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CFGE-19: Information and disclosure
Panda Games: Corporate Disclosure in the Eclipse of Search
1The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China, People's Republic of; 2Fudan University; 3Indiana University
We show that firms strategically alter their disclosure behavior when the channel to transmit information is severed. We conduct a textual analysis and exploit an exogenous event—Google’s 2010 surprising withdrawal from mainland China, which significantly hampered domestic investors’ ability to access foreign information. Following Google’s exit, Chinese firms’ announcements on their foreign transactions become more bullish in comparison to similar announcements prior to the exit and to those that involve only domestic transactions. This effect is mitigated in the presence of foreign investors or analysts affiliated with foreign brokers, who are not subject to foreign information censorship by the Chinese government. Moreover, compared to firms that operate domestically, firms with foreign operations issue rosier annual reports and their information environments become more opaque after Google’s departure. These optimistic announcements or annual reports allow insiders to sell more shares at a higher price.
Corporate Disclosure as a Tacit Coordination Mechanism: Evidence from Cartel Enforcement Regulations
1Columbia Business School, United States of America; 2Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
We empirically study how collusion in product markets affects firms’ financial disclosure strategies. We find that after a rise in cartel enforcement, U.S. firms start sharing more detailed information in their financial disclosure about their customers, contracts, and products. This new information potentially benefits peers by helping to tacitly coordinate actions in product markets. Indeed, changes in disclosure are associated with higher future profitability. Our findings suggest that transparency in financial statements can come at the expense of consumer welfare.
Credit Score Doctor
1Michigan State University, United States of America; 2Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; 3Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School
We study how the existence of cutoffs in credit scores affects the behavior of homebuyers. Borrowers are more likely to purchase houses after their credit scores cross over a cutoff to qualify them for the next bin. However, the credit accounts of these individuals (crossover group) are more likely to become delinquent within the next four years after home purchases than the accounts of those who had stayed in the same bin (noncrossover group). The effect is not only concentrated at subprime bins, but in other bins as well. It is not limited to pre-crisis period nor curtailed by post-bust reforms. Using recent house price growth to proxy for the incentives for home purchases, we find that the gap in the delinquency rate between crossover and non-crossover groups is larger for areas with higher recent house price growth. Overall, our results indicate that the credit score at the time of home purchase may not be sufficiently informative because of individuals’ strategic behavior, and suggest the importance of using the full history of credit scores rather than only the latest draw in making lending decisions.
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