Textual Attributes of Integrated Reports and Economic Benefits: Evidence from a voluntary setting
Sammanfattning: This paper examines the economic benefits associated with textual attributes of Integrated Reports. Integrated Reporting is a corporate disclosure combining financial and non-financial information, and has since 2010 been mandatory for firms listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Correspondingly, the body of literature on Integrated Reporting Quality primarily examines this mandatory setting. However, due to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) adopted in 2022 and the merger between the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) in 2021, the trend of adopting Integrated Reporting is increasing in Europe. We therefore investigate the association between textual attributes of Integrated Reports and economic benefits in the European voluntary setting between the years 2016 and 2021. We find no statistical relationship between high-quality textual attributes of Integrated Reports and positive market effects. We also extend existing literature by examining if the release of an intertwined Integrated Report has a moderating effect on the above mentioned relationship and find some evidence. The preference for intertwined Integrated Reports consist of high reading difficulty and conciseness, whereas stand-alone Integrated Reports are preferred to be readable and longer.
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