Accounting Seminar: Professor Ian Gow
Product market competition and disclosure: Evidence from conference calls
An extensive literature examines how product market competition affects firms’ disclosure of information. However, this stream of research has encountered difficulties in measuring both competition and disclosure. Focusing on earnings conference calls, one of the primary disclosure channels for firms, we construct a new measure of disclosure using managers responses to questions on earnings conference calls. We then draw on recent developments in measurement of product market competition to examine how competition influences disclosure choices. Consistent with extant theory, we find that executives operating in highly competitive environments are more likely to decline to answer analysts’ questions. One feature of our measure is that we can examine how disclosure choice varies according to the nature of the question within a call. Bolstering our main result, we find that the association between competition and non-disclosure is stronger for questions that relate to products.
Professor Gow joined the University of Melbourne as director of the Melbourne Centre for Corporate Governance and Regulation in July 2017. Professor Gow has served on the faculties of Harvard Business School, where he taught in the MBA, doctoral, and executive education programs, and Kellogg School of Management. Professor Gow's research examines a wide range of topics in corporate governance, including governance ratings, executive compensation, and the impact of activist investors. He received a PhD in Business from Stanford University, an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School, and Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees from UNSW. Prior to entering academia, Professor Gow worked at Morgan Stanley, General Motors, Stern Stewart, and Andersen Consulting.