IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jaecon/v61y2016i1p221-238.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Accounting conservatism and firm investment efficiency

Author

Listed:
  • García Lara, Juan Manuel
  • García Osma, Beatriz
  • Penalva, Fernando

Abstract

We argue that conservatism improves investment efficiency. In particular, we predict that it resolves debt-equity conflicts, facilitating a firm׳s access to debt financing and limiting underinvestment. This permits the financing of prudent investments that otherwise might not be pursued. Our empirical results confirm these predictions. We find that more conservative firms invest more and issue more debt in settings prone to underinvestment and that these effects are more pronounced in firms characterized by greater information asymmetries. We also find that conservatism is associated with reduced overinvestment, even for opaque investments such as research and development.

Suggested Citation

  • García Lara, Juan Manuel & García Osma, Beatriz & Penalva, Fernando, 2016. "Accounting conservatism and firm investment efficiency," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 221-238.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:61:y:2016:i:1:p:221-238
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2015.07.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165410115000506
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bo Becker & Per Strömberg, 2012. "Fiduciary Duties and Equity-debtholder Conflicts," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(6), pages 1931-1969.
    2. Hovakimian, Armen & Opler, Tim & Titman, Sheridan, 2001. "The Debt-Equity Choice," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(1), pages 1-24, March.
    3. Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2002. "What Drives Firm-Level Stock Returns?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 233-264, February.
    4. Wittenberg-Moerman, Regina, 2008. "The role of information asymmetry and financial reporting quality in debt trading: Evidence from the secondary loan market," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2-3), pages 240-260, December.
    5. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta & Gilles Hilary, 2006. "Analyst Coverage and Financing Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 3009-3048, December.
    6. Murray Z. Frank & Vidhan K. Goyal, 2009. "Capital Structure Decisions: Which Factors Are Reliably Important?," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 38(1), pages 1-37, March.
    7. Francis, Jere R. & Martin, Xiumin, 2010. "Acquisition profitability and timely loss recognition," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 161-178, February.
    8. Eugene F. Fama, 2002. "Testing Trade-Off and Pecking Order Predictions About Dividends and Debt," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(1), pages 1-33, March.
    9. Ettredge, Michael & Huang, Ying & Zhang, Weining, 2012. "Earnings restatements and differential timeliness of accounting conservatism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 489-503.
    10. Lucas, Deborah J & McDonald, Robert L, 1990. "Equity Issues and Stock Price Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1019-1043, September.
    11. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    12. Gao, Pingyang, 2013. "A measurement approach to conservatism and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 251-268.
    13. Paul Gompers & Joy Ishii & Andrew Metrick, 2003. "Corporate Governance and Equity Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 107-156.
    14. Armen Hovakimian, 2004. "The Role of Target Leverage in Security Issues and Repurchases," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1041-1072, October.
    15. Amir Sufi, 2007. "Information Asymmetry and Financing Arrangements: Evidence from Syndicated Loans," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 629-668, April.
    16. Jackson, Scott B. & (Kelvin) Liu, Xiaotao & Cecchini, Mark, 2009. "Economic consequences of firms' depreciation method choice: Evidence from capital investments," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 54-68, October.
    17. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1997. "Industry costs of equity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 153-193, February.
    18. Michael Faulkender & Mitchell A. Petersen, 2006. "Does the Source of Capital Affect Capital Structure?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(1), pages 45-79.
    19. Dechow, Patricia M., 1994. "Accounting earnings and cash flows as measures of firm performance : The role of accounting accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-42, July.
    20. Ball, Ray & Shivakumar, Lakshmanan, 2005. "Earnings quality in UK private firms: comparative loss recognition timeliness," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 83-128, February.
    21. Mitchell A. Petersen, 2009. "Estimating Standard Errors in Finance Panel Data Sets: Comparing Approaches," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 435-480, January.
    22. Dechow, Patricia M. & Kothari, S. P. & L. Watts, Ross, 1998. "The relation between earnings and cash flows," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 133-168, May.
    23. Valeri V. Nikolaev, 2010. "Debt Covenants and Accounting Conservatism," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 51-89, March.
    24. Edward I. Altman, 1968. "Financial Ratios, Discriminant Analysis And The Prediction Of Corporate Bankruptcy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(4), pages 589-609, September.
    25. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
    26. Frank, Murray Z. & Goyal, Vidhan K., 2003. "Testing the pecking order theory of capital structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 217-248, February.
    27. David Aboody & Baruch Lev, 2000. "Information Asymmetry, R&D, and Insider Gains," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2747-2766, December.
    28. Ahmed, Anwer S. & Duellman, Scott, 2007. "Accounting conservatism and board of director characteristics: An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2-3), pages 411-437, July.
    29. Jeroen Suijs, 2008. "On the Value Relevance of Asymmetric Financial Reporting Policies," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(5), pages 1297-1321, December.
    30. Ray Ball & S. P. Kothari & Valeri V. Nikolaev, 2013. "Econometrics of the Basu Asymmetric Timeliness Coefficient and Accounting Conservatism," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(5), pages 1071-1097, December.
    31. Karthik Balakrishnan & John E. Core & Rodrigo S. Verdi, 2014. "The Relation Between Reporting Quality and Financing and Investment: Evidence from Changes in Financing Capacity," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 1-36, March.
    32. Myers, Stewart C., 1977. "Determinants of corporate borrowing," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 147-175, November.
    33. Titman, Sheridan & Wessels, Roberto, 1988. " The Determinants of Capital Structure Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-19, March.
    34. Göx, Robert F. & Wagenhofer, Alfred, 2009. "Optimal impairment rules," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 2-16, October.
    35. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. "The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    36. Joshua D. Rauh & Amir Sufi, 2010. "Capital Structure and Debt Structure," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(12), pages 4242-4280, December.
    37. Ole‐Kristian Hope & Wayne B. Thomas, 2008. "Managerial Empire Building and Firm Disclosure," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 591-626, June.
    38. Myers, Stewart C., 2003. "Financing of corporations," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.),Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 215-253, Elsevier.
    39. Daniel A. Bens & Steven J. Monahan, 2004. "Disclosure Quality and the Excess Value of Diversification," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(4), pages 691-730, September.
    40. Gilles Hilary & Sudipto Dasgupta & Xing Chang, 2009. "The Effect of Auditor Quality on Financing Decisions," Post-Print hal-00481935, HAL.
    41. Khan, Mozaffar & Watts, Ross L., 2009. "Estimation and empirical properties of a firm-year measure of accounting conservatism," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2-3), pages 132-150, December.
    42. Gilles Hilary & Gary C. Biddle, 2006. "Accounting Quality and Firm-Level Capital Investment," Post-Print hal-00481720, HAL.
    43. 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.
    44. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    45. Robert M. Bushman & Joseph D. Piotroski & Abbie J. Smith, 2011. "Capital Allocation and Timely Accounting Recognition of Economic Losses," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(1-2), pages 1-33, January.
    46. Jayaraman, Sudarshan, 2012. "The effect of enforcement on timely loss recognition: Evidence from insider trading laws," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 77-97.
    47. Amir Sufi, 2009. "Bank Lines of Credit in Corporate Finance: An Empirical Analysis," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(3), pages 1057-1088, March.
    48. Childs, Paul D. & Mauer, David C. & Ott, Steven H., 2005. "Interactions of corporate financing and investment decisions: The effects of agency conflicts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 667-690, June.
    49. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. "The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
    50. Michael J. Barclay & Clifford W. Smith, 1999. "The Capital Structure Puzzle: Another Look At The Evidence," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 12(1), pages 8-20, March.
    51. 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.
    52. Qi Chen & Thomas Hemmer & Yun Zhang, 2007. "On the Relation between Conservatism in Accounting Standards and Incentives for Earnings Management," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 541-565, June.
    53. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    54. Todd A. Gormley & Bong Hwan Kim & Xiumin Martin, 2012. "Do Firms Adjust Their Timely Loss Recognition in Response to Changes in the Banking Industry?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 159-196, March.
    55. Bargeron, Leonce L. & Lehn, Kenneth M. & Zutter, Chad J., 2010. "Sarbanes-Oxley and corporate risk-taking," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1-2), pages 34-52, February.
    56. Zhang, Jieying, 2008. "The contracting benefits of accounting conservatism to lenders and borrowers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 27-54, March.
    57. Cheng, Mei & Dhaliwal, Dan & Zhang, Yuan, 2013. "Does investment efficiency improve after the disclosure of material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 1-18.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conservatism; Earnings asymmetric timeliness; Investment efficiency; Under-investment; Over-investment;

    JEL classification:

    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:61:y:2016:i:1:p:221-238. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jae .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.