Daniel A. Bens
Professor of Accounting and Control
This paper examines the information voluntarily disclosed about corporate restructurings. In 1995 the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force reached a consensus opinion about mandatory restructuring disclosures.The author uses these requirements to construct a statistic that measures the amount of information voluntarily disclosed for a sample of firms from 1990–1993. Disclosure levels increased dramatically when the SEC targeted restructurings as an area for increased oversight in late 1993. Controlling for this SEC action, the author documents a positive association between the amount of information disclosed and increased monitoring by shareholders, suggesting that monitoring complements disclosure rather than substitutes for it.The amount disclosed is negatively related to the appointment of a new CEO prior to the restructuring, perhaps reflecting the use of the restructuring charge to manage earnings for these firms.