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Can corporate governance deter management from manipulating earnings? Evidence from related-party sales transactions in China


  • Lo, Agnes W.Y.
  • Wong, Raymond M.K.
  • Firth, Michael


This study investigates whether good governance structures help constrain management's opportunistic behaviors (in the form of transfer pricing manipulations) in one of the world's most dynamic economies. Our data are a unique sample of 266 companies listed on the Shanghai stock exchange that disclose gross profit ratios on related-party transactions. We find that firms with a board that has a higher percentage of independent directors or a lower percentage of "parent" directors (i.e., directors who are representatives of the parent companies of the listed firms), or have different people occupying the chair and CEO positions, or have financial experts on their audit committees, are less likely to engage in transfer pricing manipulations. Overall, our research findings reveal that the quality of corporate governance is important in deterring the use of manipulated transfer prices in related-party sales transactions.

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  • Lo, Agnes W.Y. & Wong, Raymond M.K. & Firth, Michael, 2010. "Can corporate governance deter management from manipulating earnings? Evidence from related-party sales transactions in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 225-235, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:16:y:2010:i:2:p:225-235

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bava Fabrizio & Gromis di Trana Melchiorre, 2016. "Disclosure on Related Party Transactions: Evidence from Italian Listed Companies," Accounting, Economics, and Law: A Convivium, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 119-150, July.
    2. Michael Firth & Sonia Wong & Qingquan Xin & Ho Yin Yick, 2016. "Regulatory Sanctions on Independent Directors and Their Consequences to the Director Labor Market: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 693-708, April.
    3. repec:kap:jbuset:v:142:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2752-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Haß, Lars Helge & Müller, Maximilian A. & Vergauwe, Skrålan, 2015. "Tournament incentives and corporate fraud," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 251-267.
    5. Michael, Bryane & Goo, Say-Hak, 2016. "The Value of the Corporate Governance Canon on Chinese Companies," EconStor Preprints 173675, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    6. Lai, Jung-Ho & Chen, Li-Yu, 2014. "The valuation effect of corporate governance on stakeholder wealth: Evidence from strategic alliances," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 117-131.
    7. Mu-Shun Wang, 2016. "Idiosyncratic volatility, executive compensation and corporate governance: examination of the direct and moderate effects," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 213-244, March.
    8. Huang, Hui & Shi, Xiaojun & Zhang, Shunming, 2011. "Counter-cyclical substitution between trade credit and bank credit," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1859-1878, August.
    9. Masood Fooladi Chaghadari Author_Email: & Zaleha Abdul Shukor, 2011. "Corporate Governance And Disclosure Of Related Party Transactions," 2nd International Conference on Business and Economic Research (2nd ICBER 2011) Proceeding 2011-267, Conference Master Resources.
    10. Shan, Yuan George, 2015. "Value relevance, earnings management and corporate governance in China," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 186-207.
    11. Li, Donghui & Liao, Li & Luo, Yuanhang & Zhang, Xueyong, 2014. "Firm headquarters location, ownership structure, and stock return co-movements," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 158-172.
    12. Jin-hui Luo & Di-fang Wan & Di Cai, 2012. "The private benefits of control in Chinese listed firms: Do cash flow rights always reduce controlling shareholders’ tunneling?," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 499-518, June.
    13. Hui-Wen Tang & Chong-Chuo Chang, 2015. "Does corporate governance affect the relationship between earnings management and firm performance? An endogenous switching regression model," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 33-58, July.
    14. repec:kap:jmgtgv:v:22:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10997-017-9376-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Fatima Abdul Hamid & Chaabane Oussama Houssem Eddine & Abdullah Mohamed Ayedh & Abdelghani Echchabi, 2014. "Firms' Financial And Corporate Governance Characteristics Association With Earning Management Practices: A Meta-Analysis Approach," Economic Review: Journal of Economics and Business, University of Tuzla, Faculty of Economics, vol. 12(2), pages 49-72.
    16. Teng Lin & Marion Hutchinson & Majella Percy, 2015. "Earnings management and the role of the audit committee: an investigation of the influence of cross-listing and government officials on the audit committee," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(1), pages 197-227, February.
    17. Tang, Tanya & Firth, Michael, 2011. "Can book-tax differences capture earnings management and tax Management? Empirical evidence from China," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 175-204, June.
    18. Zhang, Yuyang & Uchida, Konari & Bu, Hua, 2013. "How do accounting standards and insiders' incentives affect earnings management? Evidence from China," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 78-99.
    19. Lam, Hugo K.S. & Yeung, Andy C.L. & Cheng, T.C.E. & Humphreys, Paul K., 2016. "Corporate environmental initiatives in the Chinese context: Performance implications and contextual factors," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 180(C), pages 48-56.
    20. Wei Huang, 2016. "Tunneling through related-party loan guarantees: evidence from a quasi-experiment in China," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 857-884, October.
    21. Firth, Michael & Gong, Stephen X. & Shan, Liwei, 2013. "Cost of government and firm value," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 136-152.
    22. Haß, Lars Helge & Vergauwe, Skrålan & Zhang, Qiyu, 2014. "Corporate governance and the information environment: Evidence from Chinese stock markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 106-119.
    23. Claessens, Stijn & Yurtoglu, B. Burcin, 2013. "Corporate governance in emerging markets: A survey," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 1-33.


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