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The OECD ORBIS Database: Responding to the Need for Firm-Level Micro-Data in the OECD

Listed author(s):
  • Samuel Pinto Ribeiro


  • Stefano Menghinello

    (National Statistical Institute)

  • Koen De Backer


Registered author(s):

    Firm-level micro-data have become increasingly important in OECD activities not only for econometric analysis that captures heterogeneity across enterprises but also in order to conduct different and more detailed types of data aggregation (e.g. by geographical unit, firm size, industry). This paper describes the development of the OECD ORBIS micro database. This database includes more than 200 variables providing financial and ownership information for over 44 million companies across the world. The paper provides an overview of the nature of these data, and of the advantages and disadvantages of such administrative micro-data for research. It describes the data included in the OECD ORBIS database and the cleaning procedures that have been undertaken to identify suspicious values. The paper then presents some preliminary aggregate results showing the potential of the database. Finally, it identifies some structural biases in the database and the steps that should be taken to correct them. L’accès aux micro-données d’entreprises est devenu très important dans le cadre des activités de l’OCDE non seulement pour les analyses économiques qui mettent en évidence l’hétérogénéité des entreprises mais aussi dans le cadre d’études conduisant à des agrégations plus détaillées (par zone géographique, taille d’entreprise ou industrie). Ce document décrit le développement de la base ORBIS au sein de l’OCDE. Cette base de données comporte plus de 200 variables fournissant des informations sur l’actionnariat et les comptes financiers de plus de 44 millions d’entreprises à travers le monde. Ce document fourni une vue d’ensemble sur la nature des données ainsi que les avantages et les inconvénients de telles données pour la recherche. Il décrit les données incluses dans la base OCDE ORBIS et les procédures de nettoyage qui ont été mises en place pour identifier les valeurs aberrantes. De plus, ce document présente les résultats d’une agrégation préliminaire mettant en évidence le potentiel de la base de données. Finalement, il montre certaines erreurs systématiques nécessitant une amélioration de la représentativité des données.

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    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Statistics Working Papers with number 2010/1.

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    Date of creation: 25 Mar 2010
    Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2010/1-en
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