The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, I attempt a taxonomy of the extant accounting literature on disclosure: that is, a categorization of the various models of disclosure in the literature into well-integrated topics. With regard to the taxonomy, I suggest three broad categories of disclosure research in accounting. The first category, which I dub “association-based disclosure”, is work that studies the effect of exogenous disclosure on the cumulative change or disruption in investors’ individual actions, primarily through the behavior of asset equilibrium prices and trading volume. The second category, which I dub “discretionary-based disclosure”, is work that examines how managers and/or firms exercise discretion with regard to the disclosure of information about which they may have knowledge. The third category, which I dub “efficiency-based disclosure”, is work that discusses which disclosure arrangements are preferred in the absence of prior knowledge of the information, that is, preferred unconditionally. Then, in the final section of the paper, I recommend information asymmetry reduction as one potential starting point for a comprehensive theory of disclosure. That is, I recommend information asymmetry reduction as a vehicle to integrate the efficiency of disclosure choice, the incentives to disclose, and the endogeneity of the capital market process as it involves the interactions among individual and diverse investors.
Journal of Accounting and Economics – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2001
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