This paper examines the earnings management behavior of large, family-controlled business groups (so-called 'chaebol') in Korea from 2006 to 2010. Specifically, the author studies whether the methods of earnings management are different between chaebol firms versus non-chaebol firms. The author finds no significant difference in accrualbased earnings management by these two types of firms. However, the author shows that chaebol firms' real-based earnings management is greater than non-chaebol firms, based on their higher abnormal production costs and lower abnormal discretionary expenses, in order to manipulate accounting income upward. The results suggest that ownermanaged firms tend to choose real manipulation which negatively affects future corporate performance and consequently mislead investors about the firm value.
- Discretionary accruals
- Family firm
- Real-based earnings management