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Estimation sample selection for discretionary accruals models

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  • Ecker, Frank
  • Francis, Jennifer
  • Olsson, Per
  • Schipper, Katherine
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    Abstract

    We examine how the criteria for choosing estimation samples affect the ability to detect discretionary accruals, using several variants of the Jones (1991) model. Researchers commonly estimate accruals models in cross-section, and define the estimation sample as all firms in the same industry. We examine whether firm size performs at least as well as industry membership as the criterion for selecting estimation samples. For U.S. data, we find estimation samples based on similarity in lagged assets perform at least as well as estimation samples based on industry membership at detecting discretionary accruals, both in simulations with seeded accruals between 2% and 100% of total assets and in tests examining restatement data and AAER data. For non-U.S. data, we find industry-based estimation samples result in significant sample attrition and estimation samples based on lagged assets perform at least as well as estimation samples based on industry membership, both in simulations and in tests examining German restatement data, with substantially less sample attrition.

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    Bibliographic Info

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

    Volume (Year): 56 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 190-211

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:56:y:2013:i:2:p:190-211

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

    Related research

    Keywords: Discretionary accruals; Earnings management; Peer firms; Discretionary accruals models;

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    1. Albuquerque, Ana, 2009. "Peer firms in relative performance evaluation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 69-89, October.
    2. Bernard, Victor L. & Skinner, Douglas J., 1996. "What motivates managers' choice of discretionary accruals?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 313-325, October.
    3. Healy, Paul M., 1985. "The effect of bonus schemes on accounting decisions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 85-107, April.
    4. Brickley, James A. & Zimmerman, Jerold L., 2010. "Corporate governance myths: Comments on Armstrong, Guay, and Weber," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 235-245, December.
    5. David F. Larcker & Scott A. Richardson, 2004. "Fees Paid to Audit Firms, Accrual Choices, and Corporate Governance," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 625-658, 06.
    6. Kothari, S.P. & Leone, Andrew J. & Wasley, Charles E., 2005. "Performance matched discretionary accrual measures," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 163-197, February.
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