Empirical studies based on micro-level longitudinal data have rapidly increased in number over the recent past (see Ahn ( 2001) for a survey). Most of them, however, focus on the United States and results for other countries are often difficult to compare because of differences in the underlying data and/or in the methodology used by researchers. This makes it difficult to assess the impact of differences in institutions and policy settings across countries on observed performance.
The OECD firm-level project involves ten OECD countries (United States, Germany, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Portugal), with the active role of experts in these countries. It draws upon a common analytical framework, including the harmonisation, to the extent possible, of key concepts (e.g. entry, exit, or the definition of the unit of measurement) as well as the definition of common methodologies for studying firm-level data.
The OECD firm-level project includes the analysis of firm demographics which is reported here. This analysis is based on business registers (Canada, Denmark, France, Finland, Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States) or social security databases (Germany and Italy). Data for Portugal are drawn from an employment-based register containing information on both establishments and firms. These databases allow firms to be tracked through time because addition or removal of firms from the registers (at least in principle) reflects the actual entry and exit of firms. For an indepth analysis of these data, see Scarpetta,et al (2002).and Bartelsman, et al (2003).
The data files are currently unavailable pending adjustment of certain series. The details on the OECD firm-level study, including the research protocol, a description of the data, the indicators collected for firm dynamics, and a presentation of the country data files, along with a suggested reading list are available ARE AVAILABLE HERE .