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Non‐response bias in the use of annual financial reports

Woan Tan, C., Taplin, R., Hancock, P. and Tower, G. (2003) Non‐response bias in the use of annual financial reports. Asian Review of Accounting, 11 (2). pp. 73-85.

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Non-response bias is rarely explored in business research utilising annual reports. Such studies may reach incorrect conclusions in instances where there are systematic differences between companies who respond and those who do not. A global study into airline accounting practices by Tan, Tower, Hancock and Taplin (2002) enabled examination of this important research issue because a database provided an independent source of annual reports. The results indicate minimal response bias in a sample of annual reports obtained from a mail request. Publically listed airline companies that did not respond to a request for their annual report tended to use accounting methods that are considered least favourable by the industry. Therefore, caution needs to be exercised and the assumption that non-respondents' accounting policy choices are aligned with those of respondents should be tested. Increased availability of annual reports on the internet also raises questions of possible database bias.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.
Copyright: © 2003, MCB UP Limited
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