An Empirical Analysis of the Effects of Monitoring Intensity on the Relation between Equity Incentives and Earnings Management
46 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2013 Last revised: 1 May 2013
Date Written: October 1, 2012
Prior studies suggest that equity incentives inherently have both an interest alignment effect and an opportunistic financial reporting effect. Using three distinct proxies for earnings management we find evidence consistent with the incentive alignment (opportunistic financial reporting) effect of equity incentives increasing as monitoring intensity increases (decreases). Furthermore, using the accrual-based earnings management and meet/beat analyst forecast models we find that the opportunistic financial reporting effect of equity incentives dominates the incentive alignments effect for firms with low monitoring intensity. Using proxies for real earnings management, we find that the incentive alignment effect dominates the opportunistic financial reporting effect for high and moderate monitoring intensity firms. However, for low monitoring intensity firms the opportunistic reporting effect mitigates, but does not completely offset, the benefits of the incentive alignment effect. Overall, these findings are consistent with the level of monitoring affecting the relation between equity incentives and earnings management.
Keywords: equity incentives, earnings management, corporate governance, monitoring
JEL Classification: G32, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation