On the value of transparency in agencies with renegotiation

Frank B. Gigler, Thomas Hemmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we study when it is advantageous to improve corporate transparency by allowing shareholders direct access to corporate information and when it is preferable to rely on a reporting system in which shareholders only gain access to information that management chooses to disclose. We show that in an agency model that allows for contract renegotiation, the desirability of a fully transparent reporting regime hinges on the stewardship properties of the information in question. Specifically, information that is mainly useful for predicting future events and of little use for evaluating past actions should only be made available to the public through management's self-interested disclosures. Only if the information is useful for making inference about managerial actions can it be optimal to have full corporate transparency, so that outsiders have independent access to the same information as management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)871-893
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Accounting Research
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2004

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