The Spread of COVID-19 Disclosure

15 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2020

See all articles by David F. Larcker

David F. Larcker

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance

Bradford Lynch

University of Pennsylvania - Accounting Department

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business

Daniel J. Taylor

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: June 29, 2020

Abstract

Investors rely on corporate disclosure to make informed decisions about the value of companies they invest in. The COVID-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity to examine disclosure practices of companies relative to peers in real time about a somewhat unprecedented shock that impacted practically every publicly listed company in the U.S. We examine how companies respond to such a situation, the choices they make, and how disclosure varies across industries and companies.

We ask:
• What motivates some companies to be forthcoming about what they are experiencing, while others remain silent?
• Do differences in disclosure reflect different degrees of certitude about how the virus would impact businesses, or differences in management perception of its obligations to shareholders?
• What insights will companies learn to prepare for future outlier events?

Keywords: COVID-19, coronavirus, disclosure, public companies, SEC filings, audit, accounting, board of directors, transparency, 8-K, 10-K, 10-Q, corporate governance, corporate governance research

JEL Classification: G01, G3, G10, G20, G34

Suggested Citation

Larcker, David F. and Lynch, Bradford and Tayan, Brian and Taylor, Daniel, The Spread of COVID-19 Disclosure (June 29, 2020). Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University Closer Look Series: Topics, Issues and Controversies in Corporate Governance No. CGRP-84, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3636454

David F. Larcker (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

Graduate School of Business
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
650-725-6159 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Stanford University - Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Center for Corporate Governance ( email )

Crown Quadrangle 559 Nathan Ab
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Bradford Lynch

University of Pennsylvania - Accounting Department ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Brian Tayan

Stanford University - Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Daniel Taylor

The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

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