Please join me in congratulating Hal White, whose paper, “Private Disclosure and Myopia: Evidence from the JOBS Act” (coauthored with Kimball Chapman and Badryah Alhusaini) has been accepted for publication in the Review of Accounting Studies. Here is the abstract:
In this paper, we examine whether a regulatory shift allowing more private firm disclosure leads to less myopia. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012 permits a subset of firms to meet privately with potential investors in the months before an IPO, allowing them to provide information without proprietary cost concerns, leading to more complete disclosure. Consistent with a reduction in myopia, we find that these firms are less likely to manage earnings to beat short-term benchmarks, are punished less harshly by the market (via stock price declines) when they do miss the earnings benchmark, and provide fewer short-horizon forecasts. We also find that firm disclosures are less short-term focused, investors have longer holding periods than do those same investors in non-JOBS Act IPO firms and that these firms attract more long-term investors. Our results hold (i) across the subsample of firms for which other JOBS Act provisions were already present, and (ii) after controlling for those other provisions, consistent with private discussions acting as the primary mechanism. Our results are also strongest for firms with higher proprietary costs, consistent with private disclosure reducing myopia by reducing proprietary cost concerns. Collectively, this evidence suggests that when firms are able to privately disclose information to investors, both firms and investors become less myopic.