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date: 16 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This Chapter examines the debate over mandatory disclosure (MD) to the general public as a regulatory technique for financial markets, with emphasis on issuers of securities. It begins by outlining the goals that underlie MD as well as the various rationales for MD as opposed to voluntary disclosure, paying particular attention to information as a public good, externalities entailed by corporate disclosure, the agency problem, the need for a subsidy to informed traders, and standardization in information. It then discusses the limits and costs of MD before concluding with an assessment of some of the challenges faced by policymakers with regard to MD.

Keywords: mandatory disclosure, financial markets, securities, voluntary disclosure, selective disclosure, information, public good, externalities, agency problems, standardization

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