Monitoring and corporate disclosure: Evidence from a natural experiment
Using an experimental design that exploits exogenous reductions in coverage resulting from brokerage house mergers, we find that a reduction in coverage causes a deterioration in financial reporting quality. The effect of coverage on disclosure is more pronounced for firms with weak shareholder rights, consistent with a substitution effect between analyst monitoring and other corporate governance mechanisms. The effects we uncover using our experimental design are an order of magnitude larger than estimates from ordinary least squares regressions that do not account for the endogeneity of coverage. Overall, our results suggest that security analysts monitor managers and entrenched managers adopt less informative disclosure policies in the absence of such scrutiny.
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