This is a critique of both Robert Verrecchia’s ‘‘Essays on Disclosure’’
(henceforth, ‘‘Essays’’) and the literature reviewed in Essays. In the following, I
begin with a discussion of the origins and limitations of this critique. Following
that, the critique presents a brief overview of what I regard as the central
premise of the disclosure literature, and it then turns to a discussion of several
conceptual issues involving the various models presented in Essays, with
particular emphasis on those models dealing with the so-called ‘‘associationbased
disclosures’’. Following this discussion, the critique offers an overall
assessment of Essays. The critique concludes by offering an appraisal of recent
trends in the disclosure literature.
I now describe briefly the origins and limitations of this critique. Regarding
origins, my first critique of Essays was given at the April 2000 JAE conference.
It was based on the February 2000 version of Essays circulated to all JAE
conference participants. In response to those discussion comments, the
suggestions of the Editors, and others, Verrecchia produced a revision of
Essays dated July 2000. I wrote a detailed evaluation of this revised version of
Essays, which was completed and circulated in September. The Editors gave
Verrecchia the opportunity to revise Essays again to respond to my September
critique. I received the third version of Essays in December 2000. The present
critique thus constitutes my third review of some version of Essays.
The interaction between Verrecchia and me through these successive
revisions and critiques of revisions has had some features akin to a wellargued
debate. I think it is important for pedagogical, historical, and scholarly
reasons for readers of Essays and this critique to get some sense of the
dynamics of the evolution of these documents. Just as hearing only the closing
arguments of a debate is a poor substitute for hearing a debate in its entirety,...