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Property rights and earnings manipulations


  • Anton Miglo

    () (University of Guelph, Department of Economics.)


This paper analyzes the links between cash flow rights, control rights and property rights in situations where a firm's security holders can manipulate earnings (intertemporal substitution). It is shown that the allocation of these rights a¤ects the incentives of claimholders when intertemporal substitution activities are numerous and cannot be contracted ex-ante. The main results we obtain are: 1) current cash flow rights and residual property rights are connected through the rule of marginal revenues; 2) the allocation of control rights does not necessarily coincide with the allocation of residual property rights; 3) when current cash flow rights are two-part linear, and in some cases when they are three-part linear, the problem of earnings manipulation can be eliminated through the appropriate design of property rights. However, for some contracts earnings manipulation is unavoidable. This theory provides new insights into the link between different rights of the holders of securities.

Suggested Citation

  • Anton Miglo, 2006. "Property rights and earnings manipulations," Working Papers 0612, University of Guelph, Department of Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:gue:guelph:2006-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Klaus M. Schmidt, 2003. "Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(3), pages 1139-1166, June.
    2. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
    3. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
    4. Titman, Sheridan, 1984. "The effect of capital structure on a firm's liquidation decision," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 137-151, March.
    5. Zender, Jaime F, 1991. " Optimal Financial Instruments," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1645-1663, December.
    6. Michael C. Jensen, 2003. "Paying People to Lie: the Truth about the Budgeting Process," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 9(3), pages 379-406.
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    More about this item


    earnings manipulations; intertemporal substitution; design of securities; property rights; cash flow rights.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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