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Business Failures by Industry in the United States, 1895 to 1940: A Statistical History

Version
v1
Resource Type
Dataset : aggregate data, event/transaction data, observational data
Creator
  • Richardson, Gary (University of California-Irvine, and National Bureau of Economic Research)
  • Gou, Michael (University of California-Irvine)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
2012-07-05
Language
English
Free Keywords
asset forfeiture; bankruptcy; businesses; corporations; economic indicators; economic sectors; economic trends; industry
Description
  • Abstract

    Dun's Review began publishing monthly data on business failures by branch of business during the 1890s. At that time, a business failure was defined as a concern which was involved in a court proceeding or voluntary action which was likely to end in loss to creditors. Liabilities of failed businesses were defined "as all liabilities except long-term publicly-held obligations, chiefly bonds." Dun's published data on failures by branch of business from 1895 through 1935. This dataset reconstructs that series and links it to its successors. The successor series include data on business failures by division of industry, which Dun and Bradstreet's published from 1934 through 1940. This study includes six parts. Part One contains aggregate liabilities in dollars, broken down by branch, month, and year. Part Two contains aggregate numbers of business failures broken down by branch, month, and year. Part Three contains aggregate liability in dollars broken down by division, month, and year. Part Four contains aggregate numbers of business failures broken down by division, month, and year. Part Five contains aggregate liabilities broken down by sector, month, and year. Part Six contains aggregate numbers of business failures broken down by sector, month, and year. Part One and Part Two contain 36 variables and 562 cases. Part Three and Part Four contain 51 variables and 60 cases. Part Five and Part Six contain 6 variables and 562 cases.
  • Abstract

    This study allows for economic analysis of business failures. It is intended to provide a resource on business failure and liabilites from 1895 to 1940.
  • Abstract

    Data originally collected from court filings at municipal, county, state, and United States district court houses throughout the United States from 1895 through 1940. Data published periodically by R. G. Dun and Company, Bradstreet's Company, and their successors through 1940. From their publications, the principal investigators collected, cleaned, compiled, and computerized the current data series.
  • Abstract

    Variables include monthly, unadjusted, liabilities and monthly, unadjusted, number of failures for different branches, sectors, divisons.
  • Methods

    ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection: Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes..
  • Table of Contents

    Datasets:

    • DS0: Study-Level Files
    • DS1: Business Failures -- Branches Numbers
    • DS2: Business Failures -- Branches Liabilities
    • DS3: Business Failures -- Divisions Numbers
    • DS4: Business Failures -- Divisions Liabilities
    • DS5: Business Failures -- Sector Numbers
    • DS6: Business Failures -- Sector Liabilities
Temporal Coverage
  • 1895 / 1940
    Time period: 1895--1940
  • 1895 / 1940
    Collection date: 1895--1940
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Sampled Universe
Businesses that failed in the United States from 1895 through 1940. Smallest Geographic Unit: United States
Sampling
The data consist of the aggregate number of corporations filing for bankruptcy in various industries each month in the United States and the total liabilities of those corporations. Please refer to the codebook for sampling information in the "Original P.I. Documentation" section. Additional information can be found by visiting the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Web site.
Collection Mode
  • For additional information on these datasets please see the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) Web site.

    The dates in the Original P.I. Documentation for Business Failures by Industry in the United States range from 1895 to 1939, however, the data range from 1895 to 1940. The title for ICPSR 34016 has been changed to reflect the data.

Availability
Download
This study is freely available to ICPSR member institutions via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 34016 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
Publications
  • Richardson, Gary, Gou, Michael. Business Failures by Industry in the United States, 1895 to 1939: A Statistical History. NBER Working Paper No. 16872.Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. 2011.
    • ID: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16872.pdf (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-16

Richardson, Gary; Gou, Michael (2012): Business Failures by Industry in the United States, 1895 to 1940: A Statistical History. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset. https://doi.org/10.3886/ICPSR34016.v1