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Understanding Business Dynamics: An Integrated Data System for America’s Future
are insufficient in terms of analyzing how financing interacts with the evolution of new firms. In his presentation to the panel, Steven Kaplan (University of Chicago Graduate School of Business) noted the need to integrate financial data with performance data. Given existing databases, it is, for example, very difficult to study the extent to which economic activity and job growth are driven by venture capital.
Existing databases include Venture Economics, Venture One, the Statistics of Income (SOI), Compustat, the Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), and the Kauffman Financial and Business Database (KFBD). Currently, the databases are not linked to one another. Venture Economics, owned by Thompson, is useful for valuation history. The Dow Jones Venture One includes higher quality, clean data and more valuation data and data on people than Venture Economics. However, the data from Venture One are difficult to access, compared with Venture Economics data, which are accessible for a fee.
SOI corporate data are the only publicly available source of corporate financial information; data products for S-corporations—those with 75 or fewer shareholders—are also available. The data, based on a stratified random sample of 130,000 preaudited returns, contain income statements, balance sheets and tax information, industry classification, identification of accounting periods and sizes of assets, receipts, and income taxes after credits. The SOI provides data annually to BEA on partnerships, as well as producing annual information on nonfarm sole proprietorships from Schedule C data.
Standard and Poor’s produces Computstat, a database for all publicly traded firms in the U.S. stock market. It is geared mainly toward investors and attempts to standardize financial statements and accounting statement information on companies around the world. Compustat has been longitudinal since 1980 and includes such information as quarterly and annual income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements. Reporting units are identified by reporting company and a 4-digit SIC code and are business or industry segments, defined by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 14 as: a component of an enterprise engaged in providing a product or service or a group of related products or services primarily to unaffiliated customers (i.e., customers outside of the enterprise) for profit (FASB Statement 14, p. 7).
In its words, the Census Bureau began the ACES as part of a comprehensive program designed to provide detailed and timely information on capital investment in new and used structures and equipment by nonfarm businesses. The survey sample includes approximately 46,000 employer companies and approximately 15,000 nonemployer companies. The survey prior to 1999 published capital expenditures data only for “97 industries