ABSTRACT

Using the transition of U.S. firms from annual reporting to semi-annual reporting and then to quarterly reporting over the period 1950–1970, we provide evidence on the effects of increased reporting frequency on firms' investment decisions. Estimates from difference-in-differences specifications indicate that increased reporting frequency is associated with an economically large decline in investments. Additional analyses reveal that the decline in investments is most consistent with frequent financial reporting inducing myopic management behavior. Our evidence informs the recent controversial debate about eliminating quarterly reporting for U.S. corporations.

JEL Classifications: M40; M41; G30; G31.

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