Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor's Name

Abhijit Barua

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Qiang Kang

Third Advisor's Name

Jonathan Milian

Fourth Advisor's Name

Kannan Raghunandan


FIN 46, accruals quality, investment efficiency, variable interest entity, special purpose entity

Date of Defense



The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued Interpretation No. 46 (FIN 46), Consolidation of Variable Interest Entities – An Interpretation of ARB No. 51, in January 2003 and revised it in December 2003, with the objective to improve the transparency of financial information. Under FIN 46, companies are required to consolidate variable interest entities (VIEs) on financial statements if they are the primary beneficiaries of the VIEs. This dissertation empirically examines whether the implementation of this new financial reporting guidance affects firms’ accruals quality and investment efficiency. A manually collected sample comprised of firms affected by FIN 46 and firms disclosing no material impact from FIN 46 is used in the empirical analyses.
The first part of the dissertation investigates the effects of FIN 46 on accruals quality. By using different accrual quality measures in prior studies, this study found that firms affected by FIN 46 experienced a decrease in accrual quality compared to firms reporting no material impact from FIN 46. Among the firms affected by FIN 46, firms consolidating VIEs were compared with firms terminating or restructuring VIEs. The accruals quality of firms consolidating VIEs was found to be lower than that of firms terminating or restructuring VIEs. These results are consistent in tests using alternative control samples.
The second part of this dissertation examines the effects of FIN 46 on investment efficiency. Mixed results were found from using two different proxies used in prior literature. Using the investment-cash flow sensitivity to proxy for investment efficiency, firms affected by FIN 46 experienced a decrease in investment efficiency compared to firms reporting no material impact. It was also found that higher investment-cash flow sensitivity for firms consolidating VIEs during post-FIN 46 periods compared to both the no-impact firms and the matched pair control sample. Contrasting results were found when the deviation from expected investment is used as another proxy for investment efficiency. Empirical analyses show that FIN 46 firms experienced improved investment efficiency measured by the deviation from expected investment after their adoption of FIN 46. This study also provides explanations for the opposite results from the two different proxies.





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