Insider Control, Group Affiliation and Earnings Management in Emerging Economies: Evidence from India
59 Pages Posted: 9 Jan 2013
Date Written: January 8, 2013
Using a sample of group affiliated and standalone firms for the years 2001-06 from India, a large emerging economy dominated by family business groups and firms with concentrated ownership, we examine the relationship between insider control and opportunistic earnings management with specific focus on the effect of business group affiliation on this relationship. We test the alignment and the entrenchment hypotheses by examining opportunistic earnings management. We further examine if such behavior is influenced by the complexity of ownership structures that are manifested in incomplete and fragmented information about ownership stakes. Our results indicate that a non-linear U-shaped relationship exists between insider control and opportunistic earnings management and that this relationship is stronger for group affiliated firms as compared to that for standalones. Finally, incomplete and fragmented ownership information is found to be strongly related to opportunistic earnings management in group affiliated firms. Our results highlight that both insider control and group affiliation may independently influence agency costs in emerging economies. This in turn calls for policy actions that focus not only on individual firms but on business groups as consolidated identities.
Keywords: corporate governance, ownership structures, regulation, earnings management
JEL Classification: G32, G34, G38, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation