Portrait image for David Aboody

David Aboody

Professor Emeritus, Accounting
“In order to teach, you need to crystalize your understanding of things you think you know. I’ve learned a lot about my own research by preparing for a class.”
(310) 825-3393
Areas of Expertise:
  • Accounting Discretion
  • Executive Compensation


UCLA Anderson Professor of Accounting David Aboody has been a member of the faculty for more than 20 years, joining after completion of his Ph.D. at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley in 1995. His research seeks to address the concerns of investors, market regulators and standard-setters.

Aboody’s focus on empirical financial accounting can be organized into two separate areas: hedge fund strategies and the interaction between executive compensation and firm decisions or actions. He examines the effects of accounting discretion on the value of a firm and the behavior of its managers. In providing such discretion, a central tradeoff occurs between communication to capital markets and opportunism by managers.

Taking his years of research to the private sector, Aboody has consulted with hedge funds. “After a certain amount of time, many hedge fund strategies stop being effective,” Aboody says. “A study I conducted with Professor Brett Trueman was quite strong and our recommendations still produce money in hedge funds.” He also studies the impact of executive compensation — particularly executive stock options — on strategic decisions of managers that affect the value of their firm. These decisions include the timing of disclosure, the choice of accounting methods and corporate cash payout policies.

Aboody has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and serves on the editorial board of the Review of Accounting Studies, in addition to 15 other journals. He spent a total of six years as the area head of Anderson’s accounting academic unit and teaches core curriculum and equity valuation in the MFE, MBA, FEMBA and Ph.D. programs.



Ph.D. Accounting, 1995, UC Berkeley

M.A. Finance, 1990, Hebrew University

B.Sc. Accounting, 1987, Hebrew University

Published Papers

David Aboody and Ron Kasznik. (Forthcoming). Executive Stock-Based Compensation and Firms’ Cash Payout: The Role of Shareholders’ Tax-Related Payout Preferences. Review of Accounting Studies

David Aboody, John Hughes, Jing Liu, and Wei Su. (Forthcoming). Are Executive Stock Option Exercises Driven by Private Information? Review of Accounting Studies

David Aboody, Mary Barth, and Ron Kasznik. (Forthcoming). Do Firms Understate Stock-Based Compensation Expense Disclosed under SFAS 123? Review of Accounting Studies

David Aboody, John Hughes, and Jing Liu. (December, 2005). Earnings Quality, Insider Trading, and Cost of Capital. Journal of Accounting Research