Earnings Management During Antidumping Investigations In Europe: Sample-Wide And CrossSectional Evidence

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Godsell, David
Welker, Michael
Zhang, Ning
Earnings Management , Trade Regulation , Antidumping Investigations , European Union
This paper examines earnings management by European Union firms that initiate an antidumping investigation. We first document economically and statistically significant income decreasing earnings management around the initiation of an antidumping investigation. We show that earnings management increases when accounting data directly affect the magnitude of the tariffs imposed in the trade investigation. We also find that earnings management decreases as the number of petitioning firms increases or as the distance between petitioning firms increases, suggesting free-rider and coordination problems. We find that earnings management increases when the petition is directed at a country that imports more goods from the petitioning firm’s home country, suggesting retaliation threats affect incentives. We document that raising equity or debt financing moderates income decreasing earnings management, consistent with the idea that sample firms trade off capital market and regulatory considerations. Our results indicate that contemporary research methods can detect accruals based earnings management in settings in which the incentives for earnings management can be clearly identified.
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