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An Analysis of the Theories and Explanations Offered for the Mispricing of Accruals and Accrual Components




Numerous accounting studies claim that investors fail to rationally price accrual-related information and that investors are functionally fixated. This study documents the importance of performing robustness tests when testing economic or behavioral explanations for apparent accounting-related security mispricing. We find that performing robustness tests that exclude a small number of firm-year observations (approximately 200 firm-year observations or about 1% of the entire sample) reveals an inverted U-shaped relation between buy-and-hold abnormal returns and total accruals. An inverted U-shaped relation is inconsistent with the functional fixation (earnings fixation) hypothesis. We conduct similar robustness tests for the abnormal accrual anomaly and the net operating assets anomaly proposed by other investigators, and also find an inverted U-shaped relation between buy-and-hold abnormal returns and abnormal accruals and net operating assets. These findings are inconsistent with the explanations put forth by those investigators. Such evidence leads us to conclude that the accrual-related anomalies are unlikely to be due to investors' inability to process accounting information, as suggested by the functional fixation hypotheses tested. Copyright University of Chicago on behalf of the Institute of Professional Accounting, 2006.

Suggested Citation

  • Arthur Kraft & Andrew J. Leone & Charles Wasley, 2006. "An Analysis of the Theories and Explanations Offered for the Mispricing of Accruals and Accrual Components," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 297-339, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:44:y:2006:i:2:p:297-339

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael E. Porter, 1992. "Capital Choices: Changing The Way America Invests In Industry," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 5(2), pages 4-16.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balboa, Marina & López-Espinosa, Germán & Rubia, Antonio, 2013. "Nonlinear dynamics in discretionary accruals: An analysis of bank loan-loss provisions," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5186-5207.
    2. repec:wsi:qjfxxx:v:07:y:2017:i:01:n:s2010139216500178 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Johnston, Rick & Leone, Andrew J. & Ramnath, Sundaresh & Yang, Ya-wen, 2012. "14-Week quarters," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 271-289.
    4. Kim, Young Jun & Kim, Jung Hoon & Kwon, Sewon & Lee, Su Jeong, 2015. "Percent accruals and the accrual anomaly: Korean evidence," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 35(PA), pages 340-366.
    5. Koon Boon Kee, 2011. "Why ‘Democracy’ anD ‘Drifter’ firms can have abnormal returns: the Joint importance of corporate Governance anD abnormal accruals in separatinG Winners from losers," Bogazici Journal, Review of Social, Economic and Administrative Studies, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 3-55.
    6. Richardson, Scott & Tuna, Irem & Wysocki, Peter, 2010. "Accounting anomalies and fundamental analysis: A review of recent research advances," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 410-454, December.
    7. Henry Jarva, 2009. "Do Firms Manage Fair Value Estimates? An Examination of SFAS 142 Goodwill Impairments," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(9-10), pages 1059-1086.
    8. Jeremiah Green & John R. M. Hand & Mark T. Soliman, 2011. "Going, Going, Gone? The Apparent Demise of the Accruals Anomaly," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(5), pages 797-816, May.
    9. Norio Kitagawa & Akinobu Shuto, 2013. "Credibility of Management Earnings Forecasts and Future Returns," Discussion Paper Series DP2013-30, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    10. Yong-Chul Shin & Kun Yu & Neil Fargher, 2016. "Do investors misprice components of net periodic pension cost?," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 56(3), pages 845-878, September.
    11. Strydom, Maria & Skully, Michael & Veeraraghavan, Madhu, 2014. "Is the accrual anomaly robust to firm-level analysis?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 157-165.
    12. Kothari, S.P. & Loutskina, E. & Nikolaev, V., 2006. "Agency Theory of Overvalued Equity as an Explanation for the Accrual Anomaly," Discussion Paper 2006-103, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    13. Yakup Ergincan, 2011. "Mobile Corporate Governance: A Model Proposal For Modern Corporate Governance And Investor Relations," Bogazici Journal, Review of Social, Economic and Administrative Studies, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 25(1), pages 171-200.
    14. Ignacio Ferrero & Alejo José G. Sison, 2012. "A Survey on Virtue in Business and Management (1980-2011)," Faculty Working Papers 06/12, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
    15. Dechow, Patricia & Ge, Weili & Schrand, Catherine, 2010. "Understanding earnings quality: A review of the proxies, their determinants and their consequences," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 344-401, December.
    16. Chih-Jen Huang, 2010. "The joint decision to manage earnings through discretionary accruals and asset sales around insider trading: Taiwan evidence," Journal of Economics and Finance, Springer;Academy of Economics and Finance, vol. 34(3), pages 308-325, July.
    17. Beaver, William & McNichols, Maureen & Price, Richard, 2007. "Delisting returns and their effect on accounting-based market anomalies," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 341-368, July.
    18. Diana MURESAN & Monica Ioana POP SILAGHI, 2014. "Empirical evidence on cross-country differences in explaining accruals anomaly," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 39(2(48)), pages 121-132, December.
    19. repec:eee:pacfin:v:46:y:2017:i:pb:p:227-242 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. David R. Gallagher & Peter A. Gardner & Camille H. Schmidt & Terry S. Walter, 2014. "Portfolio Quality and Mutual Fund Performance," International Review of Finance, International Review of Finance Ltd., vol. 14(4), pages 485-521, December.
    21. Hsien-Li Lee & Hua Lee, 2015. "Effect of information disclosure and transparency ranking system on mispricing of accruals of Taiwanese firms," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 445-471, April.
    22. Theodosia Konstantinidi & Arthur Kraft & Peter F. Pope, 2016. "Asymmetric Persistence and the Market Pricing of Accruals and Cash Flows," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 52(1), pages 140-165, March.
    23. Imen Khanchel El Mehdi, 2014. "Accrual and cash flow anomalies in diversified firms: Impact of segment portfolio management," Working Papers 2014-76, Department of Research, Ipag Business School.
    24. repec:ipg:wpaper:2014-076 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Norio Kitagawa & Akinobu Shuto, 2015. "Credibility of management earnings forecasts and future returns," CARF F-Series CARF-F-367, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.

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