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Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM): Expert Questionnaire Data, 1999-2003 (ICPSR 21862)

Principal Investigator(s): Reynolds, Paul Davidson, Florida International University; Autio, Erkko, Imperial College London; Hechavarria, Diana M., University of Cincinnati


The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) was designed to capture various aspects of firm creation and entrepreneurship across countries. The data have been collected over a number of years (1998-2003) and include responses from 4,685 experts in over 38 countries and three subnational regions. This study seeks to measure the national attributes considered critical for new firm births and small firm growth. The dataset is a harmonized file capturing the results from all of the surveys. The expert, or key informant, questionnaire was improved and adjusted each year to increase the reliability of multi-item indices and provide for the addition of new dimensions. For each version of the questionnaire, respondents completed 70-80 standardized items that were the basis for 12-15 multi-item indices. Respondents were initially asked a series of general questions pertaining to starting a business, such as whether they were currently trying to start a new business, whether they knew anyone who had started a new business, and whether they thought it was a good time to do so. Respondents were also asked about the process of starting up a new business; whether they had done anything to start a new business in the past 12 months; whether they would own all, part, or none of the new business; how many people would be involved with the new business; what sort of business they were starting; and what they would sell. In addition, respondents identified the total start-up costs, the various sources of the start-up money, and why they were involved in the start-up. Respondents then answered a set of questions to assess the national conditions influencing entrepreneurial activity in their own country. In this respect, respondents provided their opinions on business and entrepreneurial education, the integration of new technology in businesses, the availability of financial support through government policies and programs, the availability of subcontractors, yearly changes in the economic market, and the physical infrastructure in their country. Views were also elicited from respondents about their national cultures in regard to entrepreneurial efforts and opportunities, attitudes towards entrepreneurs in general, women entrepreneurs and the resources available to them, and citizens' knowledge and experience with new businesses. They also gave their views on the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) legislation and its enforcement in their respective countries. Respondents were then queried on the technological strengths of their country by ranking the top five sectors in which there has been development of the greatest number of technology-intensive start-up companies in the past ten years. Finally, respondents were asked the same general questions as those used in the GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP MONITOR (GEM): ADULT POPULATION SURVEY DATA SET, 1998-2003 (ICPSR 20320) in order to ascertain whether the opinions and behaviors of the current "expert" respondents differ from those of the general population. These questions included whether they were starting a new business, if there were opportunities for new businesses, funding sources for a new business, skills required to start a new business, shutting down a business, and whether a fear of failure was preventing the start of a new business. The dataset also contains variables that describe the respondent's gender, age, educational attainment, labor force status, the entrepreneurial areas in which they feel they have strong expertise, and the month and year the survey was conducted.

Access Notes

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Study Description


Reynolds, Paul Davidson, Erkko Autio, and Diana M. Hechavarria. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM): Expert Questionnaire Data, 1999-2003. ICPSR21862-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2009-06-26. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21862.v1

Persistent URL: https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR21862.v1

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    business, business conditions, business ownership, businesses, economic activity, economic development, economic growth, economic indicators, educational programs, entrepreneurs, financial support, government programs, investments, investors, management, market economy, risk, small businesses, startup companies, startup costs

Smallest Geographic Unit:    country

Geographic Coverage:    Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China (Peoples Republic), Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Global, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela

Time Period:   

  • 1999--2003

Date of Collection:   

  • 1999--2003

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    The universe included 4,685 experts from over 38 countries and 3 subnational regions: Hong Kong, Shenzhen (China), and Taiwan.

Data Type(s):    survey data

Data Collection Notes:

In the surveys most of the interview schedules used a standardized 5 point scale, but in the year 2000 administration there were several national teams that employed a 7 point response scale. In order to consolidate all data to provide a harmonized range of values, the data producer converted these to the same range of values with 7 points instead of 5 points: 1.00, 1.67, 2.33, 3.00, 3.67, 4.33, and 5.00.


Sample:    Convenience sample.

Weight:    All case weights were set to 1.00.

Mode of Data Collection:    face-to-face interview, mail questionnaire, on-site questionnaire


Original ICPSR Release:   2009-06-26



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