The Theory and Practice of Corporate Finance: The Data
17 Pages Posted: 12 May 2003
Date Written: April 10, 2003
In February and March of 1999, we surveyed 392 CFOs about the cost of capital, capital budgeting, and capital structure. The survey consisted of 14 main questions, most with subparts - over 100 questions in total. Although the survey was anonymous, we also collected information on 12 characteristics of the firms and management. We asked questions about firm size, foreign sales, industry, CEO education, age of the CEO, CEO tenure, ownership, whether the firm paid dividends, whether the firm was regulated, and the proportion of common stock that the top three executives owned if all their options were exercised. We also collected information on debt-equity ratios and debt ratings. The analysis, published in the 2001 Journal of Financial Economics (http://ssrn.com/abstract=220251), showed that many survey responses differed by the firm and management characteristics.
Our research left much of the data unexplored. In particular, in only one instance in the paper did we perform question-conditional analysis. That is, given a particular response to one question, how does that impact the response on another question. For example, is it the case that those CFOs that use real options analysis in project evaluation decisions also value financial flexibility in capital structure? Given the large number of inquiries we have received for the survey data, we now publicly release the raw data files so that other researchers can conduct question-conditional analysis. Using these data, researchers should be able to obtain CFO survey evidence related to specific aspects of their own research agendas, as well as perform more detailed analysis of the survey responses.
JEL Classification: G12, G31, G32, M40, M46
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation