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Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) finds that 14.2 percent of businessmen

inherited their businesses (Lentz and Laband 1990), however, these businesses are much

larger than the typical small business included in the CBO.

Previous studies have not explored these questions primarily because only a few

nationally representative datasets contain information on parental and family self-

employment and business inheritances, and to our knowledge, the CBO is the only

nationally representative dataset containing information on prior work experience in

businesses owned by family members and prior work experience in businesses providing

similar goods and services.4 The CBO contains detailed information on the

characteristics of both the business and the owner, but has been used by only a handful of

researchers. The lack of use appears to be primarily due to difficulties in accessing and

reporting results from these confidential, restricted-access data. All research using the

CBO must be conducted in a Census Research Data Center or at the Center for Economic

Studies (CES) after approval by the CES and IRS, and all output must pass strict

disclosure regulations.

2. Data

The 1992 Characteristics of Business Owners (CBO) survey was conducted by

the U.S. Bureau of the Census to provide economic, demographic and sociological data

on minority, women and non-minority male business owners and their business activities

(see U.S. Department of Commerce 1997, Bates 1990a, Headd 1999, and Robb 2000 for

more details on the CBO). The survey was sent to more than 75,000 firms and 115,000

specific to the types of business chosen by these sons. The CBO also contains information on prior work experience in a managerial capacity. 4

3

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