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disclosure frequency, earnings forecasts, accuracy, investor confidence.
More frequent financial reporting has been a topic of debate for many years. However, little evidence exists about the possible effects of more frequent reporting on investors’ decision making. Using a between-subjects experiment, this study analyzes how altering the timing or frequency of earnings reports - weekly, as opposed to quarterly reports - affects the accuracy and dispersion of earnings predictions by nonprofessional investors. This is important since regulators have identified nonprofessionals as a significant audience for financial reports. I hypothesize and find that more frequent reporting results in less accurate predictions and greater variance, particularly when a strong seasonal pattern exists. Finally, investors in the more frequent reporting condition self-reported that they were more influenced by older historical data - suggesting primacy effects - while those in the less frequent reporting condition self-reported that they were more influenced by the newer historical data suggesting recency effects.
Behavioral Research in Accounting