Disclosure on Corporate Governance in the
Heidi Vander Bauwhede and Marleen Willekens*
Manuscript Type: Empirical
Research Question/Issue: In this paper, we examine the determinants of the level of disclosure on corporate governance
practices among European listed companies in the time period preceding the adoption of the European Union recommendations
and Action Plan.
Research Findings/Results: Using ratings on corporate governance disclosure issued by an independent rating agency we
find that – ceteris paribus – the level of disclosure: (1) is lower for companies with higher ownership concentration; (2) is
higher for companies from common-law countries; and (3) increases with the level of working capital accruals.
Theoretical Implications: The results of the study support theoretical arguments that companies disclose corporate governance
information in order to reduce information asymmetry and agency costs stemming from the separation between
ownership and control, and to improve investor confidence in the reported accounting information. The study suggests
various avenues for future research on corporate governance.
Practical Implications: To policy makers and practitioners, the results suggest that a mandatory corporate governance
disclosure requirement is abundant, and perhaps could even be inefficient. The results also indicate which types of
companies can be expected to be least willing to comply with recent corporate governance disclosure requirements, and
thus will need extra monitoring