Competition, Capital Market Feedback, and Earnings Management: Evidence from Economic Deregulation
51 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2013 Last revised: 8 Aug 2016
Date Written: August 7, 2016
Using economic deregulation as a quasi-natural experiment for increasing product market competition, we find increases in earnings manipulation and accounting frauds following deregulation. This “dark-side” of product market competition is particularly evident for deregulated firms in high market-to-book industries, where we find evidence of short-termism in the capital market. We further find that firms in these industries, if actively manage earnings, tend to make more acquisitions and have higher survival rates. Overall, our results are largely consistent with Shleifer (2004), who predicts an important interplay between product market competition and capital market valuation feedback that could induce misbehaving incentives among firms in competitive industries.
Keywords: Product market competition, economic deregulation, earnings manipulation, corporate fraud, shareholder short-termism, firm survival
JEL Classification: G34, G38
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation