Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1096: The Impact of Board Internationalization on Earnings Management

Reggy Hooghiemstra , Niels Hermes , Lars Oxelheim () and Trond Randøy
Additional contact information
Reggy Hooghiemstra: Faculty of Economics and Business, Postal: Department of Accounting and Auditing
Niels Hermes: Faculty of Economics and Business, Postal: Department of Economics, Econometrics and Finance
Lars Oxelheim: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden, and School of Law and Business, University of Agder, Kristiansand
Trond Randøy: School of Law and Business, Postal: University of Agder, Kristiansand

Abstract: Prior literature shows that choices regarding board composition are associated with earnings management. We add to this literature by examining the effects of the presence of a foreign board member on earnings management. Using a sample of 3,249 firm-year observations representing 586 non-financial listed Nordic firms during 2001–2008, we find that the presence of a non-Nordic, foreign director is associated with significantly higher levels of earnings management. Moreover, we provide preliminary evidence that differences in accounting knowledge drive this effect. Our results suggest that it may not necessarily be beneficial to appoint a foreign director to the board.

Keywords: Earnings management; Board composition; Internationalization; Foreign board member; Accounting knowledge

JEL-codes: G34; M16; M41; M52

38 pages, December 3, 2015

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