Do firms experiencing more wildfires disclose more wildfire information in their 10-Ks?

Professor Paul Griffin, who is Distinguished Professor at the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis in California and Adjunct Professor in the School of Accounting and Commercial Law at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, recently presented a Centre for Accounting, Governance and Taxation Research Business Links Seminar on the topic of Do Firms Experiencing More Wildfires Disclose More Wildfire Information in Their 10-Ks?

Professor Paul Griffin and Professor Tony van Zijl.
Professor Paul Griffin and Professor Tony van Zijl.

Wildfires pose a significant risk that threatens firm value and this risk has increased in recent years with the record-breaking wildfires in the United States and elsewhere. In this seminar, Professor Griffin reported on tests of whether such increasing wildfire risk has affected firms’ disclosures of wildfire-related information. Matching the location of wildfires in the United States over the period 1996 to 2018 to firms with headquarters in the same county as the wildfire resulted in a sample of 86,185 firm-year observations for the tests. The results obtained show that, on average, firms experiencing more wildfire days in a year disclose more wildfire information in their annual 10-K filings and that the disclosure by wildfire-exposed firms has increased significantly in recent years.

The seminar was attended by people from the accounting profession, the business and public sectors, and University students and staff.