上市公司社会责任信息披露影响因素研究——基于能源行业的经验证据外文翻译资料

 2022-11-01 02:11

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Nonfinancial Disclosure and Analyst Forecast Accuracy: International Evidence on Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure

ABSTRACT: We examine the relationship between disclosure of nonfinancial information and analyst forecast accuracy using firm-level data from 31 countries. We use the issuance of stand-alone corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports to proxy for disclosure of nonfinancial information. We find that the issuance of stand-alone CSR reports is associated with lower analyst forecast error. This relationship is stronger in countries that are more stakeholder-oriented—i.e., in countries where CSR performance is more likely to affect firm financial performance. The relationship is also stronger for firms and countries with more opaque financial disclosure, suggesting that issuance of stand-alone CSR reports plays a role complementary to financial disclosure. These results hold after we control for various factors related to firm financial transparency and other potentially confounding institutional factors. Collectively, our findings have important implications for academics and practitioners in understanding the function of CSR disclosure in financial markets.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; analyst forecasts; nonfinancial disclosure.

INTRODUCTION:The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic increase in firms issuing stand-alone reports on corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities around the world.1 For example, for the 31 countries in our sample, fewer than 100 publicly listed commercial companies issued stand-alone CSR reports in the early 1990s, but that number increased to more than 1,000 by 2007. However, in contrast to the increase of CSR reporting in practice, there is little academic evidence regarding the value of the reporting to stakeholders in general and shareholders in particular. The objective of this study is to examine whether the disclosure of CSR-related information helps to improve the accuracy of the earnings forecasts of sell-side financial analysts. To the extent that sell-side analysts represent investors or significantly influence investorsrsquo; judgments and beliefs (Nichols 1989; Schipper 1991; Bercel 1994; Walther 1997), our results also provide insights into whether CSR-related nonfinancial disclosures provide incrementally useful information to investors.

Lang and Lundholm (1996) find that analystsrsquo; ratings of firm disclosures, which potentially capture both financial and nonfinancial transparency of firms, are positively associated with analyst forecast accuracy. In an international setting, Hope (2003) documents that financial disclosure quality is positively related to analyst forecast accuracy. We extend these studies by focusing specifically on nonfinancial information and predicting that CSR disclosure, as proxied by the issuance of stand-alone CSR reports, is positively associated with analyst forecast accuracy.

To shed some light on the settings for which CSR disclosure helps analysts to forecast earnings, we examine how the CSR disclosure-forecast accuracy relationship covaries with institutional factors and financial transparency. Specifically, a countryrsquo;s business culture, and in particular whether a country is more shareholder- or stakeholder-oriented, can influence the importance of CSR issues in business operations at the country level (Williams and Aguilera 2008). In a stakeholder-oriented business culture, a broad spectrum of stakeholders are seen by society as possessing a legitimate interest in corporate activities. In contrast, in a shareholder-oriented business culture, companiesrsquo; primary goal is to maximize shareholder value, while other stakeholder groups have less legitimacy in influencing corporate activities and performance (Bradley et al. 1999). Accordingly,in countries that are more stakeholder-oriented, stakeholder groups have greater influence on firmsrsquo; operations and financial performance than in other countries (Chen 2009). Thus, CSR disclosure, which contains information on how well firms handle issues related to stakeholders, is also likely to be more useful for analysts to assess firmsrsquo; financial performance in stakeholder-oriented countries than in shareholder-oriented countries. We therefore predict that the positive association between CSR disclosure and analyst forecast accuracy is more pronounced in countries that are more stakeholder-oriented. Note that only through an international study can we gain insights into how stakeholder- or shareholder-orientation of a country affects the usefulness of CSR-related information to analysts and investors.

In addition, we hypothesize that the negative association between forecast accuracy and financial opaqueness (Hope 2003) is tempered by CSR disclosure. Consistent with prior research (Bhattacharya et al. 2003; Leuz et al. 2003), we measure firm-level financial opaqueness based on properties of accruals. At the country level, following Hope (2003), we measure financial opaqueness using the (inverse of ) Center for International Financial Analysis and Research (CIFAR) scores.

We find evidence supporting all three hypotheses. The results hold for the current-year forecast accuracy and generally hold for the one-year-ahead and two-year-ahead forecast accuracy as well. These findings are robust to controlling for various potentially confounding factors, especially those related to financial transparency. In additional tests, we find that stock price incorporates more information on future earnings among firms with greater CSR disclosure.

Our findings contribute to the analyst forecast literature and the CSR reporting literature. Prior studies show that financial disclosure is related to analyst forecast accuracy (Brown et al. 1987; Lang and Lundholm 1996; Abarbanell and Bushee 1997; Hope 2003

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