Review of Accounting Studies

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 168–205

Is financial reporting shaped by equity markets or by debt markets? An international study of timeliness and conservatism

Authors

  • Ray Ball
    • Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of Chicago
  • Ashok Robin
    • College of BusinessRochester Institute of Technology
    • Columbia Business SchoolColumbia University
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11142-007-9064-x

Cite this article as:
Ball, R., Robin, A. & Sadka, G. Rev Acc Stud (2008) 13: 168. doi:10.1007/s11142-007-9064-x

Abstract

We hypothesize debt markets—not equity markets—are the primary influence on “association” metrics studied since Ball and Brown (1968 J Account Res 6:159–178). Debt markets demand high scores on timeliness, conservatism and Lev’s (1989 J Account Res 27(supplement):153–192) R2, because debt covenants utilize reported numbers. Equity markets do not rate financial reporting consistently with these metrics, because (among other things) they control for the total information incorporated in prices. Single-country studies shed little light on debt versus equity influences, in part because within-country firms operate under a homogeneous reporting regime. International data are consistent with our hypothesis. This is a fundamental issue in accounting.

Keyword

Reporting qualityAssociation studiesDebtConservatismTimelinessInternational

JEL Classifications

F30G15G18G32K33M41

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008