The Real Effects of Modern Information Technologies: Evidence from the EDGAR Implementation
Journal of Accounting Research, Forthcoming
57 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020 Last revised: 4 Jun 2023
Date Written: June 3, 2023
Using the implementation of the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system from 1993 to 1996 as a shock to information dissemination technologies, we examine how a significant reduction in disclosure processing costs affects the real economy. We find that the EDGAR implementation leads to an increase in corporate investment and that this effect is concentrated in value firms. We provide evidence that improved equity financing and enhanced managerial incentives are likely the underlying mechanisms. Specifically, the EDGAR implementation leads to an increase in a firm’s stock liquidity, a decrease in the cost of equity capital, and an increase in the level of equity financing. Consistent with the monitoring effect of broad information dissemination, the EDGAR implementation leads to an increase in a firm’s operating performance. Our findings suggest that it is important to consider information dissemination beyond information production when examining the real effects of corporate disclosures.
Keywords: Corporate Investment, Information Technologies, EDGAR, Equity Financing, Managerial Incentives.
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G31, M41.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation