Board of Directors' Characteristics and Conditional Accounting Conservatism: Spanish Evidence

40 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2007

See all articles by Juan M. García Lara

Juan M. García Lara

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration

Beatriz Garcia Osma

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration

Fernando Penalva

IESE Business School - University of Navarra

Abstract

Using a sample of Spanish listed firms for the period 1997-2002 we find that firms where the CEO has low influence over the functioning of the board of directors show a greater degree of accounting conservatism. We measure the influence of the CEO over the board of directors using two aggregate indexes combining 6 (8) characteristics of the functioning of the board of directors and its monitoring committees: board size, proportion of non-executive directors, proportion of independent directors, whether the chairman of the board is an executive director, the number of board meetings, and the existence of an audit committee, a nomination/remuneration committee and an executive committee. We define conservatism as the asymmetric recognition speed of good and bad news in earnings, and we measure it following Basu (1997) and Ball and Shivakumar (2005). Our results are robust to alternative specifications and specific controls for investment opportunities and for the endogenous nature of corporate governance and earnings quality. Overall, our evidence shows that firms with strong boards use conservative accounting numbers as a governance tool, even in an institutional setting with low litigation risk such as Spain.

Keywords: Conservatism, Governance, CEO, Board of Directors, Earnings Timeliness, Spain

JEL Classification: M41, M44, M47, G34

Suggested Citation

García Lara, Juan Manuel and Garcia Osma, Beatriz and Penalva, Fernando, Board of Directors' Characteristics and Conditional Accounting Conservatism: Spanish Evidence. European Accounting Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=999526

Juan Manuel García Lara (Contact Author)

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Beatriz Garcia Osma

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Fernando Penalva

IESE Business School - University of Navarra ( email )

Ave. Pearson 21
Barcelona, Barcelona 08034
Spain
932534200 (Phone)
932534343 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.iese.edu

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