Title: Does accounting conservatism affect firm investment efficiency in an emerging market? Evidence from Tunisian context

Authors: Asma Houcine

Addresses: Higher School of Economic and Commercial Sciences of Tunis (ESSECT), University of Tunis, 5, Taha Hussein Street, Montfleury, 1008, Tunisia

Abstract: Accounting conservatism is one of the most pervasive characteristics of financial reporting and one of the most influential accounting principles. At the same time, the efficiency of investment is a key to the existence and development of a firm. Therefore, how the conservative accounting policy influences the efficiency of a firm's investment deserves deep research. Prior studies have shown that accounting conservatism acts as a governance mechanism that increase capital allocation efficiency by facilitating the monitoring of managers' investment decisions and improving a firm's information environment and its access to external financing at lower cost, thereby prevents firms' overinvestment and underinvestment. These studies use predominantly US data. Thus, it is worth to question if the results can be extended to an emerging economy. Focusing on the case of Tunisia, we argue that particularities of governance system of an emerging economy, could constrain the monitoring and the informational roles of conservatism. Consisting with our prediction, we find that conservatism has no significant effect on firms' investment efficiency in Tunisian market.

Keywords: accounting conservatism; firm investment; investment efficiency; overinvestment; underinvestment; emerging markets; Tunisia; financial reporting; capital allocation; governance.

DOI: 10.1504/AJAAF.2013.057630

African Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance, 2013 Vol.2 No.3, pp.209 - 232

Available online: 15 Nov 2013 *

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