En studie av förekomsten av resultatmanipulering i svenska företag
The aim of this thesis is to examine the existence and prevalence of earnings management in Swedish companies. Theoretical frameworks often suggest that there are strong incentives to practice earnings management. The research area of earnings management has, to date, mainly focused on detecting earnings management. However, to our knowledge, no such studies have been conducted on Swedish companies. This thesis provides evidence of the existence and prevalence of earnings management in Swedish companies. We conduct two types of tests to determine whether earnings management exists. First, we provide graphical histograms over the distribution of scaled earnings. Earnings management is reflected in the distribution in the form of a discontinuity at zero; the distribution shows lower frequencies of small losses and higher frequencies of small positive earnings compared to what is expected given the assumption of a relatively smooth distribution of earnings levels. Second, we provide statistical evidence. We test the statistical significance of the hypothesized existence of earnings management by identifying standardized differences at zero.