This study examines how information spillover in industry clusters affects management voluntary disclosures, and in turn information asymmetry. I posit that information spillover in industry clusters is related to the firms’ accounting information, especially management voluntary disclosures. In particular, I introduce industry clusters as a mechanism that influences a firm’s proprietary costs of disclosures. In industry clusters, information can transfer among companies that are located in the same industry cluster even if they compete. Because they already know the information, they should have fewer concerns about disclosing information to the capital market. Thus, a firm’s proprietary costs can decrease when a firm is located in an industry cluster.
Specifically, I find that firms in industry clusters issue more management forecasts disclosures because information spillover in industry clusters reduces firms’ proprietary cost and this positive association is stronger for firms in high market competition. Furthermore, I show that industry clusters increase the negative association between the management capital expenditure forecast and its cost of equity capital. This effect is stronger when firms are in a high competition market. The result indicates that the increased disclosures in industry clusters reduce the information asymmetry.
The potential contributions of this study are as follows. First, this paper is the first study to link industry clusters and accounting information, especially disclosures. By exploring information spillover in industry clusters as a decrease in proprietary cost, I provide evidence that industry clusters increase management forecasts disclosure. Second, for policymakers attempting to recruit firms to industry clusters, my results support their intentions from the new perspective of accounting information. Firms can have not only economic, strategic, and financial benefits from industry clusters, but also they can reduce the cost of equity capital.