Are Insiders Equal? Evidence from Earnings Management in Closely Held East Asian Firms
64 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2017 Last revised: 27 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 2018
In analyzing newly collected data on the ultimate ownership structure of publicly traded firms in nine East Asian economies, we contribute to international accounting research by providing evidence on earnings management in insider-controlled firms in this region. We find that family-controlled firms engage in less (more) accrual-based (real) earnings management than other insider-controlled firms. Our analysis suggests that controlling families, unlike other types of ultimate owners, tend to substitute real earnings management for accrual-based earnings management. To help empirically clarify the role that two incentives (entrenchment versus signaling) play in driving the substitution between real and accruals-based earnings management, we examine their valuation impact and find that both types negatively affect the future valuation of family firms. In another set of results consistent with expectations, we document that country-level investor protection and firm external financing demand shape the practice of earnings management in family-controlled firms.
Keywords: Family Conglomerates, Earnings Management, Comparative Accounting Systems and Practice, Real Activities Manipulation, Corporate Governance, East Asia
JEL Classification: G30, G32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation