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What Do Survey Data Tell Us about U.S. Businesses?

Anmol Bhandari, Ellen McGrattan, Kurt See () and Serdar Birinci ()
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Anmol Bhandari: University of Minnesota
Ellen McGrattan: University of Minnesota

No 53, 2019 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics

Abstract: This paper examines the reliability of widely used surveys on U.S. businesses. We compare survey responses of business owners with administrative data and document large inconsistencies in business incomes, receipts, and the number of owners. We document problems due to nonrepresentative samples and mea- surement errors. Nonrepresentativeness is reflected in undersampling of owners with low incomes. Measurement errors arise because respondents do not re- fer to relevant documents and possibly because of framing issues. We discuss implications for statistics of interest, such as business valuations and returns. We conclude that predictions based on current survey data should be treated with caution.

Date: 2019
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https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2019/paper_53.pdf (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: What Do Survey Data Tell Us about US Businesses? (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: What Do Survey Data Tell Us About US Businesses? (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: What Do Survey Data Tell Us about US Businesses? (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: What Do Survey Data Tell Us about U.S. Businesses? (2018) Downloads
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