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Does a Firm's Exposure to Ethical Issues Matter to Financial Markets? A Governance Perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Denis Cormier

    () (ESG UQAM)

  • Michel Magnan

    (Concordia University)

Abstract

This paper investigates if a firm's ethical issues, in conjunction with its governance, affect its standing within financial markets. A firm's ethical reputation arises from its involvement in ethical violations and incidents while a comprehensive index proxies for governance. We assess a firm's standing within financial markets through two complementary perspectives, i.e., the level of information asymmetry between managers and investors as inferred from analyst forecast dispersion and analyst forecast error and the relation between a firm's earnings and its stock market valuation (value relevance). Our results suggest that a firm's ethical reputation affects financial analysts' forecasts as well as the stock market value assigned to its reported earnings. Moreover, it appears that corporate governance moderates such relations, with strong (weak) governance compensating for a weak (strong) ethical reputation. Overall, our evidence shows that ethical issues do not seem to pay.

Suggested Citation

  • Denis Cormier & Michel Magnan, 2014. "Does a Firm's Exposure to Ethical Issues Matter to Financial Markets? A Governance Perspective," GREDEG Working Papers 2014-32, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), University of Nice Sophia Antipolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2014-32
    as

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    File URL: http://www.gredeg.cnrs.fr/working-papers/GREDEG-WP-2014-32.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2014
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Keywords

    Corporate governance; ethical issues; information asymmetry; stock markets;

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