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Does family involvement explain why corporate social responsibility affects earnings management?

Mingzhi Liu, Yulin Shi, Craig Wilson and Zhenyu Wu

Journal of Business Research, 2017, vol. 75, issue C, 8-16

Abstract: We investigate how family involvement in the ownership, management, or governance of a business affects its engagement in earnings management both directly and indirectly through its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Using a sample of S&P 500 companies, we find that family firms tend to have higher CSR performance, which can help them to maintain legitimacy and preserve socio-emotional wealth. Family firms also engage in less accrual-based earnings management, although they are indistinguishable from non-family firms in terms of real earnings management. In contrast to previous research, we find that CSR performance is not significantly associated with either accrual-based or real earnings management behavior after we account for the effect of family involvement. Our findings suggest that the association between CSR performance and family involvement is the primary driver of the relation between CSR performance and earnings management documented in previous research.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; Family involvement; Accrual-based earnings management; Real earnings management (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G32 M14 M41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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