This paper examines the development of positive accounting theory ( PAT ) and compares it with three standard histories of scientific discipline: Popper ( 1959 ) . Kuhn ( 1996 ) . and Lakatos ( 1970 ) . PAT has been one of the most influential accounting research plans during the last four decennaries. One of import ground which Watts & A ; Zimmerman ( 1986 ) have used to popularise and legalize their attack is that their position of accounting theory is the same as that used in scientific discipline. Therefore. it is of import to analyze how far accounting has been successful in copying natural scientific discipline and how the development of PAT compares with the three standard histories of scientific discipline. This paper shows that accounting could non emulate the success of natural scientific discipline. Further. the methodological places of PAT conform to none of the standard histories of scientific discipline. Rather. PAT contains elements of all three. Finally. this paper identifies some methodological spreads in PAT. Keywords: Positive Accounting Theory. Doctrine of Science. Methodological ControversiesOrder now
I would wish to thank two anon. referees of the diary for their helpful remarks. Earlier versions of this paper benefited from remarks from Lee Parker of the University of South Australia. Keith Hooper of Auckland University of Technology. Divesh Sharma of Kennesaw State University. and Santi Narayan Ghosh of the University of Dhaka.
This paper examines the development of positive accounting theory ( PAT ) and compares it with three standard histories of scientific discipline. There is some confusion about what PAT is. If the definition of accounting theory ( i. e. . accounting theory seeks to explicate and foretell accounting and scrutinizing pattern ) given in Watts and Zimmerman’s 1986 book is taken to intend PAT. surveies of accounting picks and scrutinizing patterns constitute PAT. At the same clip. they besides seek to explicate the economics-based empirical literature in accounting and they describe. in add-on to accounting pick surveies. capital market-based accounting research. They point out that Ball and Brown ( 1968 ) ab initio popularized positive research in accounting. proposing that PAT includes both capital market-based accounting research and research in accounting picks. This paper takes PAT to include both research plans. This use is consistent with Watts and Zimmerman’s ( 1986 ) averment that when they use the term “positive” to distinguish it from “prescriptive” theory.
Positive Accounting Theory and Science
PAT has been one of the most influential accounting research plans during the last four decennaries. It has spawned a great trade of empirical research on the association between accounting Numberss and stock monetary values and returns. and determiners of accounting picks by direction. It has spawned a figure of accounting diaries. among which the Journal of Accounting and Economics is the most outstanding. Brinn. Jones. and Pendlebury ( 1996 ) . in a study of UK academics’ perceptual experiences of journal quality. found that the top four accounting diaries are the undermentioned: Journal of Accounting and Economics. Journal of Accounting Research. the Accounting Review. and Accounting. Organizations and Society. Articles published in the top three diaries are preponderantly in the positive tradition. The sheer figure of articles in these two paradigms published in major accounting diaries and the laterality of PAT in PhD plans in US and other universities testify to the dominant place of PAT. Thus. judged by the figure of research articles. the figure and laterality of the diaries it spawned. and the laterality of PAT in doctorial plans. PAT has been vastly influential.
Before the outgrowth of PAT. normative accounting research had been the dominant research tradition in accounting. Normative accounting theoreticians had been preoccupied with developing accounting principles1. The primary concern of these research workers had been acknowledgment and measuring issues in accounting. Typical accounting inquiries asked and answered by normative accounting theoreticians include whether to acknowledge alterations in market monetary values if the entity is non a party to the dealing. what footing ( e. g. . historical cost. market value. etc. ) to utilize in fixing fiscal statements. etc. ( Chambers. 1966 ; Ijiri. 1975 ; Littleton. 1953 ; MacNeal. 1939 ; Paton & A ; Littleton. 1940 ) . In contrast with normative accounting theory which deals with “should” type inquiries. Glib trades with “is” type inquiries. Alternatively of inquiring which measurement footing to utilize in accounting. PAT asked. for illustration. whether accounting information is utile to the stock market. which accounting measurement footing direction really uses. and why.
