The Information Content of Corporate Earnings: Evidence from the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Forthcoming in Journal of Accounting Research
54 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2020 Last revised: 11 Mar 2022
Date Written: July 21, 2021
We examine whether the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 increased the information content of corporate earnings disclosures. Prior research questions whether the Act improved disclosure quality but generally relies on long-window tests and yields mixed results. We focus on whether the Act increased earnings informativeness, improving upon prior designs by focusing on short earnings announcement windows and employing a difference-in-differences design to control for potential contemporaneous structural changes. We document an increase in earnings informativeness following the Act, which is larger for treatment firms (which withheld disclosure before the Act) than for control firms. The increase in informativeness is more pronounced for firms that are subject to stronger enforcement.
Keywords: Mandatory disclosure, Earnings announcements, Information content
JEL Classification: G14, G18, M40, M41, M48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation