The Townsend Thai Project

Annual Resurvey

In this Photo:

Fishermen off Koh-Chang, Thailand's second largest island. Photo by Chjab.


The devaluation of the Thai baht in July 1997 and the unexpected onset of the Asian Financial Crisis led to the realization that with the initial May 1997 benchmark survey, the project was positioned to track the impact of the crisis on households and businesses-to see beneath the macro aggregates, so to speak.

Sample Design

In May 1998 one-third of the original sample of villages was resurveyed. In each of the four survey provinces or changwats, four subcounties or tambons selected at random from the 12 original tambons of the cross-sectional 1997 survey were resurveyed. One exception causing random replacement: a single tambon per changwat was purposefully selected and reserved for the monthly survey that began in August 1998. This sub-sample of the initial 1997 cross sectional survey population constitutes at present a 12 year household and business panel: 1997-2009. Note that with the inclusion of the monthly survey, 43% of the households in the initial 1997 cross-section continue to be re-interviewed. In addition to the household instruments, the resurveys of headmen and village institutions have continued, and in 2000, the BAAC groups were added as well.

Collection & Processing Notes

The household, key informant, institution, and BAAC instruments of the 1997 resurvey were modified slightly. For example, questions on income, consumption, assets, borrowing, lending, and others were asked as before. However, the timing was altered to ask specifically about changes in the past year and to compare the past year to the year before, for example. An additional battery of questions on household businesses was added to the household instrument in 1999. In 2000 BAAC groups were interviewed for the second time. The instruments themselves are available in this part of the archive.

For the first resurvey, which took place in 1998, no records from the previous 1997 interviews were used, with the exception of the village and household rosters. But discrepancies in household-level responses across years were noted subsequently. In the following years consistency checks were conducted in the field. For example, households are asked about assets purchased or sold during the year and their current number of assets. If this cannot be reconciled after the interview with the previous year's tally, then the household is asked about the previous year's answer until discrepancies are resolved. Discrepancies between 1997 and 1998 were also subsequently resolved.

For each resurvey, a team of 14 moves from tambon to tambon in each province, that is, one team per province. The surveys begin at the start of May, and take up to five or six weeks to complete. Village headmen are alerted in advance and provide food and lodging in the local area for the survey staff. For the first resurvey, there was one week of training at a central site and one week of training in the field for the enumerators, hired largely from local university branches of Ratchapak. From the second resurvey onward, the teams consisted primarily of seasoned enumerators from the monthly Microsurvey, as the dry season in early May is usually a time of relative inactivity in those villages. The enumerators of all resurveys are hired locally, and they are able speak the local dialects of Thai, including Lao and Khmer.

Data from the 1998 and 1999 resurvey were entered in Bangkok on the ISSA- LAN data entry system. Beginning in 2000 the data are entered directly onto an ACCESS data entry system. This allows direct entry of the open-ended Thai responses, and hence double-blind checks can be implemented not just for numeric answers but also for the entire instrument.


Household Annual Resurvey, 1998 (English)

Key Informant Annual Resurvey, 1998 (English)

Institutional Annual Resurvey, 1998 (English)

Data Summaries

"Townsend Thai Household Annual Resurvey: Urban and Rural Data Summaries" Robert M. Townsend and Suparit Suwanik (2016).

"Data Summary for 2005 - 2009 Urban Annual Resurvey" Hoai-Luu Nguyen (2013).

"Data Summary for 1998 - 2007 Key Informant Resurvey: Growth, Inequality, and Organizational Design," Nate Roth (2010).

"BAAC Dataset Summary Document," Akshay Birla (2009).

"Use of Financial Instruments in Thailand, 1997 - 2009," Esteban Puentes (2011).

Related Publications

"The Impact of Credit on Village Economies." Joseph P. Kaboski and Robert M. Townsend. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 4(2), April 2012: 98-133.

"The Geographic Concentration of Enterprise in Developing Countries." John Felkner and Robert M. Townsend. Quarterly Journal of Economics 126(4), 2011: 2005-2061.

"A Structural Evaluation of a Large-Scale Quasi-Experimental Microfinance Initiative." Joseph Kaboski and Robert M. Townsend. Econometrica 79(5), September 2011: 1357-1406.

"Financial Systems in Developing Economies: Growth, Inequality, and Policy Evaluation in Thailand." Robert M. Townsend. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.

"Welfare Gains from Financial Liberalization." Robert M. Townsend and Kenichi Ueda. International Economic Review 51(3), August 2010: 553-597.

"Selection Into and Across Credit Contracts: Theory and Field Research." Christian Ahlin and Robert M. Townsend. Journal of Econometrics 136(2), February 2007: 665-98.

"Using Repayment Data to Test Across Models of Joint Liability Lending." Christian Ahlin and Robert M. Townsend. Economic Journal 117(517), March 2007: F11-F51.

"Distinguishing Limited Liability from Moral Hazard in a Model of Entrepreneurship." Alex Karaivanov, Anna L. Paulson, and Robert M. Townsend. Journal of Political Economy 114(1), February 2006: 100-144.

"Financial Deepening, Inequality, and Growth: A Model-Based Quantitative Evaluation." Robert M. Townsend and Kenichi Ueda. Review of Economic Studies 73(1), January 2006: 251-293.

"Financial constraints and entrepreneurship: Evidence from the Thai financial crisis." Anna L. Paulson and Robert M. Townsend. Economic Perspectives, Third Quarter 2005, Vol. 29, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, pp. 34-48.

"Evaluation of Financial Liberalization: A general equilibrium model with constrained occupation choice." Xavier Giné and Robert M. Townsend. Journal of Development Economics 74(2), August 2004: 269-304.

"Sampling design for an integrated socioeconomic and ecological survey by using satellite remote sensing and ordination." Michael W. Binford, Tae Jeong Lee, and Robert M. Townsend. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101(31), August 2004: 11517-11522.

"Entrepreneurship and financial constraints in Thailand." Anna L. Paulson and Robert M. Townsend. Journal of Corporate Finance 10(2), March 2004: 229-262.

"Micro Credit and Mechanism Design." Robert M. Townsend. Journal of the European Economic Association, 1(2-3), 2003: 468-477.

"An Evaluation of Financial Institutions: Impact on Consumption and Investment Using Panel Data and the Theory of Risk-Bearing." Mauro Alem and Robert M. Townsend. Working paper.