The R&D Master File Documentation
This document describes the panel of publicly traded United States manufacturing firms which was created and updated at the National Bureau of Economic Research from 1978 through 1988 within the Productivity Program. The panel consists of about 2600 large manufacturing firms with three to twenty-seven years of data each; the period covered by the sampling frame was 1976 through 1985, with data back to 1959 where possible. There are approximately 70 variables for each firm-year of data, consisting of income statement and balance sheet variables and the corresponding common stock data. The technological data available for these firms consist of R&D expenditures and patents granted, both by date of application and by granting date. The patents data are available only through about 1981, due to the limitations of our sources and budget. The firms on the file are identified both by their CUSIP number and by name, making it feasible to match this data to other sources.