Role Of Underwriters In Restraining Earnings Management In Initial Public Offerings

Main Article Content

Hei Wai Lee
Yan Alice Xie
Jian Zhou

Keywords

Earnings Management, Underwriter Reputation, IPO Firms, Internet Bubble, Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between underwriter reputation and earnings management of IPO firms over the period of 1991-2005. We find that IPO firms engage in less earnings management if they are underwritten by prestigious investment bankers. Furthermore, the role of prestigious underwriters in restraining earnings management of IPO issuers do not change during the Internet Bubble period or after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). The findings support the certification role of underwriters in the IPO process. We also document that firms going public in the post-SOX period engage in less earnings management compared to firms going public in the pre-SOX period. Further findings suggest that the changing objectives of venture capitalists may explain the reduction in the level of earnings management of IPO firms following the passage of SOX.

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