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Dr Martien Lubberink

Formerly at Lancaster University

Martien Lubberink

Office Hours:

I'm on leave, see below.

Research overview

My research interests concentrate on the interface between accounting and equity (capital). Publications resulting from this interest investigated conservatism for cross-listed firms, i.e. firms with stock listed at multiple exchanges. My research shows that accounting disciplines mangers, and in doing so creates firm value.

These days my research focuses more on bank accounting, with a focus on regulatory capital,  though research papers are in development.

Current Research

My research interest is in financial reporting and capital markets. Once it was hard to explain my research interests, but thanks to Enron, Tyco, Worldcom, Ahold, and Parmalat people seem to have fewer problems in understanding research that investigates the role of financial reporting in capital markets.

Financial reporting is complex. There are many parties interested in the outcome of the “numbers game”: managers, investors, banks, and creditors. From recent accounting scandals it has become clear that managers seem have a keen interest in reporting high income numbers. Famous quote of Xerox former Assistant Treasurer Bingham: “ … It just became standard operating procedure that, you know, you look to the accountants to find income … .”

To curb managers' greed there are reporting standards (that differ per country) and there are gatekeepers, of which the auditor is particularly important. Auditors sign off financial statements that present a fair view of the financial position and the performance of the firm. There are other gatekeepers as well: investment banks, financial analysts, and credit rating agencies. If all these players play a corrupt game, then investors, banks, creditors, employees, and ultimately, society suffer.  

Financial information in the form of audited accounts can prevent the system slipping into corruption (Sunlight is the best detergent), but it is not clear why, for example, a superior US financial financial reporting infrastructure did not help us detect Enron.  

We have also learned that there is a time dimension to financial reports: a report issued in 1999 has a different meaning than one issued in 2002. And the meaning of financial reports depends on characteristics of the issuer. Size for example. But also if a firm wants to establish a reputation, then it helps to report in a prudent (sometimes called conservative) fashion.  

People often associate financial reporting with rules, principles, and accounting standards. The rules are there, but when push comes to shove, their importance seems limited. 

My research focuses on the human side of reporting, and it puts into perspective the rules. Ultimately the financial information of a firm comes to us in the form of audited financial statements. It is the product of negotiations between managers and auditors, both brokers of the interests of a vast array of interested parties. Our EFR publication (written with Carel Huijgen) shows that managers with different wealth levels issue different reports. Our paper on cross listings (see also www.crosslisting.com) also puts the role of rules into perspective: the importance of establishing a reputation dominates the effect of rules.

Research Grants

British Academy Overseas Conference Grant.


MSc Groningen, PhD in Economics Groningen.

Research Interests

Accounting and captial markets, empirics of managerial moral hazard behaviour, control.

Current Teaching

Dr. Lubberink is on sabbatical leave.

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