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How to Construct Nationally Representative Firm Level Data from the Orbis Global Database: New Facts and Aggregate Implications

Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, Bent Sorensen, Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, Vadym Volosovych, Sevcan Yesiltas

NBER Working Paper No. 21558
Issued in September 2015, Revised in December 2019
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth, International Finance and Macroeconomics, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

We construct representative firm-level longitudinal data for twenty-seven European countries using financial statements from the Orbis global database, providing a “how-to” guide on the construction. We validate our dataset by comparing its aggregate coverage to official statistics and present three new facts. First, smaller firms (SMEs) account for the largest share of economic activity. Second, industry concentration has increased among firms that report only consolidated statements, but decreased overall. Third, the increased concentration is accounted for by foreign-owned firms. Documenting these facts requires nationally representative data both in cross-sectional and time-series dimensions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21558

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