In this article, we examine the association between ethics and disclosure and the impact of this association on the long-term, post-issue performance of seasoned equity offerings (SEOs). We argue that firms with extensive disclosure are less likely to face information problems, and more likely to lead to active shareholder monitoring, and therefore, engage in fewer unethical activities, such as aggressive earnings manipulation, and have better long-term, post-issue performance. Consistent with these predictions, this study presents evidence that disclosure is negatively related to unethical earnings manipulation and positively associated with long-term, post-issue performance. In particular, we find that long-term, post-issue SEO underperformance is significantly less for firms with extensive disclosure and conservative earnings management than firms with less disclosure and aggressive earnings management. We interpret this evidence to mean that over the long run, the capital market values ethical financial reporting and corporate efforts to incorporate social responsibility into their decision-making processes, for example, by enhancing information transparency through voluntary disclosure. JEL classification: G14; G24; G32; M14; M41
Jo, Hoje, and Yongtae Kim. "Ethics and Disclosure: A Study of the Financial Performance of Firms in the Seasoned Equity Offerings Market." Journal of Business Ethics 80.4 (2008): 855-78.