Board of Directors and Opportunistic Earnings Management: Evidence from India
Posted: 21 Dec 2008
Date Written: December 20, 2008
Using a sample of 500 large companies over a two-year period, we examine the impact of board characteristics on opportunistic earnings management in India, a large emerging economy. In addition to board independence, we analyze how characteristics that proxy for the 'quality' of inside and outside directors affect the role of boards in curbing earnings management. Our results indicate that it is not board independence per se, but rather board quality that is important for earnings management. We find that diligent boards are associated with lower earnings management, while boards that have directors with multiple appointments exhibit higher earnings management. With respect to inside directors, our results indicate that chief executive officer (CEO) duality and presence of controlling shareholders on the board increases earnings management. We also find that domestic institutional owners, one of our key control variables, act as a compensating control mechanism to mitigate the detrimental influence of controlling shareholders on earnings management. Our results complement the existing literature by analyzing the role of the board in reducing earnings management in emerging economies such as India, where the structures of business organizations are different from those in developed markets.
JEL Classification: G15, G34, M41, M43, M47
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