Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor., Department of Accounting, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Accounting, Bojnourd Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran


In this study, using a sample consisting of 2702 firm-year observations of firms listed in Tehran Stock Exchange, which their data were obtained for a period of 11 years from 1382 to 1392, we investigate whether firms with small pre-managed negative earnings, manage their income through real earnings manipulation to avoid losses or not. The implication of behavioral studies suggests zero earnings threshold might function as an important psychological reference for which managers have strong incentive to beat or exceed it and they are likely to engage in activities like offering customers price discounts to temporally increase sales, overproduction to lower cost of goods sold and decreasing discretionary expenditures to improve earnings reported to stakeholders. Our initial findings documented a significant discontinuity and irregularity in the pooled cross-sectional empirical distributions of earnings scaled by the total assets in intervals close to zero. Despite the evidence was consistent with earnings management explanation, other statistical findings did not provide evidence and support the prediction that managers boosted their income through activities like unusual sales discounts, overproduction, and cutting discretionary expenses to meet the earnings threshold


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