Therefore. PAT represents a major displacement in accounting research paradigm. One of import comparing to which Watts and Zimmerman ( 1986 ) have appealed to legalize and advance PAT is the sameness of their position of theory and that in scientific discipline. They have cited assorted doctrine of scientific discipline writers to asseverate that their position of theory is the same as that in scientific discipline and to warrant their method ; and to discredit. to a certain extent. normative theory. Thus. given that PAT has been of involvement to accounting theoreticians for around four decennaries. it is of import to analyze how far PAT has been successful in copying natural scientific disciplines and what the bounds have been. It is besides of import to revisit the methodological places of PAT. It would be interesting to see how the development form of PAT compares with histories of scientific discipline to which Watts and Zimmerman appealed to legalize and advance their theory. This is because such a comparing will heighten our apprehension of how PAT progressed and what methodological spread remain. PAT has been capable to assorted unfavorable judgments since its outgrowth.
For illustration. Chambers ( 1993 ) called the advocators of PAT a PA cult. Sterling ( 1990 ) criticized PAT on the land that it restricted itself to the positive survey of accounting pattern and accounting practicians and hinders accounting advancement by pretermiting the demand for the appraisal of accounting pattern. Sterling ( 1990 ) further assessed its possible achievement as being nil. Whittington ( 1987 ) criticized PAT for its methodological intolerance and asserted that normative accounting theory had a legitimate topographic point in accounting. Neu ( 1997 ) provided a mostly negative assessment of PAT. Sue ( 1997 ) said that PAT narrowed the researchers’ focal point. Hall ( 1997 ) . on the other manus. disagreed with Sterling’s ( 1990 ) appraisal that the possible part of PAT was nil. Deegan ( 1997 ) examined how PAT had ignited emotions among faculty members. It attracted many faculty members and alienated some at the same clip. Milne ( 2002 ) judged PAT’s effort to explicate an entity’s societal revelations as failure. However. non many articles compared the development of PAT with different histories of scientific discipline in malice of the fact that Watts and Zimmerman appealed to science as a manner of advancing their theory. Mouck ( 1990 ) is the noteworthy exclusion.
He likened PAT to the Lakatosian research plan. Others ( e. g. . Christenson. 1983 ; Sterling. 1990 ) criticized PAT for non following the methodological dictates of Popper. However. none of these documents have attempted to compare the development form of PAT with Popper ( 1959 ) . Kuhn ( 1996 ) . and Lakatos ( 1970 ) . This paper attempts to make this. This paper focuses chiefly on Watts and Zimmerman’s 1986 book and the empirical accounting literature of accounting picks and capital market-based accounting research. The empirical accounting literature is surveyed to find how it has developed during the last four decennaries.
Positive Accounting Theory and Science
This paper discusses three interconnected methodological issues: ( a ) how PAT progressed over clip. ( B ) the function of counterevidence/anomalies in PAT. and ( degree Celsius ) how a theory is to be chosen from among viing theories. These three issues are chosen because. as mentioned above. Popper ( 1959 ) . Kuhn ( 1996 ) . and Lakatos ( 1970 ) do non give the same history of these issues as they apply to science. The remainder of this paper is structured as follows: The following subdivision provides a brief study of the development of positive accounting theory. and this study serves as the footing for treatment in Sections 3-7. Section 3 discusses the part of PAT to accounting pattern and Section 4 examines the troubles of PAT. Sections 5-7 comparison the developmental form with three standard histories of the development of scientific discipline. The last subdivision contains decisions.
