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Institutional ownership, product market competition, and earnings management: Some evidence from international data

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  • Lemma, Tesfaye T.
  • Negash, Minga
  • Mlilo, Mthokozisi
  • Lulseged, Ayalew

Abstract

We examine the impact of institutional ownership and product market competition on earnings management (both accrual-based and real) using data from non-financial firms in 41 countries around the world for the period 1995–2016. Overall all, we document an asymmetry in the role institutional ownership and product market competition play in curbing accrual vis-à-vis real earnings management. After controlling for firm-level determinants of earnings management documented by prior research, industry and country indicator variables, we find robust evidence (no evidence) that accrual (real) earnings management increases (is associated) with percentage of institutional ownership. While institutional ownership appears to have no effect on real earnings management, it significantly accentuates accrual earnings management. We also find that product market competition is positively associated with accrual earnings management, though statistically significantly only when the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI) proxy is used. Lastly, product market competition is significantly negatively associated with real earnings management, using two of the three proxies of product market competition. Only when we use the inverse of number of firms in an industry (NUMB) do we find a positive association between product market competition and real earnings management. Product market competition appears to accentuate accrual but attenuate real earnings management.

Suggested Citation

  • Lemma, Tesfaye T. & Negash, Minga & Mlilo, Mthokozisi & Lulseged, Ayalew, 2018. "Institutional ownership, product market competition, and earnings management: Some evidence from international data," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 151-163.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:151-163
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.04.035
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