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Earnings conservatism, litigation, and contracting: the case of cross-listed firms

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2005
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Business Finance and Accounting
Issue number7-8
Number of pages35
Pages (from-to)1275-1309
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


We compare earnings conservatism of UK companies cross-listed in the US to that of UK companies without a US-listing. We expect that conservatism will be more pronounced for cross-listed firms than for firms with a UK listing only, because the cross-listed firms face a stricter enforcement regime. Furthermore, cross-listed firms may use a listing on a US exchange to signal high-quality reporting to investors. Using a matched-pairs research design, we find that earnings of UK cross-listed firms are significantly more conservative than earnings of UK firms without a US listing. Moreover, cross listed firms display particularly high levels of conservatism during the early years of their cross-listing. This indicates that firms use earnings conservatism to commit to highly demanding reporting requirements and in doing so communicate a perception of investor care.