Development of PAT2
PAT started with analyzing some premises underlying normative accounting prescriptions during the sixtiess. Two sets of empirical studies3 were conducted. One set of surveies ( e. g. . Ball & A ; Brown. 1968 ; Beaver. 1968 ; Foster. 1977 ; Beaver. Clarke. & A ; Wright. 1979 ; Beaver. Lambert. & A ; Morse. 1980 ; Grant. 1980 ; McNichols & A ; Manegold. 1983 ) examined the association between accounting net incomes Numberss and stock monetary values. Consequences indicated that net incomes Numberss reflected factors ( e. g. . hard currency flow and hazard ) relevant to stock rating. This. harmonizing to Watts and Zimmerman ( 1986 ) . undermined the claim in normative accounting literature that accounting net incomes Numberss were meaningless because they were computed utilizing multiple rating bases. The 2nd set of surveies ( e. g. . Kaplan & A ; Roll. 1972 ; Sunder. 1973. 1975 ; Ricks. 1982 ; Biddle & A ; Lindahl. 1982 ) attempted to know apart between two viing hypotheses: the no-effects hypothesis and the mechanistic hypothesis. 4 Evidence in these surveies is assorted and could non successfully know apart between the viing hypotheses.
The above sets of surveies have used the Efficient Market Hypothesis ( EMH ) and the Capital Asset Pricing Model ( CAPM ) as their implicit in foundation. Furthermore. it was assumed that undertaking costs5 were zero. Overall. these surveies raised uncertainties about the empirical descriptiveness of the undermentioned premises underlying normative prescriptions during the sixtiess: ( a ) There is merely one beginning of information about a company. ( B ) net incomes Numberss are useless because they were non prepared harmonizing to a individual footing. and ( degree Celsius ) it is possible to misdirect the stock market by pull stringsing the net incomes figure through accounting picks. Information content surveies reveal that these premises are improbable to be descriptive of the existent universe. The EMH implies that there is competition for information. There are alternate beginnings of information about the house such as information releases by direction and interviews of corporate forces by analysts.
The ascertained association between unexpected net incomes and unnatural rate of return reveals that the net incomes figure reflects factors relevant to the rating of stock despite non being calculated on a individual footing. Furthermore. the trusters in EMH and CAPM argued that it is non possible to consistently misdirect the market by accounting alterations. The market differentiates between accounting alterations holding hard currency flow effects and alterations with no hard currency flow effects. Therefore. the mechanistic hypothesis was improbable to be descriptive of the existent universe. As celebrated above. early surveies could non successfully know apart between the no-effects hypothesis and the mechanistic hypothesis. This did non take to the rejection of the no-effects hypothesis. Alternatively the consequences led the research workers to analyze the methodological facets of those surveies and inquiry the empirical cogency of one of import premise ( i. e. . zero undertaking costs ) underlying the trials. This has led to a discovery in accounting research.
It has long been held in economic sciences that catching costs are non-zero ( Coase. 1937 ) . Accounting research workers have abandoned the premise of zero dealing and information costs. This discovery opened the door to possibilities for account and anticipation of fluctuation of accounting pattern across houses. The major thought behind this literature is that the house is a link of contracts. and accounting methods constitute an built-in portion of this set of contracts ( Sunder. 1997 ) . Accounting Numberss are used to compose. proctor. and enforce contracts ( Sunder. 1997 ) . Viewed in this manner. accounting can impact steadfast value via their impact on contracts. Accounting is no longer mere organize as was assumed under the EMH and CAPM regime6. The dropping of the premise of zero catching costs has shown that accounting methods have the possible to impact the hard currency flow to the catching parties. It therefore provides inducements to the undertaking parties to act upon accounting methods.
Positive Accounting Theory and Science
Though the above thought is general. early empirical surveies of accounting picks investigated the impact of variables related to earnings-based fillip programs. debt. and the political procedure impacting the house. Three major hypotheses tested are as follows: ( a ) the fillip program hypothesis. ( B ) the debt-equity hypothesis. and ( degree Celsiuss ) political cost hypothesis ( Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1986 ) . The fillip program hypothesis provinces that houses with fillip programs choose accounting methods so as to increase current period net incomes. The debt-equity hypothesis says that houses with higher debt-equity ratios choose accounting processs so as to switch net incomes from future periods to the current period. The political cost hypothesis says that big houses instead than little houses choose accounting methods so as to switch net incomes from the current period to future periods. Size has been used as the placeholder variable for political attending in early surveies ( e. g. . Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1986 ) . Underliing all these hypotheses is the premise of non-zero catching costs ( Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1986 ) .
Empirical grounds is by and large consistent with these hypotheses ( Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1986. chapter 11 ; Christie. 1990 ) . Another watercourse of research examines the stock monetary value effects of accounting alterations – both mandated and voluntary ( Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1986. chapter 12 ) . The initial surveies of net incomes direction have been expanded to look into net incomes direction in different state of affairss. For illustration. research has examined net incomes direction around specific events ( e. g. . direction buyouts. DeAngelo. 1986 ; labour dialogue. Liberty & A ; Zimmerman. 1986 ; proxy competitions. DeAngelo. 1988 ; import alleviation probe. Jones. 1991 ; non-routine executive alterations. Pourciau. 1993 ; and initial public offerings. Teoh. Wong. & A ; Rao. 1998 ) . Still other surveies have investigated the linkage between corporate administration features and net incomes direction ( e. g. . impact of institutional ownership on R & A ; D behaviour. Bushee. 1998 ; impact of independent managers and CEO stockholdings on net incomes direction. Reitenga & A ; Tearney. 2003 ; impact of the so Big 6 hearers on discretional accumulations. Becker. et Al. 1998 ; Francis. Maydew. & A ; Sparks. 1999 ; impact of Large 6 hearer industry expertness on net incomes direction. Krishnan. 2003 ; association between auditors’ fees for audit and nonaudit services and net incomes direction. Frankel. Johnson. & A ; Nelson. 2002 ; impact of outside managers and audit commission on unnatural accumulations. Peasnell. Pope. & A ; Young. 2005 ; association between board of manager features and conservativism. Ahmed & A ; Duellman. 2007 ) . Besides. some surveies have examined the principle of accounting conservativism ( Watts. 2003a. 2003b ) . On the other manus. the capital market-based accounting research has expanded to look into the value relevancy of accounting Numberss.
This subdivision of capital market-based accounting research is motivated by standard-setting considerations ( Barth. Beaver. & A ; Landsman. 2001 ) . For illustration. capital market-based surveies have examined whether just value is value-relevant in different scenes ( American Accounting Association Financial Accounting Standards Committee. 2005 ; Barth. Beaver. & A ; Landsman. 1996. 2001 ; Barth & A ; Clinch. 1998 ; Landsman. 2007 ; Eccher. Ramesh. & A ; Thiagarajan. 1996 ) . More late. empirical research has examined the value relevancy of accounting Numberss reported under different sets of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ( e. g. . German GAAP. International Financial Reporting Standards. and US GAAP ; Clarkson et Al. 2009 ; Hung & A ; Subramanyam. 2007 ; Morais & A ; Curto. 2009 ) .
PAT and Accounting Practice
PAT has enhanced the apprehension of assorted accounting phenomena and issues. For illustration. it has yielded of import penetrations into the linkage between accounting Numberss and stock returns and management’s fiscal coverage inducements. Despite this. its part to accounting pattern has been really limited. Accounting pattern has evolved over 100s of old ages through the interplay of a myriad of factors ( Edwards. 1989 ) and the procedure of alteration in accounting pattern has been slow. Findingss of positive accounting research. nevertheless. have informed arguments on of import accounting issues. For illustration. positive accounting research has helped determine the recent just value argument ( Barth et al. . 2001 ; Holthausen & A ; Watts. 2001 ) . The just value argument centres on whether just value should be mandated as a measuring property in fiscal statements. The argument on market value is really really old ( Chambers. 1966 ; Ijiri. 1975 ; Littleton. 1953 ; MacNeal. 1939 ; Paton & A ; Littleton. 1940 ) . Empirical grounds. nevertheless. now exists on the pros and cons of just value measuring. For illustration. the value relevancy literature has documented that just value of assets is value relevant in some scenes ( American Accounting Association Financial Accounting Standards Committee. 2005 ; Landsman. 2007 ) .
