Other Unpublished Work | 2011

What Do Private Firms Look Like?

by John Asker, Joan Farre-Mensa and Alexander Ljungqvist


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: Data and Data Sets; Behavior; Public Sector; Corporate Disclosure; Private Sector; Financial Statements; United States;


Asker, John, Joan Farre-Mensa, and Alexander Ljungqvist. "What Do Private Firms Look Like?" 2011.