Optimal Reporting Systems With Investor Information Acquisition

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Date

2016

Authors

Huang, Zeqiong

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Viswanathan, S.

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Abstract

This paper analyzes a manager's optimal ex-ante reporting system using a Bayesian persuasion approach (Kamenica and Gentzkow (2011)) in a setting where investors affect cash flows through their decision to finance the firm's investment opportunities, possibly assisted by the costly acquisition of additional information (inspection). I examine how the informativeness and the bias of the optimal system are determined by investors' inspection cost, the degree of incentive alignment between the manager and the investor, and the prior belief that the project is profitable. I find that a mis-aligned manager's system is informative

only when the market prior is pessimistic and is always positively biased; this bias decreases as investors' inspection cost decreases. In contrast, a well-aligned manager's system is fully revealing when investors' inspection cost is high, and is counter-cyclical to the market belief when the inspection cost is low: It is positively (negatively) biased when the market belief is pessimistic (optimistic). Furthermore, I explore the extent to which the results generalize to a case with managerial manipulation and discuss the implications for investment efficiency. Overall, the analysis describes the complex interactions among determinants of firm disclosures and governance, and offers explanations for the mixed empirical results in this area.

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Citation

Huang, Zeqiong (2016). Optimal Reporting Systems With Investor Information Acquisition. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/12214.

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