We develop a model that captures the distinct natures of and interactions between conditional and unconditional conservatism. Under unconditional conservatism, the book value of net assets is understated due to predetermined aspects of the accounting process. Under conditional conservatism, book value is written down under sufficiently adverse circumstances, but not up under favorable circumstances. The specification of earnings provided by the model yields hypotheses about how unconditional conservatism and other factors preempt conditional conservatism and so affect the asymmetric response of earnings to positive and negative share returns, both current and lagged, documented by Basu (1995, “Conservatism and the Asymmetric Timeliness of Earnings.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Rochester’ 1997, “The Conservatism Principle and the Asymmetric Timeliness of Earnings.” Journal of Accounting and Economics 24, 3–37).
Review of Accounting Studies – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 23, 2005
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