Our background knowledge for reliable macro-economic forecasts of business responses to the application of different contra-cyclical measures is at present rather scanty. This was the case, when the investment funds system was put into operation to prevent an anticipated recession during 1962/63. At that time little historical experience was at hand for a prediction of the effects of this measure. It is, however, now to some extent possible to estimate its stabilizing influences on the basis of the data to be presented in this investigation. An evaluation of this kind should be of value for future policies of the same type.
The only practicable way of securing the kind of information required for such an evaluation was by direct questioning of the entrepreneurs themselves. The measurement technique thus employed is a controversial one and consequently the results obtained might be considered uncertain. The availability of certain additional independent check-point information together with quite an extensive analysis of the possible errors of measurement should, however, have reduced the drawbacks associated with studies of this kind.
This investigation was started during the autumn of 1963, when questionnaires were mailed to all firms that were utilizing their investment funds. A remarkably high answering percentage of well above 90 percent was secured, and the Institute wants to thank all firms for their generous and useful cooperation in this study.
The Institute is also very grateful to all those who have read the many preliminary versions of this report at various stages of completion and made valuable suggestions for its improvement. Essential parts of it have furthermore been discussed at the newly organized econometric seminar at the University of Stockholm, under the chairmanship of Professor E. Lundberg.