Toward a Positive Theory of Disclosure Regulation: In Search of Institutional Foundations
46 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2012 Last revised: 17 Aug 2013
Date Written: September 22, 2012
This article develops a theory of standard-setting in which accounting standards emerge endogenously from an institutional bargaining process. It provides a unified framework with investment and voluntary disclosure to examine the links between regulatory institutions and accounting choice. Disclosure rules tend to be more comprehensive when controlled by a self-regulated professional organization than when they are under the direct oversight of elected politicians. These institutions may not implement standards desirable to diversified investors and, when voluntary disclosures are possible, allowing choice between competing standards increases market value over a single uniform standard. Several new testable hypotheses are also offered to explain differences in accounting regulations.
Keywords: capital market, disclosure, accounting standards, standard-setting, theory
JEL Classification: C78, D02, D04, D71, D72, D79, G28, L51, M41, M48
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