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PhD Program

PhD Dissertation Defense, Yang Ding, Accounting and Management Control

Congratulations to Dr Yang Ding, Accounting and Management Control specialization, who successfully defended her Doctoral Dissertation at HEC Paris, on July 8, 2021. Yang will join 'Ecole de Management Léonard De Vinci - EMLV ' (France), as Assistant Professor from next September. 


Specialization: Accounting and Management Control

Dissertation Topic: Three Essays on Disclosure

Supervisor: Vedran Capkun, Associate Professor, HEC Paris

Jury Members:
Christof Beuselinck, Professor, IÉSEG 
Massimiliano Bonacchi,  Professor, Free University of Bolzano 
Pepa Kraft, Associate Professor, HEC Paris
Hervé Stolowy, Professor, HEC Paris 
Raymmond Wong, Associate Professor, City University of Hong Kong 

There are three chapters in my thesis. The first chapter is From Mandatory to Voluntary Disclosures: Conflict Mineral Reports of US Firms. Although the SEC suspended the enforcement of conflict mineral disclosure in April 2017, some firms continue to file conflict mineral reports. I study the determinants of the voluntary disclosure of conflict mineral reports in this setting and the disclosure quality of these reports. I find that firms with more extensive media coverage and firms that are the target of activist campaigns, audited by Big 4 firms, owned by institutional investors, or with higher visibility tend to file conflict mineral reports voluntarily and to have conflict mineral reports with better disclosure quality. Additionally, firms with more extensive media coverage, that are targets of activist campaigns, owned by institutional investors, or have higher visibility tend to continue to file conflict mineral reports for more years after the regulatory change. Finally, in the period after the regulatory changes, firms that are the target of activist campaigns have better disclosure quality. Broadly, my study provides insights into firms’ disclosure strategies under mandatory and voluntary regulatory regimes. The second chapter is Commitment to Regulation and Demand for Crypto Tokens. It is a joint work with Vedran Capkun and Pepa Kraft. This study analyzes how commitment to investor identification such as know-your customer policies (KYC) impacts investor demand for crypto tokens. We find that investor identity verification is associated with larger number of buyers, more transactions, greater trading volume, higher liquidity, and lower bid-ask spreads. These results are, however, limited to secondary trading, while there is no difference between adopters and non-adopters of identity verification in primary trading at the initial coin offering (ICO). We also find that an increase in regulation of crypto token issuance leads to a less severe negative impact on demand for tokens issued by firms that adopted identity verification practices, consistent with self-regulation shielding firms from negative externalities of regulation. Finally, active and diversified investors are more likely to invest in tokens issued by firms that adopted investor identity verification. The third chapter is College Information Environment and Student Default Rates, which is a joint work with Vedran Capkun and Pepa Kraft. This essay examines the relationship between the quality of a college’s information environment and student loan default10 rates. We find that poor reporting quality is associated with higher default rates. Consistent with the result that the mechanism driving this finding is the relationship being academic success and earnings potential, we find that colleges with poor reporting quality have lower graduation rates and higher student debt to income ratios upon graduation. We further find that college advertising is associated with higher student loan default rates, and the effect becomes stronger when colleges exhibit low reporting quality, suggesting that prospective students rely more on advertising when reporting quality is low. Overall, our evidence concerns that poor reporting quality and high levels of advertising lead to efficient investments in education.