Posted: 23 Jul 2014 Last revised: 9 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 24, 2016
We study a disclosure decision for a firm's manager with many sources of private information. The presence of multiple numerical signals provides the manager with an opportunity to hide information via aggregation, presenting net amounts in order to show information in its best light. We show that this ability to aggregate fundamentally changes the nature of voluntary disclosure, due to the market's inability to verify that a report is free of strategic aggregation. We find that, in equilibrium, the manager fully discloses if and only if the manager's private information makes the firm look sufficiently weak. By separating bad news from good news, a disaggregate report informs the market of as much offsetting news as possible, revealing how close the news is to a neutral benchmark. The result is therefore pooling at the top and separation at the bottom, the opposite of what transpires with a single news source.
Keywords: Aggregation, Disclosure, Persuasion, Reporting Discretion, Segment Reporting, Sender-Receiver Games
JEL Classification: M41, D82, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation