The Optimal Level of Earnings Management Deterrence

Michael Ehud Yampuler


The social welfare costs of earnings management have been known to include the distortion of real investment decisions (resulting in inefficient allocation of resources), as well as deadweight loss incurred by the firms to manage earnings. One of the ways used to mitigate the effect of these costs is increasing the level of earnings management deterrence through legislation, regulation and enforcement, as in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. However, by analyzing a rational expectations equilibrium that includes firms, investors, standard-setters, and legislators, I find that there are situations where such an increase in the level of earnings management deterrence may well be counter-productive. When considering the informational benefits of managing earnings and the substitution effect of accrual-based earnings management with real earnings management, increasing deterrence may result in decreasing the information value of financial reporting as well as increasing total social welfare costs of earnings management.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Accounting and Finance Research

Accounting and Finance Research
ISSN 1927-5986 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5994 (Online) Email:

Copyright © Sciedu Press

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.