In this study, we investigate how country-level long-term orientation affects managers' willingness to engage in earnings management and choice of earnings management strategy. Using a comprehensive dataset of 47 countries for the period from 2003 to 2015, we find that firms in long-term-oriented cultures rely relatively more on earnings management through accruals, while firms in short-term-oriented cultures engage in relatively more real earnings management. Furthermore, we find a larger discontinuity around earnings benchmarks in long-term-oriented cultures suggesting that manipulation of accruals enables benchmark beating with high precision.

JEL Classifications: M14; M16; M21; M41.

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