Firm-level data sets are a rich source of information for policy relevant analysis, e.g. in the areas of firm creation, entrepreneurship, technological change and productivity. However, there are important problems in making these data comparable across countries. Further progress can be made in improving the comparability of such data, as well as the methods to analyse them, across countries. The OECD is organising a workshop on 26 and 27 November 2001 to address these issues. The workshop will bring together statistical agencies and researchers that work with these data and will address the following questions:
- Which firm-level data sources are available in OECD Member countries?
- What are firm-level data used for?
- What are the main statistical issues in using these data ? This focuses on issues that affect the international comparability of the data and the resulting analysis, such as differences in definitions, classifications, coverage and methods.
- What role can the OECD play ? Possible long-term roles for the OECD include: (1) more extensive collection of firm-level statistics; (2) methodological work to make the data more comparable across countries; and (3) further analytical work based on firm-level statistics to support policy analysis in specific areas, e.g. entrepreneurship and its gender dimension, innovation and technological change, productivity and the role of SMEs.
The workshop will last 2 days and is divided into five sessions. The first discusses the statistical issues in measuring the exit, entry and survival of firms. The recent experiences of the OECD Economics Department in making firm-level data more comparable across countries will provide helpful insights in this session. The second session examines statistics on entrepreneurship and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and will particularly focus on statistical issues relating to the growth of firms and the size dimension of firms. The third session examines the statistical issues linked to women entrepreneurship. The fourth session focuses on productivity measurement with firm-level data, while the final session looks at the measurement of factors that affect performance at the firm level, notably technology and innovation. A draft agenda of the workshop is available here. The agenda includes links to the available papers.
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Work on firm-level statistics and analysis is also conducted by Eurostat, UN-ECE, International Roundtable on Business Survey Frames and academic researchers, such as CAED.