Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, PSED I, United States, 1998-2004 (ICPSR 37203)

Version Date: Nov 27, 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


Version V1


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 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 (available from ICPSR as study 37202) 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 I data included as part of this collection includes:

  • Datasets 1 and 2: Screener Data (117 Variables, 64,622 Cases)
  • Datasets 3 and 4: Waves 1-4 Data by Questionnaire Sequence (5,015 Variables, 1,261 Cases)
  • Datasets 5 and 6: Waves 1-4 Data by Panel Sequence (5,223 Variables, 1,261 Cases)

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

Curtin, Richard T., and Reynolds, Paul D. (Paul Davidson). Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, PSED I, United States, 1998-2004. Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2018-11-27.

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National Science Foundation (9809841), National Science Foundation (9905255), 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
1998 -- 2004
1998 -- 2000 (Screener Data), 1998 -- 2004 (Waves 1-4 by Questionnaire Sequence), 1998 -- 2004 (Waves 1-4 by Panel Sequence)
  1. For additional information on this study, please visit the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) website.
  2. This collection is related to the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics, PSED II, United States, 2005-2011, ICPSR 37202. For similar study information and characteristics, please refer to both studies.

The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) I 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. This allowed attention to the following wide range of issues:

  • Who gets involved in creating a new business?
  • How many nascent entrepreneurs/nascent enterprises exist?
  • What do nascent entrepreneurs do to create a new firm?
  • To what extent are new firms based on advances in technology and science?
  • What proportion of nascent enterprises complete the process to become a new firm?
  • How long does it take to reach a resolution - a new firm or disengagement, from entry into the start-up process?
  • What is unique about nascent enterprises that become a new business, compared to those that do not make the firm birth transition?
  • What is the social cost, in terms of sweat equity and personal investments, associated with the firm creation process?
  • What is unique about those new firms expecting to have substantial growth trajectory after launch?
  • How many individuals must implement how many firms to create one firm with substantial growth potential?
  • How does the start-up procedure and strategy affect the trajectory of firms once they are launched?

All of these issues have relevance for efforts to promote new firm creation and improve the efficiency of the process. Information on these issues may also be used to inform policies designed to increase the level of entrepreneurial activity.

The Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) I cohort was selected in 1998-2000. After the first detailed interview there were three additional follow-ups. The research procedure consisted of three phases. The first phase was 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 have 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 that it may be considered an operating business.

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. 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. Careful scheduling allowed the initial contact for the first follow-up to occur 52 weeks following completion of the initial detailed interview, the second follow-up 104 weeks, and so forth.

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 the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) I, the screening and four waves of the PSED I resulted in a data set of 1,261 cases (830 nascent entrepreneurs) from 1998-2000.

Longitudinal: Panel: Interval

A nationally-representative sample of nascent entrepreneurs identified in the United States during 1998-2000.


Weight variables have been included and must be used in any analysis. For additional information on the Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) I weights, please refer to the Weights Documentation available at the PSED website.



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  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.