Real Earnings Management and Subsequent Operating Performance
The IUP Journal of Operations Management, Vol. XV, No. 4, November 2016, pp. 7-32
Posted: 17 Nov 2017
Date Written: November 15, 2017
Real Earnings Management (REM) is the manipulation of business activities to meet an earning’s threshold. Despite concern that REM activities create real economic costs, research on the relation between REM and subsequent operating performance is inconclusive. In this paper, a two-firm-level method of estimating abnormal discretionary expenditures is developed and a more proactive method of identifying REM activity is implemented. Using firm-level estimates of abnormal expenditures, strong evidence of REM negatively related to subsequent period return on assets and cash flows from operations is found. The results suggest that the inconclusive results in prior research may be in part due to estimating abnormal expenditures using industry-level models.
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