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Earnings Management to Exceed Thresholds

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  • Degeorge, François
  • Patel, U
  • Zeckhauser, Richard

Abstract

Investors are keenly interested in financial reports of earnings because earnings provide important information for investment decisions. Thus, executives who are monitored by investors and directors face strong incentives to manage earnings. We introduce consideration of behavioural/institutional thresholds for earnings in this mix of incentives and governance. A model illustrates how thresholds induce specific types of earnings management. Empirical explorations find clear support for earnings management to exceed each of the three thresholds that we consider: positive profits, sustain-recent-performance, and meet-market-expectations. The thresholds are hierarchically ranked. The future performance of firms that possibly boost earnings to just cross a threshold appears to be poorer than that of less suspect control groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Degeorge, François & Patel, U & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1998. "Earnings Management to Exceed Thresholds," CEPR Discussion Papers 1790, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1790
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    Keywords

    Behavioural Finance; earnings management; thresholds;

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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