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The contracting benefits of accounting conservatism to lenders and borrowers

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  • Zhang, Jieying
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the ex post and ex ante benefits of accounting conservatism to lenders and borrowers in the debt contracting process. I expect conservatism to benefit lenders ex post through the timely signaling of default risk, as manifested by accelerated covenant violations, and to benefit borrowers ex ante through lower initial interest rates. Consistent with these predictions, I find that more conservative borrowers are more likely to violate debt covenants following a negative price shock, and that lenders offer lower interest rates to more conservative borrowers.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V87-4P77809-1/1/132d3c8a7871a72a94b4c11c0dd60a99
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Accounting and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 1 (March)
    Pages: 27-54

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:45:y:2008:i:1:p:27-54

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jae

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    1. Duke, Joanne C. & Hunt, Herbert III, 1990. "An empirical examination of debt covenant restrictions and accounting-related debt proxies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 45-63, January.
    2. Press, Eric G. & Weintrop, Joseph B., 1990. "Accounting-based constraints in public and private debt agreements : Their association with leverage and impact on accounting choice," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1-3), pages 65-95, January.
    3. Roychowdhury, Sugata & Watts, Ross L., 2007. "Asymmetric timeliness of earnings, market-to-book and conservatism in financial reporting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 2-31, September.
    4. Basu, Sudipta, 1997. "The conservatism principle and the asymmetric timeliness of earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-37, December.
    5. Sweeney, Amy Patricia, 1994. "Debt-covenant violations and managers' accounting responses," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 281-308, May.
    6. Givoly, Dan & Hayn, Carla, 2000. "The changing time-series properties of earnings, cash flows and accruals: Has financial reporting become more conservative?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 287-320, June.
    7. Holthausen, Robert W. & Watts, Ross L., 2001. "The relevance of the value-relevance literature for financial accounting standard setting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 3-75, September.
    8. DeAngelo, Harry & DeAngelo, Linda & Skinner, Douglas J., 1994. "Accounting choice in troubled companies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 113-143, January.
    9. Ilia D. Dichev, 2002. "Large-Sample Evidence on the Debt Covenant Hypothesis," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 1091-1123, 09.
    10. Asquith, Paul & Beatty, Anne & Weber, Joseph, 2005. "Performance pricing in bank debt contracts," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-3), pages 101-128, December.
    11. DeFond, Mark L. & Jiambalvo, James, 1994. "Debt covenant violation and manipulation of accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1-2), pages 145-176, January.
    12. Beatty, Anne & Ramesh, K. & Weber, Joseph, 2002. "The importance of accounting changes in debt contracts: the cost of flexibility in covenant calculations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 205-227, June.
    13. Leuz, Christian & Nanda, Dhananjay & Wysocki, Peter D., 2003. "Earnings management and investor protection: an international comparison," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 505-527, September.
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