Is earnings management opportunistic or beneficial? An agency theory perspective
AbstractEarnings management has been cast into negative light due to the recent corporate scandals and, therefore, is viewed as detrimental to the firm. Enron and Worldcom represent two of the most egregious cases of opportunistic earnings management that led to the largest bankruptcies in U.S. history. However, some argue that earnings management may be beneficial because it improves the information value of earnings by conveying private information to the stockholders and the public. We offer agency theory as a tool to distinguish between the opportunistic and beneficial uses of earnings management. The empirical evidence suggests that firms where earnings management occurs to a larger (less) extent suffer less (more) agency costs. Moreover, a positive relation is documented between firm value and the extent of earnings management. Taken together, the results reveal that earnings management is, on average, not detrimental.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Financial Analysis.
Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620166
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Erickson, Merle & Wang, Shiing-wu, 1999. "Earnings management by acquiring firms in stock for stock mergers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 149-176, April.
- Holthausen, Robert W., 1990. "Accounting method choice : Opportunistic behavior, efficient contracting, and information perspectives," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 207-218, January.
- Paul A. Gompers & Joy L. Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2001.
"Corporate Governance and Equity Prices,"
NBER Working Papers
8449, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jiraporn, Pornsit & Kim, Young Sang & Davidson, Wallace N. & Singh, Manohar, 2006. "Corporate governance, shareholder rights and firm diversification: An empirical analysis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 947-963, March.
- Xie, Biao & Davidson, Wallace III & DaDalt, Peter J., 2003. "Earnings management and corporate governance: the role of the board and the audit committee," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 295-316, June.
- Kee H. Chung & Stephen W. Pruitt, 1994. "A Simple Approximation of Tobin's q," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 23(3), Fall.
- Lang, Larry H P & Stulz, Rene M, 1994.
"Tobin's q, Corporate Diversification, and Firm Performance,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1248-80, December.
- Larry H.P. Lang & Rene M. Stulz, 1993. "Tobin's Q, Corporate Diversification and Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 4376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- DeAngelo, Linda Elizabeth, 1988. "Managerial competition, information costs, and corporate governance : The use of accounting performance measures in proxy contests," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 3-36, January.
- Holthausen, Robert W. & Larcker, David F. & Sloan, Richard G., 1995. "Annual bonus schemes and the manipulation of earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 29-74, February.
- Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
- Klein, April, 2002. "Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 375-400, August.
- Subramanyam, K. R., 1996. "The pricing of discretionary accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 249-281, October.
- Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
- Dechow, Patricia M. & Sloan, Richard G., 1991. "Executive incentives and the horizon problem : An empirical investigation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 51-89, March.
- Anil Arya & Shyam Sunder & Jonathan Glover, 2002. "Are Unmanaged Earnings Always Better for Shareholders?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm295, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Feb 2003.
- Iatridis, George Emmanuel, 2011. "Accounting disclosures, accounting quality and conditional and unconditional conservatism," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 88-102, April.
- Mohamed El Hedi AROURI & Aldo LÉVY & Duc Khuong NGUYEN, 2010. "ROE and Value Creation under IAS/IFRS: Evidence of Discordance from French Firms," European Financial and Accounting Journal, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2010(3), pages 84-112.
- Iatridis, George & Kadorinis, George, 2009. "Earnings management and firm financial motives: A financial investigation of UK listed firms," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 164-173, September.
- Iatridis, George, 2010. "International Financial Reporting Standards and the quality of financial statement information," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 193-204, June.
- Kenneth J. Hunsader & Gwendolyn Pennywell, 2011. "Earnings management and the stock market response to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act based on a measure of competitive strategy," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(4), pages 368-384, November.
- Miglo, Anton, 2010. "Capital structure and earnings manipulation," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 62(5), pages 367-382, September.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wendy Shamier).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.