What do Private Firms Look Like?

36 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2010 Last revised: 30 Mar 2011

John Asker

New York University - Leonard N. School of Business - Department of Economics

Joan Farre-Mensa

Harvard Business School

Alexander Ljungqvist

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

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Date Written: March 28, 2011

Abstract

Private firms in the U.S. are not subject to public reporting requirements, so relatively little is known about their characteristics and behavior – until now. This Data Appendix describes a new database on private U.S. firms, created by Sageworks Inc. in cooperation with hundreds of accounting firms. The contents of the Sageworks database mirror Compustat, the standard database for public U.S. firms. It contains balance sheet and income statement data for 95,297 private firms covering 250,507 firms-years over the period 2002 to 2007. We compare this database to the joint Compustat-CRSP database of public firms and to the Federal Reserve’s 2003 National Survey of Small Business Finances.

Keywords: Private firms

JEL Classification: M41, C93

Suggested Citation

Asker, John and Farre-Mensa, Joan and Ljungqvist, Alexander, What do Private Firms Look Like? (March 28, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1659926 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1659926

John William Asker

New York University - Leonard N. School of Business - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-0062 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~jasker/

Joan Farre-Mensa

Harvard Business School ( email )

Rock Center 218
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6963 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://people.hbs.edu/jfarremensa

Alexander Ljungqvist (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street, Suite 9-160
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0304 (Phone)
212-995-4220 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~aljungqv

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

Box 55665
Grevgatan 34, 2nd floor
Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden

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