Title

Proxies and databases in financial misconduct research

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Publication Title

Accounting Review

Volume

92

Issue

6

First page number:

129

Last page number:

163

Abstract

An extensive literature examines the causes and effects of financial misconduct based on samples drawn from four popular databases that identify restatements, securities class action lawsuits, and Accounting and Auditing Enforcement Releases (AAERs). We show that the results from empirical tests can depend on which database is accessed. To examine the causes of such discrepancies, we compare the information in each database to a detailed sample of 1,243 case histories in which regulators brought enforcement actions for financial misrepresentation. These comparisons allow us to identify, measure, and estimate the economic importance of four features of each database that affect inferences from empirical tests. We show the extent to which each database is subject to these concerns and offer suggestions for researchers using these databases.

Language

english

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