Under the background of severe macro-economic fluctuations around 2008, this paper examines changes in earnings management strategies carried out by Chinese firms in the purpose of the achievement of expected executive compensation. The results based on the panel data of 499 A-share listed companies from 2003 to 2014 indicate that during the upturn period before the financial crisis, the accrual earnings management incents the executive compensation significantly, while real earnings management results in the obvious suppression of the increase in executive compensation. During the downturn period after the financial crisis, the incentive effect of accrual earnings management on executive compensation is attenuated, and the suppression effect of real earnings management is attenuated as well. The private firms have the greatest reduction in the sensitivity of earnings management to executive compensation followed by local state-owned firms, and the national state-owned firms have the smallest reduction. Further studies indicate that private firms changed earnings management strategies for compensation immediately after the financial crisis, while state-owned firms held on the earnings management behavior until the national economic incentive schemes have finished completely. The conclusions show macroeconomic depression lowers the executives' prospects on high-level compensation, thereby incenting them to adopt more risky earnings management strategies and leaving hidden danger in firm long-term development.
Earnings Management and Executives' Compensation Contracts in the Macroeconomic Fluctuations
Journal of Finance and Economics Vol. 42, Issue 12, pp. 131 - 141 (2016) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.jfe.2016.12.012
Cite this article
Li Zongyan, Qin Yu. Earnings Management and Executives' Compensation Contracts in the Macroeconomic Fluctuations[J]. Journal of Finance and Economics, 2016, 42(12): 131–141.