A Measurement Approach to Conservatism and Earnings Management

42 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2011 Last revised: 24 Oct 2012

Pingyang Gao

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: September 27, 2012

Abstract

This paper develops a model of accounting measurement to study the design of the optimal measurement rule. The core of the model is a representation of accounting measurement process that features the manager’s opportunistic influence and the use of verification as a response. To safeguard against the manager’s ex post opportunism, the optimal measurement rule is conservative in the sense that it requires more verification of the transaction characteristics favorable to the manager. The model clears up some criticisms of conservatism by differentiating the property of an accounting measure from that of an accounting measurement rule that generates the accounting measure.

Keywords: Conservatism, Accounting Measurement, Debt Covenant, Earnings Management, Accounting-motivated Transactions

Suggested Citation

Gao, Pingyang, A Measurement Approach to Conservatism and Earnings Management (September 27, 2012). Journal of Accounting & Economics (JAE), Forthcoming; Chicago Booth Research Paper No. 11-35. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918339 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1918339

Pingyang Gao (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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