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0,300

Timeliness Conservatism

Timeliness and conservatism

0,250

0,200

101

0,150

0,100

0,050

0,000

1990

1991

1992

1993

1994 1995 Year

1996

1997

1998

1999

Figure 1. General trends in earnings properties

ten years confirms this impression (R2 ¼ 0.056, Sig ¼ 0.511), which means the level of timeliness of accounting earnings among French companies did not improve during the 1990s.

Let us now turn to 3 in the Basu model used to measure the level of conservatism (Figure 2).

Despite a substantial value decrease from 1997-1999, the general trend observed is still upwards. The regression of 3 over the ten years gives R2 equal to 0.416 (0.044). Our results thus support the findings of Ball et al. (2000) and Giner and Rees (2001) (H2 and H3). The regression results obtained according to firm size are shown in Table IV.

As far as timeliness is concerned, as already observed in the general trends, there is no marked upward (or downward) change for either small or large companies (see Figure 3).

1990

1991

1992

1993

Year 1994 1995

1996

1997

1998

1999

Timeliness R2 1 Sig for 1

0.077 0.200 0.000

0.053 0.150 0.000

0.131 0.201 0.000

0.089 0.135 0.000

0.005 0.042 0.262

0.046 0.122 0.000

0.120 0.195 0.000

0.121 0.218 0.000

0.054 0.136 0.000

0.128 0.225 0.000

Conservatism R2 Sig for model 3 Sig for 3

0.104 0.000 0.332 0.010

0.079 0.000 0.133 0.369

0.163 0.000 0.290 0.002

0.109 0.000 0.190 0.389

0.102 0.000 0.732 0.000

0.115 0.000 0.436 0.000

0.152 0.000 0.489 0.010

0.273 0.000 1.255 0.000

0.151 0.000 0.882 0.000

0.145 0.000 0.494 0.022

Table III. General trends in earnings properties

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