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Accruals and the Conditional Equity Premium

Hui Guo () and Xiaowen Jiang

Journal of Accounting Research, 2011, vol. 49, issue 1, 187-221

Abstract: Accruals correlate closely with the determinants of the conditional equity premium at both the firm and the aggregate levels. The common component of firm‐level accruals, which cannot be diversified away by aggregation, explains the positive relation between aggregate accruals and future stock market returns. The residual component, which accounts for most variation in firm‐level accruals, is responsible for the negative cross‐sectional relation between firm‐level accruals and future stock returns. Consistent with the risk‐based explanation, aggregate accruals, as a proxy for the conditional equity premium, forecast changes in aggregate economic activity. Moreover, we document a similar comovement of earnings with the conditional equity premium at both the firm and the aggregate levels, which helps explain the negative relation between changes in aggregate earnings and contemporaneous market returns.

Date: 2011
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Journal of Accounting Research is currently edited by Philip G. Berger, Luzi Hail, Christian Leuz, Haresh Sapra, Douglas J. Skinner, Rodrigo Verdi and Regina Wittenberg Moerman

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