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Discretionary Accruals: The Measurement Error Induced By Conservatism

  • José A. C. Moreira

    ()

    (Faculdade de Economia da Universidade do Porto. CETE - Centro de Estudos de Economia Industrial, do Trabalho e da Empresa)

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    This paper discusses the sign of the expected measurement error in discretionary accruals (DAC) estimates when accrual models do not control for the asymmetric treatment of gains and losses underlying conservatism. I show that DAC in firms with “bad news” are expected to be understated (positive measurement error), while those in “good news” firms will be overstated (negative measurement error). Based on this original result, and using graphical analysis, I discuss an empirical illustration, which corroborates the expectations.

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    File URL: http://pascal.iseg.utl.pt/~pjms/files/2006-Discretionary_accruals-the_measurement_error_induced_by_conservatism.pdf
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    Article provided by ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa in its journal Portuguese Journal of Management Studies.

    Volume (Year): XI (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 115-125

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    Handle: RePEc:pjm:journl:v:xi:y:2006:i:2:p:115-125
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    1. Guay, W. & Kothari, S.P. & Watts, R.L., 1996. "A Market-Based Evaluation of Discretionary-Accrual Models," Papers 96-01, Rochester, Business - Financial Research and Policy Studies.
    2. Thomas, Jacob & Zhang, Xiao-jun, 2000. "Identifying unexpected accruals: a comparison of current approaches," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4-5), pages 347-376.
    3. 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.
    4. Barth, Mary E. & Beaver, William H. & Landsman, Wayne R., 1998. "Relative valuation roles of equity book value and net income as a function of financial health," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-34, February.
    5. Ray Ball & Lakshmanan Shivakumar, 2006. "The Role of Accruals in Asymmetrically Timely Gain and Loss Recognition," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(2), pages 207-242, 05.
    6. Steven Young, 1999. "Systematic Measurement Error in the Estimation of Discretionary Accruals: An Evaluation of Alternative Modelling Procedures," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(7&8), pages 833-862.
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