Essays on Public Finance and Social Media Based Corporate Disclosure

Date

2019-12

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Abstract

The dissertation consists of three chapters that study issues relating to financial regulations and firm disclosure using social media. In the first chapter, I provide an introduction to the dissertation. In the second chapter, my coauthor and I examine whether state pension funds face distorted incentives as a result of the 4Q1986 GASB accounting guidelines which allowed state pension funds to discount liabilities with the expected returns of their investments. We hypothesize that state pension funds increase their equity allocation when faced with regulatory and market shocks and this results in fund underperformance. The empirical results show that as a result of GASB and Black Monday shocks, state pension funds increase their portfolio allocation to equities. Additionally, this increase in equities result in underperformance of their portfolio compared to the benchmark. In the third chapter, my coauthors and I study the informativeness of firms’ tweets, and how quickly markets react to the information embedded within. Utilizing machine learning techniques, we classify firm tweets into six informational categories and study the five minute market reaction. We find that markets react significantly to financial tweets, that is, tweets with information on earnings release, dividends announcements or similar such tweets. We also find that while markets do not react to CSR tweets in general, CSR tweets which contain objective information on CSR expenditure elicit a negative reaction. We further find that market’s reaction to financial tweets is increasing in the institutional shareholding proportion, suggesting that institutional shareholders facilitate the price adjustments to information in firm tweets. In additional tests, we document that market reaction is increasing in the extent of the firm’s perceived information credibility and in the level of the information uncertainty for the firm.

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Keywords

Twitter, Pension trusts, Social media, Online social networks, Disclosure of information, Financial Accounting Foundation. -- Governmental Accounting Standards Board

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©2020 Anin Rupp. All rights reserved.

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