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This study investigates how the association between national culture and earnings management compares between developed and emerging countries.Design/methodology/approachThe empirical analysis relies on a sample of 6,313 firm-year observations from 11 emerging markets and 27,605 firm-year observations from 22 developed countries. The authors use ordinary least squares regression methods to test the hypotheses of the study.FindingsBased on Hofstede's (2011) cultural dimensions, the authors find that firms from countries with a higher level of uncertainty avoidance and individualism are less likely to engage in earnings management, but the effect of uncertainty avoidance (individualism) is more (less) pronounced in the emerging countries. Moreover, the authors demonstrate that firms from emerging (developed) countries with higher levels of power distance and masculinity are less (more) likely to engage in earnings management. Finally, the authors find evidence of a trade-off between accruals-based and real earnings management in firms from countries with greater long-term orientation and an indulgence cultural dimension.Originality/valueThis paper adds to the literature by theoretically discussing and empirically analysing the role that developed and emerging countries' development plays on the effect of national culture on earnings management.
Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 11, 2022
Keywords: National culture; Earnings management; Emerging and developed countries
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