The influence on goodwill impairment: the factors behind the tool. A comparative research in the EU
This study investigates what factors influence the use of goodwill impairment. Using a sample of 1.262 firm year observations, two aspects of goodwill impairment are examined. A pooled logit corrected for clusters is used to determine which factors influence the decision to impair goodwill. An OLS analysis looks at the effects of the factors on the magnitude of the impairments. In total seven factors are examined for these two effects. Three factors on a firm level: big bath strategy, smoothing strategy and the level of leverage of a firm. Furthermore, the effect of industry is examined, while on a country level once more three factors are under investigation: the strength of capital markets, national enforcement and national culture using the six dimensions of Hofstede. The big bath strategy, like size of the firm, has a significant positive effect on the use of goodwill impairment, while smoothing and operating in the financials and the consumer discretionary, consumer staples and health care industry indicate an opposite effect. Furthermore, indications are found that also leverage, the strength of capital markets, national enforcement and some cultural aspects have an effect on if and how much goodwill firms are willing to impair.
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