Three Essays on Dual-Class Stock Structure Dissertation

(2012). Three Essays on Dual-Class Stock Structure . 10.25148/etd.FI13040101

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Lobanova, Olesya


  • Dual-class stock structure is characterized by the separation of voting rights and cash flow rights. The departure from a common “one share-one vote” configuration creates ideal conditions for conflicts of interest and agency problems between controlling insiders (the holders of voting rights) and remaining shareholders. The owners of voting rights have the opportunity to extract private benefits and act in their personal interest; as a result, dual-class firms are often perceived to have low transparency and high information asymmetry.

    This dissertation investigates the quality of information and the information environment of firms with two classes of stock. The first essay examines the quality of information by studying accruals in dual-class firms in comparison to firms with only one class of stock. The results suggest that the quality of accruals is better in dual-class firms than in single-class firms. In addition, the difference in the quality of accruals between firms that abolish their dual-class share structure by unification and singe-class firms disappears in the post-unification period. The second essay investigates the earnings informativeness of dual-class firms by examining the explanatory power of earnings for returns. The results indicate that the earnings informativeness is lower for dual-class firms as compared to single-class firms. Earnings informativeness improves in firms that unify their shares. The third essay compares the level of information asymmetry between dual-class firms and single-class firms. It is documented that the information environment for dual-class firms is worse than for single-class firms. Also, the finding suggests that the difference in information environment between dual-class firms and single-class firms disappears after dual-class stock unification.

publication date

  • November 1, 2012


  • dual-class stocks
  • earnings informativeness
  • information asymmetry
  • quality of accruals

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)