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International Finance Discussion Papers
The International Finance Discussion Papers logo links to the International Finance Discussion Papers home page Asset Returns with Earnings Management
Bo Sun
2009-988  (December 2009)

Abstract:  The paper investigates stock return dynamics in an environment where executives have an incentive to maximize their compensation by artificially inflating earnings. A principal-agent model with financial reporting and managerial effort is embedded in a Lucas asset-pricing model with periodic revelations of the firm's underlying profitability. The return process generated from the model is consistent with a range of financial anomalies observed in the return data: volatility clustering, asymmetric volatility, and increased idiosyncratic volatility. The calibration results further indicate that earnings management by individual firms does not only deliver the observed features in their own stocks, but can also be strong enough to generate market-wide patterns.

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Earnings management, stock returns, financial anomalies, volatility clustering, GARCH, optimal contract

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