Why do You Speak English (in Your Annual Report)?

32 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2008

See all articles by Thomas Jeanjean

Thomas Jeanjean

ESSEC Business School - Department of Accounting and Management Control

Cédric Lesage

JMSB

Hervé Stolowy

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department

Date Written: October 14, 2008

Abstract

The dominance of English as a lingua franca in international business exchanges is so commonly accepted that there has been no investigation into the use of English as an external financial reporting language in non-English speaking countries. In this study we analyze the factors associated with the publication of an English-language annual report in non-English-speaking countries. Using a sample of 3,994 firms from 27 countries in 2003, we find that about 50% of the sample firms issue annual reports in English. Our findings suggest that the decision to publish an English annual report is related to the internationalization process (via foreign sales), language barriers (via language distance and language importance), governance (via ownership structure) and financial concerns (via the need for external financing, capital market size and cross-listing).

Keywords: International financial reporting, annual report, language, cost-benefit analysis, logistic regression

JEL Classification: M41, M45, M47, G34, G24

Suggested Citation

Jeanjean, Thomas and Lesage, Cédric and Stolowy, Hervé, Why do You Speak English (in Your Annual Report)? (October 14, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1284489 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1284489

Thomas Jeanjean

ESSEC Business School - Department of Accounting and Management Control ( email )

Av Bernard Hirsch
Cergy-Pontoise 95021
France

Cédric Lesage

JMSB ( email )

1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8
Canada

Hervé Stolowy (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex
France
+33 1 39 67 94 42 (Phone)
+33 1 39 67 70 86 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hec.fr/stolowy

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