Disclosure and the Outcome of Securities Litigation
Review of Accounting Studies, 24(1): 230-263 (2019).
48 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2015 Last revised: 29 Aug 2019
Date Written: October 16, 2018
We examine the impact of disclosure by defendant firms on the outcome of securities fraud class actions. We hypothesize that firms issuing more disclosures will experience more adverse litigation outcomes, given the strict pleading standards of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (PSLRA). Using broad measures of disclosure derived from press releases issued during the class period, we find that more disclosure by the defendant firm does indeed lead to a higher likelihood of settlement rather than dismissal. We strengthen the inference that the features of the PSLRA create a positive relationship between overall disclosure and the likelihood of settlement by showing that the relationship holds when controlling for forward-looking disclosure and ex ante litigation risk, and by providing evidence that more public disclosures allow plaintiffs to present more extensive cases.
Keywords: disclosure, litigation, securities fraud
JEL Classification: K22, G18, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation