Bureau's Business Register at the establishment level. The result is a dataset on the universe of employer establishments in the U.S. on an annual basis with detailed geographic, industry, firm ownership, and employment information. We use the LBD to examine patterns of firm entry and exit in the U.S. retail sector. We find that many of the patterns observed by Dunne, Roberts, and Samuelson (1988) are also observed within the retail sector, but interesting and important differences do exist.
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