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The purpose of this paper is to investigate the cross-country determinants of the extent of firm information disseminated via company register (CR) websites.Design/methodology/approachThe authors develop an index model (CR score) designed to capture the extent of regulated firm information disseminated via CR websites. The proposed index is applied to a unique sample of 137 countries. Following prior literature, the proposed index covers three dimensions: data availability, data accessibility and data serviceability. The index composition and the URLs of the CR websites are provided as an exhibit to this paper.FindingsAcross a variety of tests and sample compositions, the authors find consistent evidence that countries with a relatively high level of internet penetration, those that facilitate cross-border trading and those with higher governance quality show higher CR scores. The results are generally in line with theories of regulation.Practical implicationsThe results of this paper speak directly to the current regulatory initiatives which aim to foster information acquisition and processing via company registers.Originality/valueThe authors provide early empirical evidence on the cross-country variation of dissemination of firm information via CR websites for a unique sample of 137 countries. Investors, analysts and other users of financial statements should be aware of the underlying factors that influence the extent and accessibility of firm information.
Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 22, 2019
Keywords: Regulation; Open data; Public interest; Company registers; Firm data dissemination
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