Economic studies which examine the financing patterns of firms, particularly in emerging markets, seldom consider the market environment in which they operate. The most recent Asian financial crisis and its exposure of institutional failures in the context of financial sector liberalization show that these market conditions are vital. The positive relationship between a firm's excess cash flow and investment are well known, but the environment which determines retention of cash as opposed to paying dividends remains unresolved. The results of this survey suggest a framework by which future research in data collection, theoretical analysis, and empirical testing may be undertaken.
This book is a complete and critical introduction to doing surveys and an overview of the premiere empirical method in social science. Rather than a set of formulas, survey design is understood as a craft in which research questions are translated into questionnaire based on a model of how respondents answer questions, their ability and willingness to answer and the statistical characteristics of survey data. Especially, this approach is skeptical of the idea that, rather than a craft, survey research is a scientific field, like chemistry. The first two chapters describe the standard model of survey research, developed in the 1930s and then refined incrementally, the challenge of cognitive models from the 1980s and the total survey error perspective. The following chapters then provide a complete overview of the current knowledge of questionnaire design, testing, sample design and data collection. The Companion is written for researchers, especially analysts who want to understand their data better, and for graduate students and upper level undergraduates who want to do a survey or to better understand survey methods.
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