A Contextual Analysis of the Impact of Managerial Expectations on Asymmetric Cost Behavior
Review of Accounting Studies, Forthcoming
44 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2015 Last revised: 1 Apr 2019
Date Written: March 1, 2019
We examine the effect of managerial expectations on asymmetric cost behavior in the context of resource adjustment costs and unused resource constraints. Our results show that the incremental impact of managerial expectations on cost asymmetry is the strongest when adjustment costs and unused resources are high. Conversely, when both are low, expectations have no impact on the degree of cost asymmetry. Furthermore, when the degree of unused resources is high, managerial pessimism is associated with anti-sticky cost behavior but managerial optimism reverses this relation and results in cost stickiness. Finally, we find the strongest cost stickiness under the following: a low degree of unused resources, a high magnitude of adjustment costs, and optimistic managerial expectations; by contrast, the strongest cost anti-stickiness occurs when all three drivers operate in the opposite direction. Our study suggests that additional economic determinants should be considered when assessing the impact of managerial expectations on cost behavior.
Keywords: cost asymmetry, cost stickiness, cost anti-stickiness, forward looking statements, managerial expectations, managerial decisions, adjustment costs, unused resources
JEL Classification: M41, D24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation