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The determinants of voluntary financial disclosure by Swiss listed companies

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  • Bernard Raffournier

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to relate the extent of disclosure in the annual reports of Swiss listed companies to possible determinants representing agency and political costs. The choice of Switzerland is based on the fact that, prior to the implementation of the new company law on 1 July 1992 Swiss disclosure requirements were very low, so that the major part of the content of the annual report could be considered as voluntarily disclosed. The sample includes the 1991 annual report of 161 industrial and commercial firms. The extent of disclosure is measured by an index based on information whose disclosure is required by the Fourth and Seventh EU Directives. Independent variables are measures of company size, leverage, profitability, ownership structure, internationality, auditor's size, percentage of fixed assets and industry type. Relations are assessed using univariate analyses and multiple regressions. The main result is that size and internationality play a major role in the disclosure policy of firms, large and internationally diversified companies tending to disclose more information than small purely domestic enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Bernard Raffournier, 1995. "The determinants of voluntary financial disclosure by Swiss listed companies," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 261-280.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:4:y:1995:i:2:p:261-280
    DOI: 10.1080/09638189500000016
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