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The interaction between mandatory and voluntary risk disclosure: a comparative study

Michela Cordazzo (Department of Management, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Venice, Italy)
Marco Papa (Economics, Management and Business Law, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Bari, Italy)
Paola Rossi (Economics and Management, University of Trento, Trento, Italy)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 18 August 2017

Issue publication date: 25 September 2017




The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the interaction between mandatory and voluntary risk disclosure is a complementary or substitutive consequence of different risk regulatory regimes. The paper is a cross analysis comparing Germany, the US, Italy, France and the UK during the period 2007-2010.


Content analysis is used to examine mandatory and voluntary risk information in corporate annual reports. A framework for the identification and measurement of risk information is developed by considering national and supranational regulations.


A complementary effect between mandatory and voluntary risk disclosure exists in each risk regulation jurisdiction. This effect does not depend on the presence of national risk rules (Germany and the US) as against national risk guidelines (France and the UK). Some cross-country differences emerge in the extent of the complementary effect, which are based on the national risk regulations. Germany shows the highest degree of complementing mandatory with voluntary risk disclosures.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations relate to the sample size, which is based on the choice of a matched approach and to some country-specific influences on regulatory regimes, which are not analysed. The practical implications refer to the revision or addition of mandated rules by accounting standard setters.


The paper contributes to the literature in two ways. First, it proposes an incremental analysis of corporate risk disclosure by examining the interaction between mandatory and voluntary risk disclosure with a complementary or substitutive consequence in different risk regulatory settings not previously investigated. Second, the paper makes a method-based contribution by developing an original analytical framework based on the analysis of different regulatory regimes.



We thank the Editor for his assistance and the two anonymous referees for their many suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge the comments on earlier drafts of this paper by Vivien Beattie, Chiara Saccon and the participants of the VI European Risk Conference organized by the European Risk Research Network, Naples, the XXXVIII European Accounting Association Annual Congress, Glasgow, and the XIX Financial Reporting and Business Communication Annual Conference, Bristol.


Cordazzo, M., Papa, M. and Rossi, P. (2019), "The interaction between mandatory and voluntary risk disclosure: a comparative study", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 32 No. 7, pp. 682-714.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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