Disclosure Processing Costs and Market Feedback Around the World


Investors' incentive to acquire private information—and the extent it is reflected in price—is a function of disclosure processing costs. Theory predicts that if these costs change, the amount the manager can learn from price will also vary. To provide evidence on this issue, we exploit the worldwide introduction of centralized electronic disclosure systems, which, like the SEC’s EDGAR, substantially reduces disclosure processing costs. Leveraging country- and firm-level variation resulting from these platforms' adoptions, we find an economically significant decrease in investment sensitivity to price. Moreover, we find that higher levels of country-wide technology use, more developed capital markets, and better regulatory environments mute this decline in investment sensitivity to price. Collectively, our findings show that technology adoptions that reduce disclosure processing costs have real effects on the economy.

Working Paper
Edward M. Watts
Edward M. Watts
Assistant Professor of Accounting

Edward Watts is an Assistant Professor of Accounting at the Yale School of Management.