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Accounts receivable financing and information asymmetry

Hagit Levy, 2010
Faculty Advisor: Charles Calomiris
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Abstract

This study investigates the effect of information asymmetry between managers and outsiders on the use of accounts receivable in financing the firm's operations. The information impounded in receivables pertains to the firm's customers rather than the firm and therefore differs from the information embedded in other assets. The unique information content of accounts receivable makes it a likely candidate to use as a financing tool for highly information asymmetric firms. Consistent with the Pecking Order Theory, I find that the likelihood of using accounts receivable financing increases with the firm's information asymmetry. I also find that the innate component of the firm's earnings quality measure is more influential than the discretionary component in explaining the use of AR financing. This study further suggests an additional method of decomposing the earnings quality measure into its discretionary and innate components using proxies for the discretionary component of the information environment.

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