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Board of Directors' Characteristics and Conditional Accounting Conservatism: Spanish Evidence


  • Juan Manuel Garcia Lara
  • Beatriz Garcia Osma
  • Fernando Penalva


Using a sample of Spanish listed firms for the period 1997-2002 we find that firms where the CEO has a low influence over the functioning of the board of directors show a greater degree of accounting conservatism. We measure the influence of the CEO over the board of directors using two aggregate indexes combining six (eight) characteristics of the functioning of the board of directors and its monitoring committees: board size, proportion of non-executive directors, proportion of independent directors, whether the chairman of the board is an executive director, the number of board meetings, and the existence of an audit committee, a nomination/remuneration committee and an executive committee. We define conservatism as the asymmetric recognition speed of good and bad news in earnings, and we measure it following Basu (Journal of Accounting and Economics, 24, pp. 3-37, 1997) and Ball and Shivakumar (Journal of Accounting and Economics, 39, pp. 83-128, 2005). Our results are robust to alternative specifications and specific controls for investment opportunities and for the endogenous nature of corporate governance and earnings quality. Overall, our evidence shows that firms with strong boards use conservative accounting numbers as a governance tool, even in an institutional setting with low litigation risk such as Spain.

Suggested Citation

  • Juan Manuel Garcia Lara & Beatriz Garcia Osma & Fernando Penalva, 2007. "Board of Directors' Characteristics and Conditional Accounting Conservatism: Spanish Evidence," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(4), pages 727-755.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:16:y:2007:i:4:p:727-755 DOI: 10.1080/09638180701706922

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ackert, Lucy F. & Tian, Yisong S., 2001. "Efficiency in index options markets and trading in stock baskets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1607-1634, September.
    2. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard H. Thaler, 1995. "Myopic Loss Aversion and the Equity Premium Puzzle," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 73-92.
    3. Tian, Yisong S., 2004. "Too much of a good incentive? The case of executive stock options," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1225-1245, June.
    4. Black, Fischer & Scholes, Myron S, 1973. "The Pricing of Options and Corporate Liabilities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 637-654, May-June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Takuya Iwasaki & Shota Otomasa & Atsushi Shiiba & Akinobu Shuto, 2015. "To test the implication of Watts' (2003) argument that accounting conservatism increases the efficiency of executive compensation contracts, we investigate the relationship between accounting conserva," CARF F-Series CARF-F-370, Center for Advanced Research in Finance, Faculty of Economics, The University of Tokyo.
    2. Wan-Hussin, Wan Nordin, 2009. "The impact of family-firm structure and board composition on corporate transparency: Evidence based on segment disclosures in Malaysia," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 313-333, December.
    3. Rahimah Mohamed Yunos Author_Email: & Malcolm Smith & Zubaidah Ismail & Syahrul Ahmar Ahmad, 2011. "Inside Concentrated Owners, Board Of Directors And Accounting Conservatism," Annual Summit on Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (ASBES 2011) Proceeding 2011-053-178, Conference Master Resources.
    4. Laura Arnedo & Fermín Lizarraga & Santiago Sánchez, 2012. "The role of accounting accruals for the prediction of future cash flows: evidence from Spain," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 499-520, December.
    5. Antti Rautiainen, 2010. "Contending legitimations: Performance measurement coupling and decoupling in two Finnish cities," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(3), pages 373-391, March.
    6. C. Piot & L. Kermiche, 2009. "A quoi servent les comités d'audit ? Un regard sur la recherche empirique," Post-Print halshs-00537952, HAL.
    7. Iatridis, George Emmanuel, 2011. "Accounting disclosures, accounting quality and conditional and unconditional conservatism," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 88-102, April.
    8. repec:eee:spacre:v:18:y:2015:i:2:p:148-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dariush Foroghi & Hadi Amiri & Zahra Nokhbeh Fallah, 2013. "Corporate Governance and Conservatism," International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Accounting, Finance and Management Sciences, vol. 3(4), pages 61-71, October.
    10. Yu Chen & Zabihollah Rezaee, 2012. "The role of corporate governance in convergence with IFRS: evidence from China," International Journal of Accounting and Information Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 171-188.
    11. repec:eco:journ1:2017-02-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Jerry Sun & Guoping Liu, 2011. "The effect of analyst coverage on accounting conservatism," Managerial Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 37(1), pages 5-20, January.

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