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Transparency, Liquidity, and Valuation: International Evidence

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  • Lang, Mark

    (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

  • Lins, Karl V.

    (University of Utah)

  • Maffett, Mark

    (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Abstract

We examine the relation between transparency, stock market liquidity, and valuation for a global sample of firms. Following the prior literature, we argue that transaction costs will be higher and investors will be less willing to transact if they perceive significant issues with respect to transparency, particularly in international settings where potential information effects are more pronounced Consistent with expectations, we document lower transaction costs and greater liquidity (as measured by lower bid-ask spreads and fewer zero return days) when transparency is likely to be higher (as measured by less evidence of earnings management, better accounting standards, higher quality auditors, more analyst following and more accurate analyst forecasts). We also find evidence that the relation between transparency and liquidity is more pronounced when country-level investor protections and disclosure requirements are poor, suggesting that firm-level transparency matters most when country-level institutions are weak. Finally, we provide evidence that increased liquidity is associated with lower implied cost of capital based on an analyst-forecast-based valuation model, and with higher valuation as measured by Tobin's Q. Magnitudes are substantial, with an interquartile increase in transparency in a low investor protection country associated with a decrease in bid-ask spread from 1.9% to 0.9% and a decrease in cost of capital of 62 basis points.

Suggested Citation

  • Lang, Mark & Lins, Karl V. & Maffett, Mark, 2009. "Transparency, Liquidity, and Valuation: International Evidence," Working Papers 09-3, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:upafin:09-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Akinobu Shuto & Takuya Iwasaki, 2014. "Stable Shareholdings, the Decision Horizon Problem and Earnings Smoothing," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(9-10), pages 1212-1242, November.
    2. Atwood, T.J. & Drake, Michael S. & Myers, Linda A., 2010. "Book-tax conformity, earnings persistence and the association between earnings and future cash flows," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 111-125, May.
    3. Andrew Ellul & Tullio Jappelli & Marco Pagano & Fausto Panunzi, 2016. "Transparency, Tax Pressure, and Access to Finance," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(1), pages 37-76.
    4. Baele, Lieven & De Bruyckere, Valerie & De Jonghe, Olivier & Vander Vennet, Rudi, 2014. "Do stock markets discipline US Bank Holding Companies: Just monitoring, or also influencing?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 124-145.
    5. Vander Vennet Rudi & De Jonghe Olivier & De Bruyckere Valerie & Baele Lieven, 2011. "Enhancing Bank Transparency: Risk Ineffciency as a Market Disciplining Mechanism," 2011 Meeting Papers 559, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Prommin, Panu & Jumreornvong, Seksak & Jiraporn, Pornsit & Tong, Shenghui, 2016. "Liquidity, ownership concentration, corporate governance, and firm value: Evidence from Thailand," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 73-87.

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