How to Construct Nationally Representative Firm Level Data from the Orbis Global Database: New Facts on SMEs and Aggregate Implications for Industry Concentration

Sebnem Kalemli-Özcan*, Bent E. Sorensen , Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, Vadym Volosovych, Sevcan Yesiltas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

We construct nationally representative firm-level longitudinal data for European countries using financial statements from the Orbis database. We validate our data by comparing its coverage and firm size distribution to official statistics. We showcase two applications to show the importance of firm representativeness in understanding macroeconomic outcomes. First, we show that small-and-medium-sized firms (SMEs) account for a large share of aggregate economic activity. Second, we document that firm representativeness is important for calculating industry concentration trends over time as the share of economic activity accounted by top firms in an industry changes with the firm samples used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-374
Number of pages22
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Macroeconomics
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© (2024), (American Economic Association). All Rights Reserved.

Research programs

  • ESE - F&A

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