Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group


First Advisor

Wayne Guay

Second Advisor

Luzi Hail


This study examines the determinants and consequences of regulatory oversight of corporate disclosures. I investigate the extent to which industry-level political activity influences the intensity of regulatory oversight, and whether variation in the intensity of oversight affects managers' reporting incentives. I exploit variation in the allocation of budgetary resources between the SEC's disclosure review offices as a source of variation in the oversight of financial reporting and disclosures. I find evidence of a significant relationship between industry-level political activity and visibility and the allocation of resources to each office. I then use the amount of budgetary resources allocated to each office as a proxy for the intensity of the SEC oversight that firms in a given industry face. I provide evidence that when SEC oversight is more intense managers report lower discretionary accruals, managers are less likely to issue financial reports that will be subsequently restated, and firms' bid-ask spreads decrease. Overall, the results suggest that SEC oversight plays an important role in shaping managers' reporting and disclosure incentives.