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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Since 2001, the number of financial statement line items forecasted by analysts and managers that I/B/E/S and FactSet capture in their data feeds has soared. Using this new data, we find that 13 item surprises—11 income statement and 2 cash flow statement analyst and management guidance surprises—reliably explain firms’ signed earnings announcement returns.

We document evidence of a positive association between public firm presence and import competition. Using cross-sectional differences in the expected costs of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act as an instrument for changes in public firm presence after the Act, we find evidence that public firm presence cause changes in import competition. Subsequent mechanism tests suggest that this effect arises because U.S. securities regulation requires public firms to prepare and make publicly available audited financial reports. Although these reports are purportedly for the benefit of investors, our mechanism tests suggest that foreign competitors also make use of the performance and investment information disclosed in these reports to compete with U.S. firms.

We utilize the time period over which banking authorities discussed, adopted, and implemented Basel III to examine the financial reporting and operational decisions firms use to respond to proposed regulation. Our primary finding is that the banks affected by this proposal made strategic financial reporting changes and altered their business models prior to the regulation being enacted.

May 22, 2019

Anomaly Time

We examine when anomaly returns occur. We use a powerful database that contains the precise date on which accounting information is first made public. Despite recent findings to the contrary, once timing is considered, anomalies exist in the data.

This study investigates the determinants of goodwill impairment decisions by firms applying IFRS based on a comprehensive sample of stock-listed firms from 21 countries. Multivariate logistical regression findings indicate that goodwill impairment incidence is negatively associated with economic performance, but also related to proxies for managerial and firm-level incentives.

Using unique data on employee ownership plans sponsored by U.S. public companies, we find that large negative market shocks lead to active changes in portfolio choices among inexperienced and previously inattentive investors. We use employee ownership plans to identify a set of inexperienced investors who did not actively select to participate in the market and who are confronted with a difficult financial decision.

We document marked trends in 10-K disclosure over the period 1996–2013, with increases in length, boilerplate, stickiness, and redundancy and decreases in specificity, readability, and the relative amount of hard information. We use Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) to examine specific topics and find that new FASB and SEC requirements explain most of the increase in length and that 3 of the 150 topics—fair value, internal controls, and risk factor disclosures—account for virtually all of the increase. These three disclosures also play a major role in explaining the trends in the remaining textual characteristics.

Feb 9, 2017

IRS Attention

We study how public and private disclosure requirements interact to influence both tax regulator enforcement and firm disclosure. We find that, following Schedule UTP, firms significantly increased the quantity and altered the content of their tax‐related disclosures, consistent with lower tax‐related proprietary costs of disclosure. Our results suggest that changes in SEC disclosure requirements altered the IRS's behavior with regard to public information acquisition, and, relatedly, changes in IRS private disclosure requirements appear to change firms’ public disclosure behavior.

A fundamental property of accrual accounting is to smooth temporary timing fluctuations in operating cash flows, indicating an inherent negative correlation between accruals and cash flows. We show that the overall correlation between accruals and cash flows has dramatically declined in magnitude over the past half century and has largely disappeared in more recent years.

We empirically study the impact of the entry of a new theater on two important product decisions that incumbents in the movie exhibition industry face: (1) whether to invest in screening movies that are expected to be popular, and (2) when to adopt new releases. For theaters, both of these decisions feature a cost-demand trade-off inherent in quality decisions: Although screening popular and recent movies brings more patrons to the theater, distributors take a higher share of the revenue for such movies.

A retailer cannot sell more than it has in stock; therefore, its sales observations are a censored representation of the underlying demand process. When a retailer forecasts demand based on past sales observations, it requires an estimation approach that accounts for this censoring. Several authors have analyzed inventory management with demand learning in environments with censored observations, but the authors assume that inventory levels are known and hence that stockouts are observed.

By 2012, all European Union countries began requiring the disclosure of large short positions. This regime change reduced short interest, bid-ask spreads, and the informativeness of prices. After specific disclosures, short-run abnormal returns are insignificantly negative, but 90-day cumulative abnormal returns are –5.23%.