Purpose: This paper analyzes the impact of increased federal regulatory enforcement from the SEC's Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative on municipal debt issuers continuing disclosure practices. Design/methodology/approach: We analyze the changes in continuing disclosure practices by estimating a series of difference-in-differences regressions based on variables representing issuers' changes in regulatory risk after the MCDC. The continuing disclosure data are hand-collected for 827 cities over a seven-year period. Findings: The empirical findings indicate that increased regulatory enforcement has a significant impact on continuing disclosure compliance. We find increased enforcement has no impact on issuers that already have a higher probability of being monitored by federal regulators. We also find that an increase in continuing disclosure compliance does not automatically increase continuing disclosure timeliness. Practical implications: The MCDC lacks monetary penalties for noncompliant bond issuers and no direct regulatory consequences exist for untimely disclosure. Our findings suggest that regulatory enforcement should be followed by adequate sanctions to emphasize the credibility of the enforcement threat and the SEC should consider requiring bond issuers to commit to the timely disclosure of significant information in offering documents. Originality/value: This paper extends prior studies by analyzing regulatory risk in the market, and the ability of regulation to reduce disclosure compliance deficiencies in the municipal market. By focusing on the MCDC, this study is able to disentangle the impact of regulatory enforcement from the changes in accounting regulation.
|Number of pages||35|
|Journal||Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management|
|Publication status||Published - 9 Mar 2022|
- Continuing disclosure
- Municipal market
- Regulatory enforcement