Magazine article The Small Business Advocate

Recent Developments in the Office of Economic Research

Magazine article The Small Business Advocate

Recent Developments in the Office of Economic Research

Article excerpt

Within the Office of Advocacy, the Office of Economic Research (OER) plays a critical role in supporting the office's statutory mission. As stated in Advocacy's founding legislation, OER "examine[s] the role of small business in the American economy and the contribution which small businesses can make...." OER also analyzes the direct costs and other effects of government regulation on small businesses. [15 U.S.C. 634b(1) and (3)]

As part of this mission, OER constantly seeks to improve upon existing products, techniques, and communication with the small business community, which includes not only small businesses but also the policymakers who represent their interests. These recent improvements fall into four areas: timely and actionable research, data availability and digestibility, regulatory analysis, and increased presence in the small business community.

Timely and Actionable Research

OER remains committed to current and policy- relevant research. To this end, OER has increased staff, added new research topics and products, and implemented changes aimed at publishing the highest quality, reproducible, and transparent research.

OER has added several new research economists to accommodate a broader research agenda. These new staffers bring highly specialized data and technical skills to the research team, which has allowed OER to pursue new, complicated, and small business-relevant projects. The research agenda broadened to include emerging small business issues such as alternative finance and crowdfunding, and entrepreneurship in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The newly redesigned 2016 State Economic Profiles represent an important improvement in the reproducibility and transparency of OER research. Now, anyone can reproduce the 2016 state profiles with the most currently available small business data.

OER has introduced a wider range of research products to meet the needs of our diverse small business stakeholders. For example, we now publish an Economic Research Series, which provides multiple products under such themes as Trends in Entrepreneurship, International Trade, or Alternative Finance. …

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