Market competition, earnings management, and persistence in accounting profitability around the world

Market competition, earnings management, and persistence in accounting profitability around the... We examine how cross-country differences in product, capital, and labor market competition, as well as earnings management affect mean reversion in accounting return on assets. Using a sample of 48,465 unique firms from 49 countries, we find that accounting returns mean revert faster in countries where there is more product and capital market competition, as predicted by economic theory. Country differences in labor market competition and earnings management are also related to mean reversion in accounting returns—but the relation varies with firm performance. Country labor competition increases mean reversion when unexpected returns are positive but slows it when unexpected returns are negative. Accounting returns in countries with higher earnings management mean revert more slowly for profitable firms and more rapidly for loss firms. Thus earnings management incentives to slow or speed up mean reversion in accounting returns are accentuated in countries where there is a high propensity for earnings management. Overall, these findings suggest that country factors explain mean reversion in accounting returns and are therefore relevant for firm valuation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Review of Accounting Studies Springer Journals

Market competition, earnings management, and persistence in accounting profitability around the world

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Accounting/Auditing; Finance/Investment/Banking; Public Finance & Economics
ISSN
1380-6653
eISSN
1573-7136
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11142-014-9277-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We examine how cross-country differences in product, capital, and labor market competition, as well as earnings management affect mean reversion in accounting return on assets. Using a sample of 48,465 unique firms from 49 countries, we find that accounting returns mean revert faster in countries where there is more product and capital market competition, as predicted by economic theory. Country differences in labor market competition and earnings management are also related to mean reversion in accounting returns—but the relation varies with firm performance. Country labor competition increases mean reversion when unexpected returns are positive but slows it when unexpected returns are negative. Accounting returns in countries with higher earnings management mean revert more slowly for profitable firms and more rapidly for loss firms. Thus earnings management incentives to slow or speed up mean reversion in accounting returns are accentuated in countries where there is a high propensity for earnings management. Overall, these findings suggest that country factors explain mean reversion in accounting returns and are therefore relevant for firm valuation.

Journal

Review of Accounting StudiesSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 21, 2014

References

  • Competition imitation and growth with step-by-step innovation
    Aghion, P; Harris, C; Howitt, P; Vickers, J
  • Financial reporting incentives for conservative accounting: The influence of legal and political institutions
    Bushman, R; Piotroski, J

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