THE IMPACT OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS ON EARNINGS MANAGEMENT: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM ITALIAN AND SPANISH LISTED COMPANIES

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Francesco De Luca , Francesco Paolone

DOI:10.22495/cocv16i2art12

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Abstract

Our study adopts a reliable and widely acknowledged model to detect accounts manipulation in order to assess the impact of the financial crisis on Italian and Spanish listed companies’ propensity to manage their earnings.
The analysis is conducted on 565 publicly traded companies on the Italian and Spanish financial markets during the time period 2005-2013.
We find a lower propensity to manipulate earnings in both countries during the pre-crisis period (2005-2008) as suggested by a decrease in the number of high-risk manipulators until 2008 included. With the spread of the financial crisis, companies become more manipulators. We believe that the reason for this is to avoid giving bad news to markets, investors, and lenders after that the crisis may have impacted too negatively on firms’ performance indicators and financial equilibrium. Our empirical results provide various implications for further studies related to managements’ incentives concurrently with security offerings.

Keywords: Financial Crisis, Earnings Management, Earnings Manipulation, Transparency, Italian Listed Companies, Spanish Listed Companies

JEL Classification: G14, G30, M40, M41

Received: 29.12.2018

Accepted: 13.03.2019

Published online: 14.03.2019

How to cite this paper: De Luca, F., & Paolone, F. (2019). The impact of the financial crisis on earnings management: Empirical evidence from Italian and Spanish listed companies. Corporate Ownership & Control, 16(2), 121-130. http://doi.org/10.22495/cocv16i2art12