Most prior studies suggest that firms opportunistically increase their earnings around an initial public offering (IPO). With a sample of 512 IPOs in 24 countries worldwide I find that IPO firms that are under suspicion of such behaviour, represent only a small proportion (+/-10%) of the total sample. My findings challenge the opportunistic perspective on earnings management and suggest that the information perspective is more pronounced. Furthermore, I find no evidence for a positive relationship between low investor protection regulations and opportunistic earnings management. It seems that stronger enforcement of investor protection laws do not counter self-interested behaviour.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam
Erasmus School of Economics

Seger, J. (2009). Cooking the books around initial public offerings. Retrieved from