We investigate the role of financial analysts in product quality failures. Relying on information about product recalls, we first show that analyst coverage on average reduces product quality, particularly when managers face greater short-term pressure from institutional investors. However, after identifying a subgroup of analysts who raise questions on product-related issues in earnings conference calls, we find that coverage by these “product analysts” enhances rather than compromises product quality. Firms with greater product analyst coverage are also more likely to retire low-quality products. Additional analysis demonstrates that product analysts help safeguard product quality by further probing into product-related matters and issuing more timely recommendation downgrades after firms announce product deficiencies.

Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.

JEL Classifications: G24; G34; G38; L15.

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