NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Catherine Schrand

University of Pennsylvania

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2009Disclosure and the Cost of Capital: Evidence from Firms' Responses to the Enron Shock
with Christian Leuz: w14897
This paper examines the link between disclosure and the cost of capital. We exploit an exogenous cost of capital shock created by the Enron scandal in Fall 2001 and analyze firms' disclosure responses to this shock. These tests are opposite to the typical research design that analyzes cost of capital responses to disclosure changes. In reversing the tests and using an exogenous shock, we mitigate concerns about omitted variables in traditional cross-sectional disclosure studies. We estimate shocks to firms' betas around the Enron events and the ensuing transparency crisis. Our analysis shows that these beta shocks are associated with increased disclosure. Firms expand the number of pages of their annual 10-K filings, notably the sections containing the financial statements and footnotes. T...
 
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