Non-answers during Conference Calls
Journal of Accounting Research, forthcoming
92 Pages Posted: 4 Jan 2019 Last revised: 6 May 2021
Date Written: May 5, 2021
We construct a novel measure of disclosure choice by firms. Our measure is computed using linguistic analysis of conference calls to identify whether a manager’s response to an analyst question is a “non-answer.” Using our measure, about 11% of analyst questions elicit non-answers from managers, a rate that is stable over time and similar across industries. A useful feature of our measure is that it enables an examination of disclosure choice within a call. Analyst questions with a negative tone, greater uncertainty, greater complexity, or requests for greater detail are more likely to trigger non-answers. We find performance-related questions tend to be associated with non-answers, and this association is weaker when performance news is favorable. We also find analyst questions about proprietary information are associated with non-answers, and this association is stronger when firm competition is more intense.
Keywords: Voluntary disclosure, asymmetric information, conference calls, textual analysis
JEL Classification: D82, D83, G14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation