Internal and External Attributions by Managers in Earnings Conference Calls
In this study, I examine whether managers make self-serving attributions by internally (externally) attributing favorable (unfavorable) performance or demonstrate leadership by accepting blame and deflecting praise when communicating with analysts and investors. After validating the attribution measure I use in this paper, I find that managers tend to attribute favorable performance to internal factors and unfavorable performance to external factors, consistent with self-serving attribution being the dominant force. I also find that investors react negatively to mangers' internal attributions. Further analysis reveals that more internal attributions are associated with lower earnings persistence.
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