Between a Rock and a Hard Place: New Evidence on the Relationship between Ownership and Voluntary Disclosure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Combining two Swedish databases with unique strengths I show empirically that stray firms, i.e. those lacking a controlling owner, have lower voluntary disclosure in financial reports (that is, information provided beyond what is formally required). This suggests managers prefer to withhold information to maximize their discretion over corporate policies. I also show that disclosure initially increases with block ownership, reflecting increased incentives to monitor and stronger governance. However, when block ownership exceeds a certain threshold level (>50%), disclosure starts to decrease, reflecting another conflict of interest, namely between minority and controlling owners. Evidence of this non-linear relationship is novel in the literature and may account for the mixed evidence in previous research. Moreover, I report findings on the impact of institutional, foreign, under-diversified, and controlling minority-owners, concluding that ownership structure has major implications for voluntary disclosure.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Business Administration

Keywords

  • voluntary disclosure, ownership, monitoring, agency costs, block ownership, G30, G32
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-291
JournalInternational Review of Financial Analysis
Volume56
Early online date2017 Sep 25
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes