Earnings Management? The Shapes of the Frequency Distributions of Earnings Metrics Are Not Evidence Ipso Facto

Earnings Management? The Shapes of the Frequency Distributions of Earnings Metrics Are Not... ABSTRACT We provide evidence that the shapes (particularly around zero) of the frequency distributions of earnings metrics examined in the extant earnings management literature are affected by (1) deflation (using, for example, price or market capitalization), (2) sample selection criteria that lead to differential inclusion/exclusion of observations to the left of zero versus observations to the right of zero (implicit in studies focusing on firms followed by I/B/E/S and explicit in studies partitioning on a variable differing between loss observations and profit observations), (3) differences between the characteristics of observations to the left of zero and observations to the right of zero (such as market pricing and analyst optimism/pessimism), or (4) a combination of these factors. Since the shapes of the frequency distributions of earnings metrics at zero are likely due to one of the above effects, we conclude that the shapes cannot be used as ipso facto evidence of earnings management. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting Research Wiley

Earnings Management? The Shapes of the Frequency Distributions of Earnings Metrics Are Not Evidence Ipso Facto

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0021-8456
eISSN
1475-679X
DOI
10.1111/j.1475-679X.2005.00182.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT We provide evidence that the shapes (particularly around zero) of the frequency distributions of earnings metrics examined in the extant earnings management literature are affected by (1) deflation (using, for example, price or market capitalization), (2) sample selection criteria that lead to differential inclusion/exclusion of observations to the left of zero versus observations to the right of zero (implicit in studies focusing on firms followed by I/B/E/S and explicit in studies partitioning on a variable differing between loss observations and profit observations), (3) differences between the characteristics of observations to the left of zero and observations to the right of zero (such as market pricing and analyst optimism/pessimism), or (4) a combination of these factors. Since the shapes of the frequency distributions of earnings metrics at zero are likely due to one of the above effects, we conclude that the shapes cannot be used as ipso facto evidence of earnings management.

Journal

Journal of Accounting ResearchWiley

Published: Sep 1, 2005

References

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