Abnormal Accrual Estimates and Evidence of Mispricing

34 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2012

See all articles by Agnes Cheng

Agnes Cheng

Hong Kong Polytechnic University; University of Oklahama

Cathy Zishang Liu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wayne B. Thomas

University of Oklahoma

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January/February 2012


To estimate abnormal accruals, prior research employs a wide variety of models and estimation procedures. We evaluate the performance of three representative models – modified Jones model (MJ), MJ with operating cash flows (MJOCF), and MJ with return on assets (MJROA) – and two estimation procedures – industry‐specific and firm‐specific regressions. In evaluating the performance of various models, we use mispricing tests (i.e., relating current accruals to future returns) as our main test. We find that the best performing model is the firm‐specific MJOCF model followed by the industry‐specific MJROA model. However, when we use the recursive firm‐specific procedure (i.e., based on current and previous years’ information only), we do not find the firm‐specific MJOCF model outperforms the industry‐specific MJROA model. We recommend that researchers use the industry‐specific MJROA model to estimate abnormal accruals when investigating earnings management. For evaluating earnings quality that can include management estimation error, the firm‐specific MJOCF remains clearly the best model from the perspective of abnormal accrual mispricing.

Keywords: abnormal accruals, discretionary accruals, accrual models, mispricing

Suggested Citation

Cheng, Agnes and Liu, Cathy Zishang and Thomas, Wayne B., Abnormal Accrual Estimates and Evidence of Mispricing (January/February 2012). Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Vol. 39, Issue 1‐2, pp. 1-34, 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2015150 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-5957.2011.02274.x

Agnes Cheng (Contact Author)

Hong Kong Polytechnic University ( email )

11 Yuk Choi Rd
Hung Hom
Hong Kong

University of Oklahama ( email )

307 West Brooks
Norman, OK 73019-4004
United States

Cathy Zishang Liu

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Wayne B. Thomas

University of Oklahoma ( email )

Michael F. Price College of Business,
307 W Brooks, Rm 212B
Norman, OK 73019
United States
405-325-5789 (Phone)
405-325-7348 (Fax)

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