On the other manus. such accounting beginnings argued that just value is a soft step particularly when it is measured by mention to theoretical accounts and it is easy to pull strings just value estimations. The PAT literature paperss that direction manages reported net incomes to function its intent ( Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1986 ) . More late. surveies document that direction manipulates fair value estimations. For illustration. Benston ( 2006 ) provided grounds on reasonably extended usage of just value by Enron and argued that abuse of just value by direction contributed to its death. Byrne. Clacher. Hillier. & A ; Hodgson ( 2008 ) have reported significant fluctuations in premises – price reduction rate. pay growing. expected return on equity. price reduction rate spread and equity return spread – used in just value accounting for pensions in the UK. They have farther suggested that the fluctuations in premises are related non to economic basicss but to management’s motivations to blow up income from pension strategy assets. Similarly. the PAT literature has informed the intangible assets argument. which centers on whether internally generated intangibles should be recognized in fiscal statements.
The value relevancy literature has suggested that revelation of intangibles in fiscal statements is value relevant. These findings have served as the footing for the proposal that the current accounting for intangibles be changed ( see. for illustration. Lev & A ; Zarowin. 1999 ; Lev. 2001 ) . Further. consequences in PAT have suggested state of affairss in which direction is likely to pull off net incomes. For illustration. net incomes are managed when management’s fillip depends on reported net incomes ( Healy. 1985 ) . when houses are about to go against debt compacts ( Duke & A ; Hunt. 1990 ; Press & A ; Weintrop. 1990 ) . when current year’s net incomes is likely to fall short of certain benchmarks ( e. g. . last year’s net incomes. avoiding loss. and securities analysts’ prognosiss ; e. g. . Burgstahler & A ; Dichev. 1997 ) . when companies issue portions ( Teoh et al. . 1998 ) . when there are alterations in direction ( Pourciau. 1993 ) . Auditing criterions require the hearer to place and measure hazards of stuff misstatements in fiscal statements ( e. g. . International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board . 2009 ) . These findings may assist the hearer identify state of affairss of possible net incomes use.
Troubles of PAT
In prosecuting accounting research in the mold of scientific discipline. PAT has faced two troubles. First. there is a long-running argument on whether the methodological analysis of the natural scientific disciplines is appropriate for societal scientific disciplines. Durkheim ( 1964 ) believed that the methodological analysis of natural scientific disciplines can be used to analyze societal phenomena. He treated societal phenomena as things and argued that they be treated as things. Therefore. they can be studied objectively as external things. On the other manus. Lessnoff ( 1974 ) believed that the theoretical account of physical scientific disciplines is non appropriate for societal scientific disciplines in several facets. He argued that to see an event as a human action. it is necessary to construe through empirical observation discernible behaviour in footings of mental classs. It is the subjective facet of behaviour. non its physical facet. which provides significance to an action. Consistent with the position of Lessnoff ( 1974 ) . both Whitley ( 1988 ) and Mouck ( 1990 ) argued against the trust of accounting research workers on the doctrine of natural scientific discipline. One major inquiry that PAT research workers seek to reply is why directors make accounting picks as they do. Harmonizing to intentionalism. the account must be couched in footings of the mental procedures of the agent ( i. e. . the director. Fay. 1996 ) .
The account must be couched in footings of beliefs and grounds that weighed in the head of the director at the clip of doing accounting picks. The cogency of account does non depend on the regularity of the peculiar accounting pick behaviour in the same state of affairss by the agent himself or herself and others ( Lessnoff. 1974 ) . This is because the human being does non ever fall back to the same action in the same state of affairs. Two individuals can take two different actions in the same state of affairs and the same action in different state of affairss. The methodological place of PAT research workers is similar to the behaviouristic place. The thought is that mental procedures can be defined in footings of discernible behaviour. This methodological place underlies net incomes direction research. For illustration. when empirical research finds that directors tend to switch income from future periods to the current period when the conditions in the debt compact reach their bound. the premise is that the stringency of the conditions caused the current period incomeincreasing accounting picks ( Duke & A ; Hunt 1990 ; Press & A ; Weintrop. 1990 ) .
