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Capital Structure, Cost of Capital, and Voluntary Disclosures, Accounting Review

Abstract

This paper develops a model of external financing that jointly determines a firm's capital structure, its voluntary disclosure policy, and its cost of capital. We study a setting in which investors who provide financing to a firm in exchange for securities issued by the firm sometimes incur trading losses when they subsequently trade their securities with a superiorly informed trader. Both the firms' disclosure policy and the structure of the firms' securities determine the informational advantage of the superiorly informed trader which in turn determines both the size of investors trading losses and the firms' cost of capital. In this setting, among other things, we establish: there is a hierarchy of optimal securities that varies with the volatility of the firms' cash flows, that an increase in the volatility of the firms' cash flows is associated with: an increase in the amount of debt in the firms' capital structure; a reduction in the firms' voluntary disclosures; and an increase in the firms' cost of capital. The model predicts a negative association between firms' cost of capital and the extent of information they disclose voluntarily. This negative association does not imply, however, that more expansive voluntary disclosure causes firms cost of capital to decline. The paper also documents how imposing mandatory disclosure requirements can alter firms' voluntary disclosure decisions, their capital structure choices, and their cost of capital.

Type

Article

Author(s)

Jeremy Bertomeu, Anne Beyer, Ronald A. Dye

Date Published

2011

Citations

Bertomeu, Jeremy, Anne Beyer, and Ronald A. Dye. 2011. Capital Structure, Cost of Capital, and Voluntary Disclosures. Accounting Review. 86(3): 857.

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