Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, PSED II, United States, 2005-2011 (ICPSR 37202)

Version Date: Nov 28, 2018 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Richard T. Curtin, University of Michigan; Paul D. (Paul Davidson) Reynolds, Florida International University


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The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) research program was designed to longitudinally examine the startup process with multi-year cohort tracking, so as to enhance the scientific understanding of how individuals start businesses. The project provided data on the process of business formation based on nationally-representative samples of nascent entrepreneurs, those active in business creation. PSED I (available from ICPSR as study 37203) began with screening in 1998-2000 to select a cohort of 830 with three follow-up interviews. The panel participants were identified prior to launch of their firms and were tracked through gestation, launch and eventual growth or death of the firm. A control group of those not involved in firm creation were available for comparisons. PSED II began with screening in 2005-2006, followed by six yearly interviews. The information obtained as part of the PSED research program included data on the nature of those active as nascent entrepreneurs, the activities undertaken during the start-up process, and the characteristics of start-up efforts that become new firms.

The PSED II data included as part of this collection includes:

  • Dataset 1 and 2: Screener Data (58 variables, 31,845 cases)
  • Dataset 3 and 4: Waves A-F plus Screener Data (7,821 variables, 1,214 cases)

Demographic variables included as part of this collection comprises age, race, ethnicity, gender, household income, educational attainment, employment status, marital status, citizenship, household characteristics, and business characteristics.

Curtin, Richard T., and Reynolds, Paul D. (Paul Davidson). Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, PSED II, United States, 2005-2011. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-11-28.

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National Science Foundation (0818366), National Science Foundation (0919772), Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation


A public version of the data is available with direct and geographic identifiers removed. Access to the full data is restricted. Users interested in obtaining these restricted data must complete a Restricted Data Use Agreement, specify the reason for the request, and obtain IRB approval or notice of exemption for their research.

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
2005 -- 2011
2005-09 -- 2006-02 (Screener Interviews), 2005-09 -- 2011-04 (Waves A-F Interviews)
  1. For additional information on this study, please visit the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics website.
  2. This collection is related to the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, PSED I, United States, 1998-2004, ICPSR 37203. For similar study information and characteristics, please refer to both studies.

The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) provided detailed information on a representative national sample involved in the firm creation process. The PSED research program provided data describing the start-up phase of the business dynamic process.

The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) II was designed to follow-up and build off of the earlier PSED I. First, whereas the PSED I cohort was identified during the height of attention to firm creation during the boom in 1998-2000, the PSED II cohort was identified during 2005-2006, a more typical period. Second, methodological improvements based on experience with the previous study led to improved and more reliable measures. Third, increased attention was paid to differences in the participation and experience of different ethnic groups, particularly the higher entry into the process by African Americans combined with less success in developing a new firm. Finally, in response to factors that arose during the analysis stage of PSED I, the PSED II cohort increased the sample of nascent entrepreneurs

The research procedure for Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) consisted of three phases. The first consisted of identifying a representative sample of those actively involved in the new firm creation process, the nascent entrepreneurs. They were identified from phone interviews completed with adults from a representative sample of households that met four criteria: 1) they considered themselves as involved in the firm creation process, 2) they were engaged in some start-up activity in the past 12 months, 3) they expected to own all or part of the new firm, and 4) the initiative had not progressed to the point it would be considered an operating business. For PSED II, 31,845 individuals were screened to locate 1,214 nascent entrepreneurs from October 2005 to January 2006. The average time required for this screening module was 2 minutes. These nascent entrepreneurs represented 12 million individuals between the ages of 18 and 74 years old.

The second phase involved the completion of a 60 minute phone interview that covered a wide range of topics related to the initiation of a new firm. While the screening was completed by a commercial survey firm, the detailed data was collected by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. The topics covered included information on the nature of the business, start-up activities implemented on behalf of the new firm, incorporation into business registries, the nature of the start-up team and helping networks, sources and amounts of financial support, evaluations of the immediate context, competitive strategy and growth expectations, along with details of the motivations, perspectives, self-descriptions, background, and family context of the responding nascent entrepreneur.

The third phase involved the follow-up phone interviews, also about 60 minutes long. The initial contact for the first follow-up interview occurred 52 weeks following completion of the initial detailed interview, the second follow-up 104 weeks, and so forth. The topics of the interview varied depending on the status of the initiative at the time of the follow-up. Those nascent entrepreneurs that reported they had disengaged from the initiative (quit) received a few questions about start-up activity and a few items about the reasons for their decision. All others received most of the same interview schedule provided in the first interview, which provided them with a chance to update their case file with reports of new activity or changes in the start-up team or financial structure. They did not receive most of the modules related to enduring features of the responding nascent entrepreneur (self- descriptions, family background, etc.) covered in the first detailed interview.

The initial phase was to interview a representative sample of adults to identify those active in the firm creation process. Those who qualified were invited to participate in a more detailed interview about their current situation and activities. For Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) II, 31,845 individuals were screened to locate 1,214 nascent entrepreneurs from October 2005 to January 2006.

Longitudinal: Panel: Interval

A representative sample of nascent entrepreneurs identified in the United States in late 2005 and early 2006.


Weight variables have been included and should be used in any analysis. The weights were developed to help insure that the data is representative of all identified nascent entrepreneurs in the U.S. The weights correct for differences in selection probabilities and differential nonresponse rates. The March 2005 Current Population Survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau was used to post-stratify the data based on sex, age, household income, and race. The weights have been centered so that the sum of the weights is equal to the actual sample size. Any analysis of a subset of the data should re-center the weights so that the mean weight remains equal to 1.0. For further information, see PSED2 Weights Documentation on the PSED website.



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