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The impact of voluntary corporate disclosures on the ex-ante cost of capital for Swiss firms

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  • Luzi Hail
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    Abstract

    The relationship between disclosure quality and cost of equity capital is an important topic in today's economy. In general, economic theory and anecdotal evidence suggest a negative association. Empirical work on this link, however, is confronted with major methodological drawbacks - neither disclosure level nor cost of capital can be observed directly - and has documented somewhat confounding results so far. Adopting a finite horizon version of the residual income model, I provide evidence on the nature of the above relationship and try to quantify the effect of a firm's voluntary disclosure policy on its implied cost of capital. Switzerland seems especially suited for an analysis of this kind given that Swiss firms have considerable reporting discretion and the mandated level of disclosure is low. For a cross-sectional sample of seventy-three non-financial companies I show a negative and highly significant association between the two variables. The magnitude is such that the most forthcoming firms enjoy about a 1.8 to 2.4% cost advantage over the least forthcoming firms. The findings persist even after controlling for other potentially influential variables, e.g. risk characteristics and firm size. Furthermore, adjusting for self-selection bias - a major concern in disclosure studies - the marginal effect remains of the same direction and even increases in magnitude, although at lower levels of statistical significance. One reason for the strong relationship might be found in differing institutional factors between the US and Swiss capital markets.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal European Accounting Review.

    Volume (Year): 11 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 741-773

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:11:y:2002:i:4:p:741-773

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    Cited by:
    1. He, William Peng & Lepone, Andrew & Leung, Henry, 2013. "Information asymmetry and the cost of equity capital," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 611-620.
    2. Hagemeister, Meike & Kempf, Alexander, 2007. "CAPM und erwartete Renditen: Eine Untersuchung auf Basis der Erwartung von Marktteilnehmern," CFR Working Papers 07-01, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
    3. Garcia-Meca, Emma & Martinez, Isabel, 2007. "The use of intellectual capital information in investment decisions: An empirical study using analyst reports," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 57-81.
    4. Larcker, David F. & Rusticus, Tjomme O., 2010. "On the use of instrumental variables in accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 186-205, April.
    5. Nadia Loukil & Ouidad Yousfi, 2013. "Firm's Information Environment and Stock Liquidity : Evidence from Tunisian Context," Papers 1304.4852, arXiv.org.
    6. Cheng Chee Mun, Eugene & Courtenay, Stephen M. & Rahman, Asheq R., 2011. "Effects of prior voluntary disclosure on earnings announcements in an environment with low information and regulation," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 308-329, June.
    7. Timothy Fogarty & Garen Markarian & Antonio Parbonetti, 2006. "It's a Small World After All: The Convergence of Disclosure Practices Across Legal Regimes over Time," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0014, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    8. Omaima Hassan & Claire Marston, 2010. "Disclosure measurement in the empirical accounting literature - a review article," Accountancy Discussion Papers 1004, Accountancy Research Group, Heriot Watt University.
    9. Hassan, Omaima A.G. & Romilly, Peter & Giorgioni, Gianluigi & Power, David, 2009. "The value relevance of disclosure: Evidence from the emerging capital market of Egypt," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 79-102, March.
    10. Paugam, Luc, 2011. "Valorisation et reporting du goodwill : enjeux théoriques et empiriques," Economics Thesis from University Paris Dauphine, Paris Dauphine University, number 123456789/8007 edited by Casta, Jean-François, September.
    11. Benito Arruñada, 2011. "Mandatory accounting disclosure by small private companies," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 32(3), pages 377-413, December.
    12. Missonier-Piera, Franck, 2007. "Motives for fixed-asset revaluation: An empirical analysis with Swiss data," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 186-205.
    13. Boujelbene, Mohamed, 2013. "The impact of intellectual capital disclosure on cost of equity capital: A case of French firms," Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, Universidad ESAN, vol. 18(34), pages 45-53.
    14. Hail, Luzi & Leuz, Christian, 2009. "Cost of capital effects and changes in growth expectations around U.S. cross-listings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(3), pages 428-454, September.
    15. Lopes, Alexsandro Broedel & de Alencar, Roberta Carvalho, 2010. "Disclosure and cost of equity capital in emerging markets: The Brazilian case," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 45(4), pages 443-464, December.
    16. Schmidt, Marko & Grigoleit, Jens & Nippa, Michael, 2009. "Die Auswirkungen der Unternehmenstransparenz auf den Erfolg börsenorientierter Kapitalgesellschaften in Deutschland - Eine Darstellung des aktuellen Forschungsstandes," Freiberg Working Papers 2009,01, TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

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