Using CFO Surveys as a Motivational Tool to Teach Corporate Finance


  • I thank the editors, Alon Brav, Larry Gitman, Mark Leary, Bill Megginson, Scott Smart, and Susan Smart for helpful comments.

Corresponding author: D. Richard Mead Jr. Family Professor of Finance and Research Associate, NBER, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, 1 Towerview Drive, Durham, NC 27708-0120; Phone: (919) 660-7857; Fax: (919) 660-8038; E-mail:


This article is based on the keynote address from the Eastern Finance Association meeting in South Beach in April 2010. In this keynote address, I discuss how to engage and motivate students by using the results from surveys of corporate finance professionals. Specific examples are given to motivate capital structure, capital budgeting, and payout. Actual job interview questions can also be used as a motivational tool to teach finance.