Why Do Firms Smooth Earnings?
We explain why a firm may smooth reported earnings. Greater earnings volatility leads to a bigger informational advantage for informed investors over uninformed investors. If sufficiently many current shareholders are uninformed and may need to trade in the future for liquidity reasons, an increase in the volatility of reported earnings will magnify these shareholders' trading losses. They will, therefore, want the manager to smooth reported earnings as much as possible. Empirical implications are drawn out that link earnings smoothing to managerial compensation contracts, uncertainty about the volatility of earnings, and ownership structure.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Subramanyam, K. R., 1996. "The pricing of discretionary accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-3), pages 249-281, October.
- Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1999.
"Diversity of Opinion and Financing of New Technologies,"
Journal of Financial Intermediation,
Elsevier, vol. 8(1-2), pages 68-89, January.
- Allen, Franklin & Gale, Douglas, 1998. "Diversity of Opinion and Financing of New Technologies," Working Papers 98-29, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
- Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1999. "Diversity of Opinion and Financing of New Technologies," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-30, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan V, 1993.
" Security Design,"
Journal of Finance,
American Finance Association, vol. 48(4), pages 1349-78, September.
- Arnoud W. A. Boot & Anjan V. Thakor, 1998.
"The Many Faces of Information Disclosure,"
William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series
80, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Boot, Arnoud W A & Thakor, Anjan V, 1997.
"Financial System Architecture,"
Review of Financial Studies,
Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(3), pages 693-733.
- Kreps, David M & Wilson, Robert, 1982.
Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 863-94, July.
- Franklin Allen, . "Stock Markets and Resource Allocation (Reprint 036)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 15-92, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Dechow, Patricia M., 1994. "Accounting earnings and cash flows as measures of firm performance : The role of accounting accruals," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Tirole, Jean & Fudenberg, Drew, 1995.
"A Theory of Income and Dividend Smoothing Based on Incumbency Rents,"
3160494, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1995. "A Theory of Income and Dividend Smoothing Based on Incumbency Rents," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(1), pages 75-93, February.
- Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Income and Dividend Smoothing Based on Incumbency Rents," IDEI Working Papers 34, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
- Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-35, November.
- DeFond, Mark L. & Park, Chul W., 1997. "Smoothing income in anticipation of future earnings," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 115-139, July.
- Michael J. Brennan & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004.
"Shareholder Preferences and Dividend Policy,"
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0411021. 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: (EconWPA)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.