This study examines the empirical relation between a three-way classification of corporate ownership structure and earnings management through the use of extraordinary item (EI) reporting. The EI reporting decisions examined are those made during 1960-1966, a time period when US reporting standards allowed considerable management discretion with respect to both the classification of EIs and their placement in the financial statements (i.e., income. versus retained earnings statement). Overall, the results provide strong support for income-increasing behavior by non-owner managers. Importantly, the results also suggest that the three-way ownership classification scheme used in this study is superior to the dichotomous owner-controlled/managercontrolled classification typically used in accounting studies.