Does Disclosure Deter or Trigger Litigation?
Laura Casares Field
University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics
Boston College - Carroll School of Management
Journal of Accounting & Economics, Forthcoming
Securities litigation poses large costs to firms. The risk of litigation is heightened when firms have unexpectedly large earnings disappointments. Previous literature presents mixed evidence on whether voluntary disclosure of the bad news prior to regularly scheduled earnings announcements deters or triggers litigation. We show that the counterintuitive finding in prior literature that disclosure triggers litigation could be driven by the endogeneity between disclosure and litigation. Using a simultaneous equations methodology, we find no evidence that disclosure triggers litigation. In fact, consistent with economic arguments, our evidence suggests that disclosure potentially deters certain types of litigation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Shareholder litigation, Earnings disclosures, Endogeneity
JEL Classification: M41, K22, G39, C30
Date posted: October 15, 2004 ; Last revised: October 26, 2011