Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

Past Master theses


Kostolnik-Briedela, Maik (2012): The Determinants and Consequences of Management Outlook Reports: German Evidence

Abstract: This study examines the determinants and consequences of German management outlook reports. More specifically, I investigate the factors that might have an impact on the voluntary disclosure level in outlook reports and the consequences of voluntary forward-looking information on firm’s cost of debt. For the empirical tests, I use a sample of outlook reports provided by firms listed on the indices HDAX and SDAX over the period 2005-2009. I document a number of findings. Regarding the determinants, I find that company size and leverage are important factors influencing the voluntary disclosure level in German management outlook reports. Furthermore, I also reveal that insider ownership, firm’s foreign listing status and barriers to entry in a firm’s sector have an impact on the voluntary disclosure level. However, the significance of the last three factors depends on regression methods as well as on how voluntary disclosure proxies are measured. Regarding the consequences, I do not find evidence that firm’s voluntary disclosure level in outlook reports is related to its cost of debt capital.


Damaschke, Florian (2012): The effects of R&D reporting on analysts’ forecasts - A cross country study

Abstract: This research contributes to the controversial discussion about to what extent R&D activities should be capitalized in the balance sheet. I provide evidence in a cross country setting that R&D-intensive firms have higher analyst following, higher analysts’ forecast errors and higher forecast dispersion. My results show that firm size, reported losses, business risk and financial risk are other factors that influence analysts’ forecasts. Furthermore, I hypothesize that the option to capitalize R&D which is offered by certain GAAPs is a valuable signal for financial analysts. Consequently, lower analysts’ forecast errors are predicted for these countries. My results show evidence that is consistent with this hypothesis. As expected, no evidence for the hypotheses related to R&D and the option to capitalize R&D are found for firms with low R&Dintensity.
My results are stronger for the relationship between Australian, German and US firms.


Vetter, Felix (2015): Effects of Enforcement on Earnings Management Choice

Abstract: In this thesis, I empirically examine the effects of enforcement on earnings management choice. The purpose of this study is to shed further light on the interaction of accrual-based earnings management and real earnings manipulation. Prior literature suggests that firms substitute accrual-based earnings management by real earnings manipulation to avoid regulatory scrutiny (Cohen et al., 2008). In an international sample comprising 30 countries, I find a decline in accrual-based earnings management when enforcement systems tighten. This decline, however, depends on the enforcement system already in place. Also, results lend support to the substitution effect between the two channels of earnings management. However, I do not find evidence indicating an increase of real earnings manipulation when enforcement systems tighten.