Financial Reporting Quality: Red Flags and Accounting Warning Signs

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Financial Reporting Quality and Investment Efficiency
Rodrigo S. Verdi The Wharton School University of Pennsylvania 1303 Steinberg Hall-Dietrich Hall Philadelphia, PA 19104 Email: rverdi@wharton.upenn.edu Phone: (215) 898-7783

Abstract
This paper studies the relation between financial reporting quality and investment efficiency on a sample of 49,543 firm-year observations between 1980 and 2003. Financial reporting quality has been posited to improve investment efficiency, but there has been little empirical evidence supporting this claim to date. Consistent with this claim, I find that proxies for financial reporting quality are negatively associated with both firm underinvestment and overinvestment. Further, financial reporting quality is more strongly associated with underinvestment for firms facing financing constraints and with overinvestment for firms with large cash balances, which suggests that financial reporting quality mitigates information asymmetries arising from adverse selection problems and agency conflicts. Finally, the relation between financial reporting quality and investment efficiency is stronger for firms with low quality information environments. Overall, this paper has implications for research examining the determinants of investment efficiency and the economic consequences of enhanced financial reporting.

Current Version: February 14, 2006

_____________________________________________ I thank members of my dissertation committee: John Core, Gary Gorton, Christian Leuz, Scott Richardson, and Catherine Schrand (Chair) for their guidance on this paper. I appreciate comments from Patrick Beatty, Jennifer Blouin, Brian Bushee, Gavin Cassar, Francesca Franco, Wayne Guay, Luzi Hail, Bob Holthausen, Rick Lambert, Frank Moers, Jeffrey Ng, Tjomme Rusticus, Irem Tuna, Ro Verrecchia, Missaka Warusawitharana, Sarah Zechman, Zili Zhuang, and seminar participants at the Wharton School. I also gratefully acknowledge the financial support from

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