Accounting - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 79
Are Investors Warned by Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest? The Moderating Effect of Investment Horizon
(American Accounting Association, 2020)
Financial analysts are required to disclose conflicts of interest (COI) in their research reports, but there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of COI disclosures. We investigate whether the influence of disclosing COI in analyst reports on investors' decision making depends on investment horizon. Experimental results show that short-term investors who view a COI disclosure are significantly less willing to invest in the recommended stock compared to short-term investors who do not view such a disclosure, while the presence of a COI disclosure does not significantly affect long-term investors' willingness to invest. Results further demonstrate that the COI disclosure decreases short-term investors' willingness to invest by reducing their perception of analysts' trustworthiness and expertness. This study provides evidence on when and how the COI disclosure can influence investors' behavior and enhances our understanding of investors' reactions to cautionary disclaimers.
Renegotiation of joint venture contracts: The influence of boards of directors and prior ties as alternative governance mechanisms
Research on alliance governance has pointed out that joint ventures (JVs) are particularly complex forms of collaboration. Partnering firms therefore often face difficulties in anticipating contingencies and collaborative behaviors at the contract negotiation stage. When initial JV contracts are incomplete, renegotiation represents a key strategic opportunity for enhancing contractual safeguards or coordination guidelines over the course of the joint venture. Costs and risks entailed by renegotiating JV arrangements at a later stage are far from trivial, however. Existing research on alliances suggests that practitioners have alternative relational and formal governance solutions at their disposal for handling possible inefficiencies caused by contractual gaps over time. Although insightful, this research does not enable a determination as to whether these alternative relational and formal mechanisms substitute for or facilitate ex post contractual renegotiation. The competing arguments found in the literature provide little guidance to JV practitioners as well. Our results show that the collaborative context within which the JV is embedded (i.e., prior inter-partner ties) obviates the need for enhancing incomplete JV contracts ex post. By contrast, ex post contractual adjustments are fostered and facilitated by the formal and administrative apparatus engaged over the course of the JV (i.e., an involved JV board of directors). Such opposing effects suggest that prior ties can “prevent” the occurrence of inefficiencies caused by contractual gaps, while an involved JV board primarily can act as a mediation and renegotiation platform to “repair” the exchange when inefficiencies occur. Our findings highlight the multidimensional nature of joint venture governance, and in particular the interplay among various formal and informal governance solutions in the execution of joint ventures. By unpacking their complex effects on the decision to renegotiate incomplete JV contracts, our study also holds important value for managers seeking to govern their JVs over time.
Preparing graduates with the employability skills for the unknown future: reflection on assessment practice during COVID-19
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide an authentic and relevant way of sharing our realisation of the significance of integrating employability skills in assessment practice. This is supported from the anecdotal evidence received from students, which show that the inclusion and assessment of employability skills has provided them with an artifact that demonstrates the employability skills required for the continually changing future and workplace. For staff, the ability to assess and give feedback on the acquisition of employability skills makes it a more enjoyable experience. Design/methodology/approach: Due to the short rollout period and pivot to online learning, there has not been an opportunity to undertake a comprehensive and formal data collection. However, anecdotal evidence has been collected from students and staff on the experience of the student-created video assignment in a completely online environment. Findings: This paper establishes how a student video assessment contributes to students’ acquisition, development and enhancement of employability skills, such as communication and teamwork skills, that are central for preparing students for continually evolving future and thus the “new normal” brought forward by COVID-19. Practical implications: This paper enables the authors to share their experiences and provision of their resources so that other teaching academics are able to design their own assessment task that contributes to students’ acquisition, development and enhancement of employability skills. Originality/value: The originality of this paper is the application of integrating employability skills in assessment practice and the associated rubric as way to build students’ employability skills in the post-COVID world.
Industry Self-regulation Under Government Intervention
(Springer Verlag, 2020-03-01)
Objective: Industry actors (organizations, associations) can influence the way in which firms comply with regulations. This study examines how this influence process is affected by government intervention. Methods: Using official, anonymized data from the entire industry of financial intermediation in the Netherlands (N = 8655 firms), we examine how firms’ affiliations with industry actors relate to (1) voluntary actions aligned with improving regulatory compliance (e.g., requesting audits, attending workshops), and (2) law violations. Industry actors are distinguished between trade associations and the industry’s self-regulatory organization (SRO), which is subject to more government intervention. The analysis employs Poisson regressions to explain count variables, and bootstrapping to assess indirect associations. A series of robustness tests focus on relevant sub-samples, employ exact matching to address possible self-selection, and incorporate lagged dependent variables. Results: The association between affiliations with industry actors and law violations is negative and significant. This association is more indirect for trade associations than for the SRO (i.e., it is more strongly mediated by the voluntary actions firms take and which help to improve compliance). Conclusions: These findings go in line with the theory that government intervention makes industry-self regulation more mandated and less voluntary. Under less government intervention, industry actors may promote more voluntary efforts to comply.
Managerial Learning from Analyst Feedback to Voluntary Capex Guidance, Investment Efficiency and Firm Performance
We test predictions that managers issuing voluntary capex guidance learn from analyst feedback and that this learning enhances investment efficiency and firm performance (Langberg and Sivaramakrishnan, 2010). Our findings are consistent with these predictions. First, we find that managers’ capex adjustments and capex guidance revisions relate positively with analyst feedback measured by differences between post-guidance analyst capex forecasts and managerial capex guidance. Second, changes in investment efficiency relate positively with analyst feedback. Third, subsequent firm financial performance relates positively with the predicted values of both managers’ capex adjustments and capex guidance revisions. These findings extend prior evidence regarding sources of managerial learning and investment efficiency and help to explain the active issuance of voluntary guidance by managers in settings where, as for capex guidance, the potential for managerial learning from related share price effects is limited.
