This paper explores the links between firms’ voluntary disclosures and their cost of capital. Existing studies investigate the relation between mandatory disclosures and cost of capital and find no cross-sectional effect but a negative association in time-series. In this paper, I find that when disclosure is voluntary firms that disclose their information have a lower cost of capital than firms that do not disclose, but the association between voluntary disclosure and cost of capital for disclosing and nondisclosing firms is positive in aggregate. I further examine whether reductions in cost of capital indicate improved risk-sharing or investment efficiency. I also find that high (low) disclosure frictions lead to overinvestment (underinvestment) relative to first-best. As average cost of capital proxies for risk-sharing but not investment efficiency, the relation between cost of capital and ex ante efficiency may be ambiguous and often irrelevant.
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: May 10, 2013
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