tion for their accessible data sources, and we try to avoid reproducing detailed descriptions that can be accessed elsewhere.1

Table A-1, located at the end of this appendix, allows quick cross-comparisons of various data sets. In this appendix, we omit several important kinds of business data that are more closely linked to production of aggregate statistics and are less central to the panel’s charge. For example, we do not directly discuss price data—notably the producer price index (PPI), which measures changes over time in the selling prices received by producers of goods and services—or the array of industry and input/output data (much of it deflated by PPI) crucial to productivity measurement and to the construction of the national accounts and statistics on gross domestic product (GDP).

A.1
COUNTING FIRMS AND CATALOGING ESSENTIAL CHARACTERISTICS—THE BUSINESS LISTS

The two primary business lists administered by federal statistical agencies in the United States are the Census Bureau’s business register (BR), and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Unemployment Insurance (UI) address file, more commonly referred to as the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW). Administrative data from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), which maintains the Business Master File, and the Social Security Administration (SSA) underpin the BR, while the QCEW relies on data from the state UI programs. The most noteworthy business list maintained outside government is the Dun & Bradstreet Dun’s Market Identifiers (DMI).

A.1.1
The Census Business Register

In 1968, the Office of Management and Budget directed the Census Bureau to develop and maintain a comprehensive business list. Known until recently as the Census Bureau’s Standard Statistical Establishment List (SSEL), the BR covers the universe of businesses—over 7 million employer businesses and some 16.5 million nonemployer businesses. The BR serves as the master enumeration list for sampling frames drawn for the Census Bureau’s firm and establishment surveys, most notably the quinquennial

1

The Kauffman Foundation web page (http://research.kauffman.org) has a well-organized list, with links of government and private sources of data on U.S. and international businesses; the list focuses on entrepreneurship, small business, and self-employment information. RAND, with funding from the Kauffman Foundation, has also assembled an overview of data resources on small businesses—see http://www.rand.org/pubs/working_papers/WR293/index.html.



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