50 Pages Posted: 31 May 2012
Date Written: March 23, 2011
We study the causal effects of analyst coverage on corporate investment and financing policies. We hypothesize that a decrease in analyst coverage increases information asymmetry and thus increases the cost of capital; as a result, firms decrease their investment and financing. We use broker closures and broker mergers to identify changes in analyst coverage that are exogenous to corporate policies. Using a difference-in-differences approach, we find that firms that lose an analyst decrease their investment and financing by 1.9% and 2.0% of total assets, respectively, compared to similar firms that do not lose an analyst. These results are significantly stronger for firms that are smaller, have less analyst coverage, have a bigger increase in information asymmetry, and are more financially constrained.
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