Watts and Zimmerman ( 1986 ) stress big sample and statistical methods. However. utilizing big sample and statistical methods can non to the full resolve the job raised by Fay ( 1996 ) and Lessnoff ( 1974 ) . For illustration. net incomes direction research has relied on dividing discretional accumulations from non-discretionary accumulations and designed assorted arrested development theoretical accounts to gauge non-discretionary accumulations.
The predicted magnitude of accumulations from the theoretical accounts has been treated as non-discretionary accumulations and the error term from those arrested development theoretical accounts has been interpreted as discretional and. hence. timeserving ( Ball & A ; Shivakumar. 2006 ) . The cogency of the reading of the error term as discretional and timeserving depends on the premise that the relationship between accumulations and theoretical account variables is mechanistic. which is indefensible. Accounting criterions ( e. g. . International Accounting Standards Board . 2009 ) acknowledge that direction uses its judgements and appraisals in the accounting procedure. Second. the generalizability of PAT hypotheses is limited by accounting environments and clip. For illustration. the three widely tested hypotheses of net incomes direction ( i. e. . the fillip program hypothesis. debt-equity hypothesis. and the political cost hypothesis ) have peculiar institutional environmental backgrounds and may non be every bit valid in all civilizations ( Sunder. 1999 ; Sawabe & A ; Yamaji. 1999 ) . Ali and Hwang ( 2000 ) found that value relevancy of net incomes and book value of equity depended on country-specific factors. More recent research has found that net incomes quality depends on institutional factors such as ownership construction. tax-book conformance. importance of the stock market in the country’s economic system. regulation of jurisprudence. etc. ( Ball. Robin. & A ; Wu. 2003 ; Soderstrom & A ; Sun. 2007 ) . Begley and Freedman ( 2004 ) found that the function of accounting Numberss in public debt contracts changed during the 1975-2000 period. The frequence of accounting-based limitations on dividends and adoptions declined significantly from the 1975-1979 sample to 1999-2000. Thus. in contrast with natural scientific discipline. the generalizability of PAT is limited by institutional environments and clip.
Pat: Normal Science or Extraordinary Science?
Harmonizing to Popper ( 1959 ) . scientific discipline as practiced by scientists is extraordinary in nature in that scientists invariably attempt to rebut theory. On the other manus. Kuhn’s ( 1996 ) place was that normal scientific discipline constitutes most of the scientific activity of the scientific community. It is to be noted that Popper ( 1970 ) acknowledged the being of normal scientific discipline. However. his attitude towards normal scientific discipline was strikingly different from Kuhn’s. While Kuhn viewed normal scientific discipline as indispensable to scientific advancement. Popper considered the noncritical attitude of normal scientists unfortunate. The brief study of the development of PAT drawn in subdivision 2 seems to propose that what Kuhn ( 1996 ) called normal scientific discipline characterizes the development of PAT in of import facets.
Harmonizing to him. normal scientific discipline involved elaborate attempts to joint the paradigm with the purpose of bettering the lucifer between it and nature. He argued that a paradigm would ever be sufficiently imprecise and open-ended to go forth plentifulness of that sort of work to be done. Kuhn depicted normal scientific discipline as a puzzle-solving activity governed by the regulations of the paradigm. The mystifiers are of both a theoretical and experimental nature. Kuhn ( 1996 ) asserted that normal scientists must be noncritical of the paradigm in which they work. It is merely by being so that they can concentrate their attempts on the elaborate articulation of the paradigm and to execute esoteric work necessary to examine nature in deepness. PAT has defined the legitimate jobs and methods for the research workers. The jobs that concern the positive research workers are the undermentioned: Why does direction take certain accounting methods. non others?
