National culture and earnings management in developed and emerging countries

Dante Baiardo Cavalcante Viana, Isabel Maria Estima Costa Lourenço, Marília Ohlson, Gerlando Augusto S.F. de Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study investigates how the association between national culture and earnings management compares between developed and emerging countries. Design/methodology/approach: The empirical analysis relies on a sample of 6,313 firm-year observations from 11 emerging markets and 27,605 firm-year observations from 22 developed countries. The authors use ordinary least squares regression methods to test the hypotheses of the study. Findings: Based on Hofstede's (2011) cultural dimensions, the authors find that firms from countries with a higher level of uncertainty avoidance and individualism are less likely to engage in earnings management, but the effect of uncertainty avoidance (individualism) is more (less) pronounced in the emerging countries. Moreover, the authors demonstrate that firms from emerging (developed) countries with higher levels of power distance and masculinity are less (more) likely to engage in earnings management. Finally, the authors find evidence of a trade-off between accruals-based and real earnings management in firms from countries with greater long-term orientation and an indulgence cultural dimension. Originality/value: This paper adds to the literature by theoretically discussing and empirically analysing the role that developed and emerging countries' development plays on the effect of national culture on earnings management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-186
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Accounting in Emerging Economies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 11 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Earnings management
  • Emerging and developed countries
  • National culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science


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