Residual income models provide an important theoretical link between equity valuation and financial statement variables. While various researchers have developed models of how accounting policy impacts on the structure of these models, empirical support for these models is at best weak and frequently contradictory. In this paper, we develop an analytical model, which identifies the dependency between valuation weights in residual income models and the associated structure of earnings information dynamics and accounting conservatism. In contrast to many earlier studies, we find strong evidence of conservatism in our reformulation of the linear dynamics. We proceed to test our predictions of the dependency of the weights on two measures of conservatism, the conventional measure of price-to-book ratio and the recent measure of a C-Score index developed by Khan and Watts (2009) and find that the empirical results accord well with our theoretical predictions in the case of the former but not the latter measure.
- equity valuation; accounting conservatism; book value; residual income models