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Optimistic bias in management forecasts by Japanese firms to avoid forecasting losses

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  • Cho, Myojung
  • Hah, Young D.
  • Kim, Oliver
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    Abstract

    Listed firms in Japan are effectively compelled to report management forecasts of sales, ordinary income, and net income along with actual earnings and sales each year. Prior studies report that Japanese managers tend to announce optimistic forecasts of earnings. We show that a large part (61.6%) of the overall optimistic bias in management earnings forecasts in Japan can be explained by loss forecast avoiding behavior of a small fraction (5.25%) of firms. Such behavior is caused in part by the view of the main bank and power group that the management forecast of earnings is the manager's earnings target. Our findings suggest that the Japanese stock market recognizes such loss forecast avoidance and accordingly discounts new information in management forecasts.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The International Journal of Accounting.

    Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 79-101

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:accoun:v:46:y:2011:i:1:p:79-101

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620179

    Related research

    Keywords: Japanese corporate culture Management forecasts Forecast optimism Loss forecast avoidance;

    References

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    1. Garrod, Neil & Pirkovic, Sonja Ratej & Valentincic, Aljosa, 2006. "Testing for discontinuity or type of distribution," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 9-15.
    2. Bartov, Eli & Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2002. "The rewards to meeting or beating earnings expectations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 173-204, June.
    3. Conroy, Robert M. & Harris, Robert S. & Park, Young S., 1998. "Fundamental information and share prices in Japan: evidence from earnings surprises and management predictions," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 227-244, June.
    4. Gramlich, J.D.Jeffrey D. & Limpaphayom, Piman & Ghon Rhee, S., 2004. "Taxes, keiretsu affiliation, and income shifting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 203-228, June.
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    6. Burgstahler, David & Dichev, Ilia, 1997. "Earnings management to avoid earnings decreases and losses," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 99-126, December.
    7. Kaplan, Steven N, 1994. "Top Executive Rewards and Firm Performance: A Comparison of Japan and the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(3), pages 510-46, June.
    8. Edward B. Douthett, Jr. & Kooyul Jung & Wikil Kwak, 2004. "Japanese Corporate Groupings (Keiretsu) and the Characteristics of Analysts' Forecasts," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 79-98, 09.
    9. Kang, Jun-Koo & Shivdasani, Anil, 1995. "Firm performance, corporate governance, and top executive turnover in Japan," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 29-58, May.
    10. Field, Laura & Lowry, Michelle & Shu, Susan, 2005. "Does disclosure deter or trigger litigation?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 487-507, September.
    11. Degeorge, François & Patel, U & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1998. "Earnings Management to Exceed Thresholds," CEPR Discussion Papers 1790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Aoki, Masahiko, 1990. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-27, March.
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    Cited by:
    1. Müller, Hans Christian, 2011. "Forecast Errors in Undisclosed Management Sales Forecasts: The Disappearance of the Overoptimism Bias," DICE Discussion Papers 40, Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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