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Does corporate diversification exacerbate or mitigate earnings management?: An empirical analysis

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  • Jiraporn, Pornsit
  • Kim, Young Sang
  • Mathur, Ike

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to determine whether earning management is exacerbated or alleviated in diversified firms. An explicit distinction is made between industrial and geographic diversification. The empirical evidence shows that earnings management is mitigated by 1.8% in industrially diversified firms. The evidence also shows that a combination of industrial and global diversification helps alleviate earnings management by 2.5%. Global diversification alone, however, does not appear to impact earnings management. We argue that diversified firms derive their cash flows from disparate business divisions. The accruals generated by these business divisions are imperfectly correlated and, hence, tend to offset each other at the entire firm's level, making it difficult for managers to manage earnings considerably in either direction. Finally, our results show that diversified firms do not suffer more severe informational asymmetry, which may explain why earnings management does not occur to a greater extent in diversified firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Jiraporn, Pornsit & Kim, Young Sang & Mathur, Ike, 2008. "Does corporate diversification exacerbate or mitigate earnings management?: An empirical analysis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1087-1109, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:17:y:2008:i:5:p:1087-1109
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Iatridis, George & Kadorinis, George, 2009. "Earnings management and firm financial motives: A financial investigation of UK listed firms," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 164-173, September.
    2. Imen Khanchel El Mehdi & Souad Seboui, 2011. "Corporate diversification and earnings management," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 176-196, May.
    3. Papanastasopoulos, Georgios & Thomakos, Dimitrios & Wang, Tao, 2011. "Information in balance sheets for future stock returns: Evidence from net operating assets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 269-282.
    4. Farooqi, Javeria & Harris, Oneil & Ngo, Thanh, 2014. "Corporate diversification, real activities manipulation, and firm value," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 130-151.
    5. Pornsit Jiraporn, 2005. "An empirical analysis of corporate takeover defences and earnings management: evidence from the US," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(5), pages 293-303.
    6. Iatridis, George, 2010. "International Financial Reporting Standards and the quality of financial statement information," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 193-204, June.
    7. Vasilescu, Camelia & Millo, Yuval, 2016. "Do industrial and geographic diversifications have different effects on earnings management? Evidence from UK mergers and acquisitions," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 33-45.
    8. How, Janice & Verhoeven, Peter & Abdul Wahab, Effiezal Aswadi, 2014. "Institutional investors, political connections and analyst following in Malaysia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 158-167.

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