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Information Asymmetry, Information Precision, and the Cost of Capital

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  • Richard A. Lambert
  • Christian Leuz
  • Robert E. Verrecchia

Abstract

The consequences of information differences across investors in capital markets are still much debated. This paper examines the relation between information differences across investors and the cost of capital, and makes three points. First, in models of perfect competition, information differences across investors affect a firm's cost of capital through investors' average information precision, and not information asymmetry per se. Second, the average precision effect of information that is heterogeneously distributed across investors is unlikely to diversify away when there exist many firms whose cash flows covary. Thus, better disclosure can reduce a firm's cost of capital. Third, the precision effect does not give rise to a separate information-risk factor. These points are important to empirical research in accounting and finance, as well as to regulators who debate future disclosure requirements and the consequences of prior requirements such as Regulation Fair Disclosure.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard A. Lambert & Christian Leuz & Robert E. Verrecchia, 2009. "Information Asymmetry, Information Precision, and the Cost of Capital," NBER Working Papers 14881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14881
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    1. repec:wsi:rpbfmp:v:20:y:2017:i:03:n:s0219091517500217 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Bruno Maria Parigi & Loriana Pelizzon & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2013. "Stock Market Returns, Corporate Governance and Capital Market Equilibrium," CESifo Working Paper Series 4496, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Hua-Wei Huang & Mai Dao & James M. Fornaro, 2016. "Corporate governance, SFAS 157 and cost of equity capital: evidence from US financial institutions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 141-177, January.
    4. Lof, Matthijs & Bommel, Jos van, 2018. "Asymmetric information and the distribution of trading volume," Research Discussion Papers 1/2018, Bank of Finland.
    5. Andrei, Daniel & Cujean, Julien, 2017. "Information percolation, momentum and reversal," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(3), pages 617-645.
    6. Olga Plesco & Ludmila Sobol, 2013. "The Issue Of Asymmetric Information Upon The Capital Market," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 5(2), pages 254-266.
    7. James J. Choi & Li Jin & Hongjun Yan, 2013. "Informed Trading and Expected Returns," NBER Working Papers 18680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Gao, Pingyang, 2008. "Disclosure Quality, Cost of Capital, and Investors’ Welfare," MPRA Paper 9478, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Jun 2008.
    9. repec:eee:riibaf:v:44:y:2018:i:c:p:239-255 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Hua-Wei Huang & Mai Dao & James Fornaro, 2016. "Corporate governance, SFAS 157 and cost of equity capital: evidence from US financial institutions," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 46(1), pages 141-177, January.
    11. repec:ibn:ibrjnl:v:10:y:2017:i:9:p:141-158 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

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