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Value relevance of conservative and non-conservative accounting information

  • Kousenidis, Dimitrios V.
  • Ladas, Anestis C.
  • Negakis, Christos I.

The present paper examines effects of reporting conservatism on the value relevance of accounting earnings of a sample of Greek firms over the period from 1989 to 2003. The results of the paper indicate that conservatism is a salient feature of the Greek Accounting System. Moreover, the results depict that the level of conservatism has increased after the market crisis of 1999, potentially as a result of the additional regulation, imposed by the market authorities during the post-crisis period. Finally, the results show that there is a non-linear association between conservative reporting and value relevance of earnings. In particular, value relevance increases when moving from low-conservative firms to medium-conservative firms and decreases when moving further to high-conservative firms. Overall, the results of the paper lend empirical support to the theoretical underpinnings of Watts (2003a) who, on the one hand, report a number of arguments in favor of conservatism but, on the other hand, questions the practice of excessive conservative reporting as being a potential cause of the distortion of the earnings-returns relation.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal The International Journal of Accounting.

Volume (Year): 44 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 219-238

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Handle: RePEc:eee:accoun:v:44:y:2009:i:3:p:219-238
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620179

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  1. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Hausman, Jerry A, 1978. "Specification Tests in Econometrics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1251-71, November.
  3. 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.
  4. Bushman, Robert M. & Piotroski, Joseph D., 2006. "Financial reporting incentives for conservative accounting: The influence of legal and political institutions," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 107-148, October.
  5. Apostolos Ballas, 1994. "Accounting in Greece," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 107-121.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Collins, Daniel W. & Maydew, Edward L. & Weiss, Ira S., 1997. "Changes in the value-relevance of earnings and book values over the past forty years," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 39-67, December.
  9. Kothari, S. P., 2001. "Capital markets research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 105-231, September.
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