Firm Specific Information and the Cost of Equity Capital
by Philip G. Berger of the University of Chicago,
January 7, 2006
Abstract: We develop a comprehensive and large-sample measure of a firm's information quality. The measure is the ratio of firm-specific return variation to firm-specific cash-flow variation. Empirical evidence supports the validity of our measure. Using this measure, we find that cost of equity capital decreases by about -0.4% on an annual basis if a firm's information quality increases by one standard deviation. This is consistent with the joint hypotheses that (1) firm-specific stock returns contain economic information as argued by Morck, Yeung, and Yu (2000) and (2) better information quality can lower the cost of equity.