Dynamic influences on cooperation in a social dilemma: How type of experience and communication affect behavioral spillovers.
(Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2019-03-12)
In many work and decision situations, realizing cooperation among individuals is important. However, decision making environments of individuals are far from stable, resulting in changes in task complexity and the social settings they encounter. We argue that past experiences with cooperative behavior can result in different cooperative norms and expectations about the behavior of others and will have an effect on an individual's subsequent behavior in new situations. This study experimentally investigates these dynamics of cooperative behavior in social dilemmas and addresses the role of communication to provide empirical evidence about a cognitive mechanism that may lead to these spillovers. Specifically, the experimental design randomly assigns subjects to one type of repetitive interactions in the first social dilemma (single partner or different partners) and we then examine how this impacts the propensity to behave cooperatively in subsequent social dilemmas with unfamiliar partners (either single or different). Because of the variety in complexity of decision-making environments in practice, we do so by examining behavioral spillovers across three different social dilemmas that vary in difficulty to make cooperation successful. Our findings show that individuals cooperate more during initial interactions with a single partner. More importantly, this has positive spillover effects for subsequent behavior and communication, even to settings without repeated interactions with a single partner. However, environmental conditions affect the ability to transfer established norms of cooperation to subsequent interactions, as an initially learned cooperative norm is gradually replaced by a more competitive attitude when individuals start to interact with unfamiliar others in a setting in which cooperative success is more difficult to achieve. Our findings illustrate the power of repeated interactions for establishing and sustaining cooperation in other settings and enhance understanding of how cooperative decisions can be shaped by both incentives and the broader behavioral context of individuals.
Air pollution and analyst information production
Recent studies investigate the impact of air pollution on labor productivity. We extend this literature by showing that air pollution negatively affects equity analyst information production. Analysts exposed to air pollution are less likely to issue timely forecasts or improve their forecast accuracy. Investigating the underlying mechanism, we find that analysts exposed to air pollution are less likely to provide bold (especially, negatively bold) forecasts. We also find evidence that market pricing is less sensitive to forecast revisions issued by analysts exposed to air pollution. Our results are robust to controlling for firm/analyst and time fixed effects, as well as additional specifications employing difference-in-differences designs and placebo tests.
Heaping of Executive Compensation
(American Accounting Association, 2020-04-21)
We investigate whether compensation grants are subject to "heaping", the tendency of less informed individuals to provide round values when reporting estimates of discrete data. We document that an unexpectedly large number of CEOs receive round compensation (i.e., evenly divisible by 100,000 and/or 10,000). We investigate whether consistent with heaping, frequency of round compensation varies with proxies for boards of directors' effort in setting compensation. We find that round compensation is more common when boards have characteristics suggesting they provide weak oversight of compensation and thus face more uncertainty in estimating compensation. We also find less frequent round compensation when boards face stronger pressure from external stakeholders, encouraging boards to expend additional cognitive effort in setting compensation. Further, consistent with weak oversight of compensation, round compensation tends to be higher than non-round compensation. However, we do not find a consistent association between this higher, round compensation and future firm performance.
Reporting Bias and Monitoring in Clean Development Mechanism Projects
Abstract The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is a flexible carbon market mechanism managed by the United Nations. The program grants tradable carbon emissions credits (Certified Emission Reductions) for carbon‐reducing projects in developing countries. A project can only be admitted to program if it is not financially profitable, and thus would not take place, without the emission credits granted through the CDM. In this paper, we examine how monitoring reduces incentives of companies to bias the reported expected financial viability of potential CDM projects to gain admission to the program. We find that reported rates of return, which are a key factor for admission to the program, tend to be downwardly biased and are negatively associated with the expected benefits stemming from forecasted greenhouse gas reductions. However, monitoring from various sources mitigates some of the distorted incentives and related reporting bias. Furthermore, the monitoring effect becomes much stronger after 2008, when the CDM Executive Board implemented a series of measures to strengthen the additionality testing which provides guidance for program applications.
Firm enablement through outsourcing: a longitudinal analysis of how outsourcing enables process improvement under financial and competence constraints
The dominant view is that outsourcing is driven by efficiency considerations. We demonstrate that a different path to outsourcing originates from critical internal resource shortages. These shortages pose a critical dilemma; on the one hand outsourcing is a reasonably durable approach to solving resource shortages. On the other hand, the same resource shortages complicate the management of outsourcing and may create knowledge and evaluation problems. We empirically examine this dilemma and thereby add to the limited work on the enabling effects of outsourcing under resource constraints. We employ two rich and unique panel datasets of Australian firms observed over five-year periods, to test dynamic change models if firm-level financial and competence constraints induce outsourcing, and if this in turn enables internal process improvement. The results show that outsourcing indeed is associated with both financial and competence constraints, although the impact of these constraints differs over time. In turn, we find that increased outsourcing relates positively to contemporaneous and future process improvement. These findings thus shed a positive light on how outsourcing can enable firms to overcome constraints and realize internal process improvement.
Accounting Conservatism and Bankruptcy Risk
(SAGE Publications, 2021)
For a large sample of U.S. listed firms, we find that unconditional and conditional accounting conservatism help lower bankruptcy risk. We further find that the mitigating effect of accounting conservatism on bankruptcy risk functions via cash enhancement and earnings management mitigation channels. This evidence is relevant to accounting standards setting, financial regulation, financial risk management, and helps explain conservatism’s longstanding presence as a pervasive feature of financial accounting.