Demand for the Truth in Principal-Agent Relationships

48 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2008

See all articles by Joshua Ronen

Joshua Ronen

New York University (NYU) - Department of Accounting

Varda Lewinstein Yaari

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2006


Consider the following puzzle: If earnings management is harmful to shareholders, whydon't they design contracts that induce managers to reveal the truth? To answer this question, we model the shareholders-manager relationship as a principal-agent game in which the agent (the manager) alone observes the economic outcome. We show that the limited liability of the agent, defined as the agent's feasible minimum payment, might explain the demand for earnings management by the principal. Specifically, when the limited-liability level is high (low), a contract that induces earnings management may be less (more) costly than a truth revealingcontract. This finding offers a new explanation of the demand for earningsmanagement.

Keywords: Limited liability, Principal-agent contract, Report management, Revelation Principle

Suggested Citation

Ronen, Joshua and Yaari, Varda Lewinstein, Demand for the Truth in Principal-Agent Relationships (July 2006). NYU Working Paper No. JOSHUA RONEN-07. Available at SSRN:

Joshua Ronen (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Accounting ( email )

40 West 4th Street, Suite 400
Suite 10-180
New York, NY 10012-1118
United States
212-998-4144 (Phone)
212-995-4599 (Fax)


No contact information is available for Varda Lewinstein Yaari

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics