IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ant/wpaper/2008010.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The effect of institutional setting on attributional content in management commentary reports

Author

Listed:
  • AERTS, Walter
  • TARCA, Ann

Abstract

We study the effect of expected regulatory and litigation costs embedded in a country’s institutional environment on the explanatory content of management commentary reports. Using a behavioural accountability lens, we argue that regulatory control and expected litigation risk affect the attributional framing of financial performance. We also investigate whether differential attributional properties have economic relevance by considering the relationship between content profiles and analyst forecast dispersion. We include 173 listed firms from four countries (USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia). Consistent with behavioural accountability theory, we find significant country differences in dominant attributional profiles. Compared to their counterparts in the UK and Australia, firms from the USA and Canada are generally less assertive and less defensive in explicit causal framing. They are also more extensive and formal in their explanations, relying more heavily on accounting-technical language. These tendencies are more pronounced in the USA, where the aggregate of private and public enforcement is greatest. Moreover, we establish that causal defensiveness and attributional extensiveness are negatively associated with analyst forecast dispersion, while level of causal assertiveness and formality are not.

Suggested Citation

  • AERTS, Walter & TARCA, Ann, 2008. "The effect of institutional setting on attributional content in management commentary reports," Working Papers 2008010, University of Antwerp, Faculty of Applied Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ant:wpaper:2008010
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/ab137a/57c68425.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wendy Beekes & Philip Brown, 2006. "Do Better-Governed Australian Firms Make More Informative Disclosures?," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3-4), pages 422-450.
    2. repec:bla:joares:v:32:y:1994:i:1:p:38-60 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Rafael Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "What Works in Securities Laws?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-32, February.
    4. Gary K Meek & Clare B Roberts & Sidney J Gray, 1995. "Factors Influencing Voluntary Annual Report Disclosures By U.S., U.K. and Continental European Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 26(3), pages 555-572, September.
    5. repec:bla:joares:v:32:y:1994:i:2:p:137-164 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Eng, L. L. & Mak, Y. T., 2003. "Corporate governance and voluntary disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 325-345.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. " Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    9. Barton, Jan & Mercer, Molly, 2005. "To blame or not to blame: Analysts' reactions to external explanations for poor financial performance," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 509-533, September.
    10. Aerts, Walter, 2005. "Picking up the pieces: impression management in the retrospective attributional framing of accounting outcomes," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 493-517, August.
    11. Chen, Kevin C.W., 2006. "Board composition, regulatory regime, and voluntary disclosure," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 290-292.
    12. Mark H. Lang & Karl V. Lins & Darius P. Miller, 2003. "ADRs, Analysts, and Accuracy: Does Cross Listing in the United States Improve a Firm's Information Environment and Increase Market Value?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 317-345, May.
    13. Seetharaman, Ananth & Gul, Ferdinand A. & Lynn, Stephen G., 2002. "Litigation risk and audit fees: evidence from UK firms cross-listed on US markets," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 91-115, February.
    14. repec:bla:joares:v:31:y:1993:i:2:p:246-271 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Cheng, Eugene C.M. & Courtenay, Stephen M., 2006. "Board composition, regulatory regime and voluntary disclosure," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 262-289.
    16. Archambault, Jeffrey J. & Archambault, Marie E., 2003. "A multinational test of determinants of corporate disclosure," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 173-194.
    17. Christian Leuz, 2003. "IAS Versus U.S. GAAP: Information Asymmetry-Based Evidence from Germany's New Market," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 445-472, June.
    18. Darren T. Roulstone, 2003. "The Relation Between Insider-Trading Restrictions and Executive Compensation," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(3), pages 525-551, June.
    19. Bhushan, Ravi, 1989. "Firm characteristics and analyst following," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2-3), pages 255-274, July.
    20. Skinner, Douglas J., 1997. "Earnings disclosures and stockholder lawsuits," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 249-282, November.
    21. Mark A. Clatworthy & Michael John Jones, 2006. "Differential patterns of textual characteristics and company performance in the chairman's statement," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(4), pages 493-511, July.
    22. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A); Operating and Financial Review (OFR); Cross-country effects; Enforcement; Analyst forecast dispersion;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:ant:wpaper:2008010. 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: (Joeri Nys). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/ftufsbe.html .

    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.