Analyst Coverage and Real Earnings Management: Quasi-Experimental Evidence

Rustom M. Irani, David Oesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study how securities analysts influence managers' use of different types of earnings management. To isolate causality, we employ a quasi-experiment that exploits exogenous reductions in analyst following resulting from brokerage house mergers. We find that managers respond to the coverage loss by decreasing real earnings management while increasing accrual manipulation. These effects are significantly stronger among firms with less coverage and for firms close to the zero-earnings threshold. Our causal evidence suggests that managers use real earnings management to enhance short-term performance in response to analyst pressure, effects that are not uncovered when focusing solely on accrual-based methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)589-627
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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