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Managerial Ability and Value Relevance of Earnings

We examine how management ability affects the extent to which capital markets rely on earnings to value equity. Using a measure of ability that captures a management team’s capacity for generating revenues with a given level of resources compared to other industry peers, we find a strong positive association between managerial ability and the value relevance of earnings. Additional tests show that our results are robust to controlling for earnings attributes and investment efficiency. We use propensity score matching and the 2SLS instrumental variable approach to deal with the issue of endogeneity. For further identification, we examine CEO turnover and find that newly hired CEOs with better managerial abilities than the replaced CEOs increase the value relevance of earnings. We identify weak corporate governance and product market power as the two important channels through which superior management practices play an important role in the corporate decision-making process that positively influence the value relevance of earnings. Overall, our findings suggest that better managers make accounting information significantly more relevant in the market valuation of equity.

15. December 2019

Authors Bill Francis Iftekhar Hasan Ibrahim Siraj Qiang Wu

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Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Professor Iftekhar Hasan, PhD
Economist

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