The Effect of Market Transparency on Corporate Disclosure: Evidence from the Observability of Bond Prices and Trading

Georg A. Rickmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Market prices and trading are important information constructs that reveal information to market participants. I study how the observability of market prices and trading (hereafter, market transparency) affects firms’ disclosure incentives. I exploit the staggered introduction of TRACE, which made bond prices and transactions publicly observable. I find that firms provide more guidance when their bonds’ prices/trading become observable, suggesting that investors’ access to market information limits managers’ incentives to withhold information. This effect is stronger for firms whose revealed prices contain more new information, and it is more pronounced for the disclosure of bad news. I corroborate my results using (1) a controlled experiment, in which prices/trading were revealed for randomly selected bonds, and also (2) relevant threshold rules. Together, my results suggest that increased market transparency improves investors’ access to information not only directly, by revealing the information contained in returns/trading, but also indirectly, by increasing corporate disclosure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-397
Number of pages27
JournalAccounting Review
Volume97
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • bond market
  • corporate disclosure
  • market transparency
  • price transparency
  • regulation
  • TRACE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics

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