Why does direction exchange from one accounting method to another? What incentives and restraints does direction face in doing accounting picks? Do accounting net incomes contain information for stock pricing? These inquiries have occupied the positive accounting research workers for the last four decennaries. Watts and Zimmerman ( 1978 ) propagated the thought that management’s inducements determined their lobbying place on an accounting criterion. Later research workers expanded this thought and developed many hypotheses associating management’s inducements and his or her accounting pick behaviour. Since 1978. PAT research workers have engaged themselves in the enlargement and articulation of this theory. Two illustrations illustrate the above point. The first 1 is the measuring of the dependant variable ( i. e. . accounting pick by direction ) in surveies of net incomes direction. Early research workers ( e. g. . Deakin. 1979 ; Hagerman & A ; Zmijewski. 1979 ; Dhaliwal. 1980 ) investigated the pick of a individual accounting process ( e. g. . depreciation methods. stock list bing methods ) at a clip. This led to the
Positive Accounting Theory and Science
unfavorable judgment that directors manipulate net incomes Numberss non through a individual accounting process but through a figure of accounting processs that are available to direction. Zmijewski and Hagerman ( 1981 ) improved upon old surveies by look intoing a portfolio of accounting processs. Healy ( 1985 ) went farther and used accounting accumulations as the dependant variable to capture the effects of a host of discretional determinations – both accounting and existent – by direction. While accumulations provide a drumhead step of managerial discretion and are perchance an betterment over old surveies. it suffers from certain defects ( Kaplan. 1985 ) . Healy ( 1985 ) uses entire accumulations as a placeholder for discretional accumulations. Researchers ( e. g. . Kaplan. 1985 ; McNichols & A ; Wilson. 1988 ) have asked whether entire accumulations are all discretional in nature. This so engages positive research workers to plan better theoretical accounts of discretional accumulations. DeAngelo ( 1986 ) . Dechow & A ; Dichev ( 2002 ) . Dechow & A ; Sloan ( 1991 ) . Dechow. Sloan. & A ; Sweeney ( 1995 ) . Jones ( 1991 ) . Kothari. Leone. & A ; Wasley ( 2005 ) . and Teoh et Al. ( 1998 ) have developed different theoretical accounts of discretional accumulations. Second. as mentioned earlier. the three most tested hypotheses are the fillip program hypothesis. the debt-equity hypothesis. and the size hypothesis. Early surveies used rough placeholders of variables stand foring managerial fillip. debt compact restraint. and political cost. However. as clip passed. research workers refined both theory and the variables. For illustration. early research workers used a dummy variable to stand for the being of fillip program to prove the fillip program hypothesis. Later research workers ( e. g. . Healy. 1985 ) examined the inside informations of fillip program and generated hypotheses associating fillip program inside informations and way of net incomes direction. Similar attempts are extant ( e. g. . Duke & A ; Hunt 1990 ; Press & A ; Weintrop 1990 ) in jointing the debt-equity hypothesis. Furthermore. early research workers ( e. g. . Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1978 ) used size as a placeholder for political cost. This was
criticized on the land that size might be a placeholder for variables other than political cost ( Watts & A ; Zimmerman. 1990 ) . Later surveies examined managers’ accounting pick behaviour in response to state of affairss that reflect firms’ sensitiveness to specific political state of affairss. Jones ( 1991 ) investigated the accounting pick behaviour of directors of domestic manufacturers that would profit from import protection. The above illustrations illustrate ( a ) how one survey built on old surveies and ( B ) how PAT defines the peculiar inquiries addressed. These illustrations besides illustrate that while PAT research workers have been committed to the basic model for look intoing accounting picks ( i. e. . direction inducements explain accounting picks ) . they have been critical within that model. Therefore. they have made constructive unfavorable judgments of colleagues’ plants and engaged themselves to developing better theoretical accounts.