Government Procurement and Changes in Firm Transparency
55 Pages Posted: 3 Jul 2018
Date Written: June 15, 2018
The government monitors its suppliers’ internal information processes to reduce uncertainty about the suppliers’ ability to fulfill their commitments. In this paper, I argue that these monitoring procedures improve the suppliers’ internal information, which in turn leads to higher quality external reporting. Using a dataset of U.S. government contracts, I find a positive relation between government contract awards and the quality of firms’ external reporting environment. Consistent with government monitoring of internal information processes driving this relation, I find that firms improve their external reporting when they first begin contracting with the government, and that the magnitude of the improvement varies predictably with contract characteristics that entail a greater degree of government scrutiny. Finally, I use the establishment of the Cost Accounting Standards Board (CASB) in 1970 as an exogenous shock to contractor monitoring, and find greater improvements in the external reporting environment among firms affected by the CASB’s monitoring requirements. Overall, these results suggest that monitoring by the government as a customer plays a role in shaping the firm’s information environment.
Keywords: government procurement, information environment, internal information processes
JEL Classification: D82, D83, G14, H57, M41, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation