Voluntary, Self-Regulatory and Mandatory Disclosure of Oil and Gas Company Payments to Foreign Governments

45 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2011 Last revised: 2 Mar 2016

Paul M. Healy

Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

George Serafeim

Harvard University - Harvard Business School

Date Written: July 1, 2015

Abstract

Transparency advocates argue that disclosure of oil and gas company payments to host governments for natural resources is a public good, helping to reduce corruption and increase accountability in resource rich countries. Yet we find a very low frequency of voluntary disclosures of payments to host governments by oil and gas firms, and negative stock price reactions for affected firms at the announcement of regulations mandating disclosure. This suggests that sample firm managers and their investors perceive that there are private costs of such voluntary disclosures, contributing to continued low transparency and weak governance in resource rich countries. However, we document that industry self-regulation has generated information to substitute for the gap in voluntary company disclosure. We also find some evidence that these disclosures are accompanied by lower country corruption ratings, suggesting that collective action may be an effective way for the industry to manage the private costs of disclosure and respond to public pressure to improve governance in resource rich countries.

Keywords: oil and gas, transparency, disclosure, corruption, competition, self regulation, regulation

JEL Classification: M14, M21, M40

Suggested Citation

Healy, Paul M. and Serafeim, George, Voluntary, Self-Regulatory and Mandatory Disclosure of Oil and Gas Company Payments to Foreign Governments (July 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1961404 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1961404

Paul M. Healy

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
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Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
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617-495-1283 (Phone)
617-496-7387 (Fax)

George Serafeim (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Business School ( email )

381 Morgan Hall
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=15705

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