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Information Environment and the Cost of Equity Capital

41 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2005  

Rodrigo S. Verdi

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Date Written: July 7, 2005


This paper evaluates empirical proxies used to assess whether increased information risk increases the implied equity cost of capital (COC). Prior theory and empirical work offer mixed predictions and evidence on whether information risk is priced. I use principal component analysis (PCA) to aggregate previously used information risk indicators into three constructs: (1) Information Asymmetry, (2) Uncertainty, and (3) Value Relevance. Uncertainty has a significant positive relation with the COC, Asymmetry has a significant negative relation, and Value Relevance has no relation. In addition, the relation between Asymmetry and the COC is sensitive to the use of alternative COC measures. I find that indicators that ex-ante load on the same construct produce ex-post conflicting estimates on the COC. Overall, the results suggest that the choice of the proxy for information risk and the choice of COC measure can affect the inference from tests of whether increased information risk increases the COC.

Keywords: Information asymmetry, information uncertainty, cost of equity capital

JEL Classification: G12, G14, D82, G30, M41

Suggested Citation

Verdi, Rodrigo S., Information Environment and the Cost of Equity Capital (July 7, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Rodrigo S. Verdi (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )

Sloan School of Management
100 Main Street E62-666
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
(617) 253 2956 (Phone)

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