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Earnings Management and Cross Listing: Are Reconciled Earnings Comparable to US Earnings?

  • Lang, Mark

    (U of North Carolina)

  • Raedy, Jana Smith
  • Wilson, Wendy
Registered author(s):

    We compare the characteristics of US GAAP earnings for US firms with reconciled earnings for non-US firms cross listing on US markets. We find that the reconciled earnings for non-US firms differ systematically from US GAAP earnings for US firms, and are characterized by more evidence of smoothing, a greater tendency to manage earnings towards a target, a lower association with share price and less timely recognition of losses. Further, splitting by country of domicile, firms from countries with relatively weak local investor protection environments show more evidence of earnings management in the reconciled accounts, suggesting that the extra layer of regulation imposed by the SEC does not supplant the effect of the local regulatory environment. While evidence of earnings management is stronger for cross-listed firms that reconcile to US GAAP than for those that prepare local accounts in accordance with US GAAP, both sets show more evidence of earnings management than the matched US firms, suggesting that reconciliation may explain part, but not all, of the results.

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    Paper provided by University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center in its series Working Papers with number 05-3.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:ecl:upafin:05-3
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    1. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert, 2000. "Investor protection and corporate governance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-27.
    2. Brown, Stephen & Lo, Kin & Lys, Thomas, 1999. "Use of R2 in accounting research: measuring changes in value relevance over the last four decades," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 83-115, December.
    3. Pagano, Marco & Röell, Ailsa A & Zechner, Josef, 2001. "The Geography of Equity Listing: Why Do Companies List Abroad?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2681, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Barth, Mary E. & Beaver, William H. & Landsman, Wayne R., 2001. "The relevance of the value relevance literature for financial accounting standard setting: another view," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 77-104, September.
    5. Cramer, J. S., 1987. "Mean and variance of R2 in small and moderate samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2-3), pages 253-266, July.
    6. Mark Lang & Jana Smith Raedy & Michelle Higgins Yetman, 2003. "How Representative Are Firms That Are Cross-Listed in the United States? An Analysis of Accounting Quality," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 363-386, 05.
    7. Leuz, Christian & Nanda, Dhananjay & Wysocki, Peter D., 2003. "Earnings management and investor protection: an international comparison," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 505-527, September.
    8. Ball, Ray & Kothari, S. P. & Robin, Ashok, 2000. "The effect of international institutional factors on properties of accounting earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51, February.
    9. 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.
    10. Ball, Ray & Robin, Ashok & Wu, Joanna Shuang, 2003. "Incentives versus standards: properties of accounting income in four East Asian countries," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-3), pages 235-270, December.
    11. Burgstahler, David & Dichev, Ilia, 1997. "Earnings management to avoid earnings decreases and losses," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 99-126, December.
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