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The Relation between Equity Incentives and Misreporting: The Role of Risk-Taking Incentives

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  • Armstrong, Christopher S.

    (University of PA)

  • Larcker, David F.

    (Stanford University)

  • Ormazabal, Gaizka

    (University of Navarra)

  • Taylor, Daniel J.

    (University of PA)

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    Abstract

    Prior research argues that a manager whose wealth is more sensitive to changes in the firm's stock price has a greater incentive to misreport. However, if the manager is risk-averse and misreporting increases both equity values and equity risk, the sensitivity of the manager's wealth to changes in stock price (portfolio delta) will have two countervailing incentive effects: a positive "reward effect" and a negative "risk effect." In contrast, the sensitivity of the manager's wealth to changes in risk (portfolio vega) will have an unambiguously positive incentive effect. We show that jointly considering the incentive effects of both portfolio delta and portfolio vega substantially alters inferences reported in prior literature. Using both regression and matching designs, and measuring misreporting using discretionary accruals, restatements, and SEC Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases, we find strong evidence of a positive relation between vega and misreporting and that the incentives provided by vega subsume those of delta. Collectively, our results suggest that equity portfolios provide managers with incentives to misreport when they make managers less averse to equity risk.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford University, Graduate School of Business in its series Research Papers with number 2120.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:2120

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    1. Stephen A. Ross, 2004. "Compensation, Incentives, and the Duality of Risk Aversion and Riskiness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(1), pages 207-225, 02.
    2. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Vashishtha, Rahul, 2012. "Executive stock options, differential risk-taking incentives, and firm value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 70-88.
    3. Low, Angie, 2009. "Managerial risk-taking behavior and equity-based compensation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 470-490, June.
    4. Coles, Jeffrey L. & Daniel, Naveen D. & Naveen, Lalitha, 2006. "Managerial incentives and risk-taking," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 431-468, February.
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    7. Palmrose, Zoe-Vonna & Richardson, Vernon J. & Scholz, Susan, 2004. "Determinants of market reactions to restatement announcements," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 59-89, February.
    8. Chava, Sudheer & Purnanandam, Amiyatosh, 2010. "CEOs versus CFOs: Incentives and corporate policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 263-278, August.
    9. (Xuefeng) Jiang, John & Petroni, Kathy R. & Yanyan Wang, Isabel, 2010. "CFOs and CEOs: Who have the most influence on earnings management?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 513-526, June.
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    11. Efendi, Jap & Srivastava, Anup & Swanson, Edward P., 2007. "Why do corporate managers misstate financial statements? The role of option compensation and other factors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 667-708, September.
    12. Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Lee, D. Scott & Martin, Gerald S., 2008. "The Cost to Firms of Cooking the Books," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(03), pages 581-611, September.
    13. Jennifer N. Carpenter, 2000. "Does Option Compensation Increase Managerial Risk Appetite?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2311-2331, October.
    14. Feng, Mei & Ge, Weili & Luo, Shuqing & Shevlin, Terry, 2011. "Why do CFOs become involved in material accounting manipulations?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 21-36.
    15. Bardos, Katsiaryna Salavei & Golec, Joseph & Harding, John P., 2011. "Do Investors See through Mistakes in Reported Earnings?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(06), pages 1917-1946, December.
    16. Christopher S. Armstrong & Alan D. Jagolinzer & David F. Larcker, 2010. "Chief Executive Officer Equity Incentives and Accounting Irregularities," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 225-271, 05.
    17. Burns, Natasha & Kedia, Simi, 2006. "The impact of performance-based compensation on misreporting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 35-67, January.
    18. Merle Erickson & Michelle Hanlon & Edward L. Maydew, 2006. "Is There a Link between Executive Equity Incentives and Accounting Fraud?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 113-143, 03.
    19. Feng, Mei & Ge, Weili & Luo, Shuqing & Shevlin, Terry, 2011. "Why do CFOs become involved in material accounting manipulations?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1-2), pages 21-36, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Armstrong, Christopher S. & Blouin, Jennifer L. & Jagolinzer, Alan D. & Larcker, David F., 2013. "Corporate Governance, Incentives, and Tax Avoidance," Research Papers 2134, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    2. Shen, Carl Hsin-han & Zhang, Hao, 2013. "CEO risk incentives and firm performance following R&D increases," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1176-1194.

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