Mandatory Disclosure, Asymmetric Information and Liquidity: The Impact of the 1934 Act
Charles M. Jones
Columbia Business School - Finance and Economics
Stanford Law School
March 15, 2005
AFA 2006 Boston Meetings Paper
We study the effect of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 on common stock bid-ask spreads and other information measures. Among other things, the 1934 Act mandated a complete, audited income statement and balance sheet. Prior to the 1934 Act, some firms disclosed sales or depreciation, and some chose not to. Some firms reported audited financials; some did not. If disclosures and audits reduce information asymmetries, the 1934 Act should have a differential effect across these stocks. We find that a firm's disclosure status in 1933 has little to do with the evolution of its information measures. Overall, we find that cross-sectional differences in mandatory disclosure had little measurable effect on the degree of information asymmetry.
JEL Classification: G14, K22, N22working papers series
Date posted: March 23, 2005
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