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A Comparison of Qualitative and Quantitative Firm Performance Measures

  • Fabling, Richard

    (Reserve Bank of New Zealand)

  • Grimes, Arthur

    (Motu Economic & Public Policy Research)

  • Stevens, Philip

    ()

    (Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand)

Many analyses of firm performance are based upon self-reported measures. However, not only are these likely to be more subject to general reporting error than alternative official sources, but also measures of relative performance may be subject to the biases observed in the psychology literature. In this paper we consider both absolute and relative performance, reported in the Business Operations Survey (BOS), with alternative measures taken from administrative sources, brought together under the Improved Business Understanding via Longitudinal Database Development (IBULDD) project in the prototype Longitudinal Business Database (LBD). Our results suggest that there is much commonality in the picture we see using either administrative (tax) or quantitative survey data, giving us some comfort that the tax data, while not collected for statistical purposes, serves as well as a tool for measuring firm performance. However, there are many differences also, in particular when we consider reported profits.

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Paper provided by Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand in its series Occasional Papers with number 08/4.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:nzmedo:2008_004
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  1. Nigel Pain & Dawn Holland, 1998. "The Diffusion Of Innovations In Central And Eastern Europe: A Study Of The Determinants And Impact O," NIESR Discussion Papers 205, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  2. Fabling, Richard, 2007. "Just How Innovative are New Zealand Firms? Quantifying & Relating Organisational and Marketing Innovation to Traditional Science & Technology Indicators," Occasional Papers 07/4, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  3. Fabling, Richard & Grimes , Arthur, 2006. "Practice Makes Profit: Business Practices and Firm Success," Occasional Papers 06/1, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  4. Fabling, Richard & Grimes, Arthur & Sanderson , Lynda & Stevens, Philip, 2008. "Some Rise by Sin, and Some by Virtue Fall: Firm Dynamics, Market Structure and Performance," Occasional Papers 08/1, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
  5. Horowitz, J.L. & Manski, C.F., 1995. "Censoring of Outcomes and Regressors Due to Survey Nonresponse: Identification and estimation Using Weights and Imputations," Working Papers 95-12, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  6. Charles BROWN & Charles BROWN, 1996. "Employer Characteristics and Work Environment," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 275-298.
  7. Cooper, Arnold C. & Woo, Carolyn Y. & Dunkelberg, William C., 1988. "Entrepreneurs' perceived chances for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-108.
  8. Dean R. Hyslop & Guido W. Imbens, 2000. "Bias from Classical and Other Forms of Measurement Error," NBER Technical Working Papers 0257, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1985. "Unemployment through the Filter of Memory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(3), pages 747-73, August.
  10. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  11. Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Needed: a theory of total factor productivity," Staff Report 242, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Machin, Stephen J & Stewart, Mark B, 1990. "Unions and the Financial Performance of British Private Sector Establishments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 327-50, Oct.-Dec..
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