Volume 18, Numbers 1 & 2 / March/June , Pages 1-167
A Tale of Beauties and Beasts: Testing the Optimal Disclosure Hypothesis
Multinational Finance Journal, 2014, vol. 18, no. 1/2, pp. 139-167
Håkan Jankensgård , Lund University, Sweden    Corresponding Author

According to the cost-of-capital hypothesis, increased voluntary disclosure should reduce information asymmetries, lower the cost of capital, and increase firm value. The optimal-disclosure hypothesis, however, predicts that costs related to voluntary disclosure lead to the existence of an interior optimum of disclosure that maximizes firm value. These hypotheses are empirically tested using a previously unexplored database that covers disclosure rankings for listed Swedish firms between 2007 and 2012 (rendering around 1000 firm-years). The evidence is consistent with the optimal-disclosure hypothesis. I find a robust quadratic relationship between Tobin’s Q and the level of disclosure in annual reports. I find no significant relationship, however, between Tobin’s Q and disclosure in quarterly reports or web-based reporting.

Keywords : voluntary disclosure, cost of capital, Tobin’s Q, optimal disclosure
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