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Cash flow asymmetry: Causes and implications for conditional conservatism research

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  • Collins, Daniel W.
  • Hribar, Paul
  • Tian, Xiaoli (Shaolee)

Abstract

Earnings asymmetric timeliness captures both accrual and operating cash flow (CFO) asymmetric timeliness. Because recognition of operating cash flows does not reflect differential verification thresholds for recognizing unrealized gains versus losses, CFO asymmetry adds noise or bias to tests of conditional conservatism. We show that CFO asymmetry is predictable in the cross-section, and varies systematically with life-cycle characteristics. Removing CFO from earnings and using accruals-based measures of asymmetric timeliness eliminates several biases that prior studies have attributed to other sources. Moreover, accrual asymmetric timeliness varies in the cross-section as theory predicts. Going forward, we recommend researchers use accruals-based asymmetric timeliness measures when testing for conditional conservatism.

Suggested Citation

  • Collins, Daniel W. & Hribar, Paul & Tian, Xiaoli (Shaolee), 2014. "Cash flow asymmetry: Causes and implications for conditional conservatism research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 173-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:58:y:2014:i:2:p:173-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2014.08.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Habib, Ahsan & Hasan, Mostafa Monzur, 2019. "Corporate life cycle research in accounting, finance and corporate governance: A survey, and directions for future research," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 188-201.
    2. Archana Jain & Chinmay Jain & Ashok Robin, 2020. "Does accounting conservatism deter short sellers?," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 54(3), pages 1075-1100, April.
    3. Inder K. Khurana & Wei Wang, 2019. "International Mergers and Acquisitions Laws, the Market for Corporate Control, and Accounting Conservatism," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 241-290, March.
    4. William Bradford & Chao Chen & Song Zhu, 2017. "Conservative Accounting, IFRS Convergence and Cash Dividend Payments: Evidence from China," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 23(3), pages 376-414, June.
    5. Fabio B. Gaertner & Asad Kausar & Logan B. Steele, 0. "Negative accounting earnings and gross domestic product," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-28.
    6. Ahsan Habib & Mabel D' Costa & Hedy Jiaying Huang & Md. Borhan Uddin Bhuiyan & Li Sun, 2020. "Determinants and consequences of financial distress: review of the empirical literature," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 60(S1), pages 1023-1075, April.
    7. Meiting Lu & Yaowen Shan & Sue Wright & Yimeng Yu, 2020. "Operating cash flow asymmetric timeliness in Australia," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 60(S1), pages 587-627, April.
    8. Manuel Cano-Rodríguez & Manuel Núñez-Nickel, 2015. "Aggregation Bias in Estimates of Conditional Conservatism: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1-2), pages 51-78, January.
    9. Akram Khalilov & Beatriz Garcia Osma, 2020. "Accounting conservatism and the profitability of corporate insiders," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3-4), pages 333-364, March.
    10. Sudipta Basu & Yi Liang, 2019. "Director–Liability–Reduction Laws and Conditional Conservatism," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 889-917, September.
    11. Thomas Hemmer & Eva Labro, 2019. "Management by the Numbers: A Formal Approach to Deriving Informational and Distributional Properties of “Unmanaged” Earnings," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(1), pages 5-51, March.
    12. Dmitri Byzalov & Sudipta Basu, 2016. "Conditional conservatism and disaggregated bad news indicators in accrual models," Review of Accounting Studies, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 859-897, September.
    13. Matthias Breuer & David Windisch, 2019. "Investment Dynamics and Earnings‐Return Properties: A Structural Approach," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 639-674, June.
    14. Hilary, Gilles & Hsu, Charles & Segal, Benjamin & Wang, Rencheng, 2016. "The bright side of managerial over-optimism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 46-64.
    15. Kim, Jaewoo, 2018. "Asymmetric timely loss recognition, adverse shocks to external capital, and underinvestment: Evidence from the collapse of the junk bond market," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 148-168.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conservatism; Asymmetric timeliness; Cash flow asymmetry;

    JEL classification:

    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • N20 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - General, International, or Comparative

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