This paper aims to examine the effects of global financial crisis (GFC) on chief executive officers’ (CEO) compensation and earnings management relationship. Specifically, the authors examine whether the recent financial crisis had moderated the relationship between CEO bonus and discretionary accruals.
The authors use panel data for 1,800 firm-year observations (over a period of six years from 2005 to 2010) and use univariate and multivariate tests to test their hypothesis. The authors divide the period into pre-crisis, during-crisis and post-crisis periods to examine how the different financial crisis periods affect the relationship between CEO compensation and earnings management. Various alternative tests including endogeneity test suggest that the results are robust.
The authors’ multivariate results indicate that the relationship between CEO’ compensation and earnings management changes because of the GFC.
The findings, therefore, justify more monitoring and scrutiny to limit the existence of opportunistic managerial behaviour and for the appropriate designing of CEO compensation packages during abnormal economic circumstances.
So far as the authors’ knowledge goes, this is the first study which examines the relationship between CEO compensation and earnings management during GFC.