Earnings warnings : market reaction and management motivation
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This dissertation provides empirical evidence on the market reaction to earnings warnings as well as management’s motivation to issue earnings warnings. Specifically, this study first investigates whether self-selection bias exists in a firm’s warning choice and if so, whether the warning effect (i.e., a differential market reaction associated with earnings news between warning and no-warning scenarios) is positive (negative) for good (bad) news warnings after controlling for potential self-selection bias. I find that self-selection does exist in a firm’s warning choice and it creates a downward bias in the warning effect. I also find that the warning effect after controlling for self-section bias, on average, is positive (negative) for good (bad) news warnings suggesting that empirical evidence in Kasznik and Lev  and Atiase, Supattarakul, Tse  is robust after controlling for self-selection bias. More importantly, this study investigates whether and how the warning effect affects a firm’s warning choice (i.e., to warn or not to warn). I find that a firm’s tendency to warn is positively associated with the warning effect after controlling for other management motives to issue earnings warnings, i.e., litigation concerns, reputation concerns, and information asymmetry consequence concerns, suggesting that the warning effect itself provides management with an economic motivation to issue earnings warnings.