Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

9-2016

Abstract

Prior research based on U.S. data finds that firms with better information quality raise more equity whereas firms with poorer information quality prefer to issue debt when they seek external financing. Little is known about whether the same conclusion holds outside the U.S. and how the country-level institutional environment influences the relation between information quality and capital structure choices. We examine the relation between accounting information quality (measured by earnings precision, accruals quality, and analyst consensus) and financial leverage across 24 countries and whether that relation varies systematically with country-level investor protection and financial orientation. We document a lower financial leverage for firms with better information quality. More importantly, we find a stronger relation between information quality and financial leverage in countries with weaker investor protection and more market-oriented economies. These cross-country results suggest that information quality is especially important in shaping a firm's capital structure decision when investor demand for information is greater.

Keywords

capital structure, financial leverage, information quality, investor protection, bank-oriented economy, market-oriented economy

Discipline

Accounting | Corporate Finance

Research Areas

Corporate Reporting and Disclosure

Publication

Journal of International Accounting Research

Volume

15

Issue

3

First Page

131

Last Page

156

ISSN

1542-6297

Identifier

10.2308/jiar-51606

Publisher

American Accounting Association

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org./10.2308/jiar-51606

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