IFRS adoption and investor perceptions of earnings quality: evidence from Korea

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This study examines the consequences of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) adoption in terms of the investor perception of earnings quality in the Korean stock market. Building on evidence from Ecker et al. (2006) suggesting that return-based earnings quality (E-loading), as captured by the sensitivity of stock returns to accounting information risk, accurately represents investor perceptions of earnings information risk, the authors examine whether E-loading is different between the pre- and post-IFRS adoption periods. Using KSE-listed firms from 2006 to 2014, the authors find the evidence that the extent of stock return sensitivity to information risk embedded in financial statements is greater in the period of post-IFRS adoption than in the period of pre-IFRS adoption. This finding indicates that even though accounting-based earnings quality improves after the adoption of IFRS, investors perceive earnings information after the adoption of IFRS as riskier than before. In addition, the difference in investor perception is more pronounced for firms with low accruals quality as captured by discretionary accruals, indicating that the effect of IFRS adoption on return-based earnings quality is distinctive from that on accounting-based earnings quality. The paper contributes to the literature on IFRS by exploring the effect of IFRS adoption through a new perspective on earnings quality in capital market.

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    • Table 1. Descriptive statistics
    • Table 2. Correlation matrix
    • Table 3. Regression results
    • Table 4. Descriptive statistics: accruals quality
    • Table 5. Regression analysis results
    • Table 6. Regression analysis results