2005-12-14Buch DOI: 10.18452/3941
Worldscope meets Compustat
A Comparison of Financial Databases
With this study we are the first to systematically compare today’s two major counterpartsas a source of accounting and financial data for researchers: CompustatNorth America by Standard and Poor’s and Worldscope by Thomson Financial. Thisinvestigation is conducted for U.S. and partly Canadian data over an extensive periodfrom 1985 to 2003. We examine more than 650 data items available in bothdatabases and address the question of whether or not the decision for one or theother source may have an impact on the outcome of research projects. It is probablycommonly assumed that this impact is minor, but it also leaves room to questioncertain results. We show that the use of both databases should lead to comparableresults, but also find that if, e.g. a size bias, is not treated with care the quality ofresults may differ considerable. Furthermore after 1998 the number of firms coveredby Worldscope exceeds the one covered by Compustat by about one fourth.
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