Accepted by Peter Pope. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the 2008 Contemporary Accounting Research Conference, generously supported by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. We thank Sudipta Basu, Robert Bushman (the discussant), John Core, Fred Lindahl, Frank Moers, Peter Pope (the associate editor), Annelies Renders, Franco Wong, seminar participants at Maastricht University, University of Pennsylvania (Wharton), VU University Amsterdam, the 2007 AAA Financial Accounting and Reporting Section Midyear Meeting in San Antonio, and the 2008 Contemporary Accounting Research Conference and two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions. This paper was previously circulated and presented under the title “Accounting Conservatism in the European Union: The Influence of Incentives and Institutions”. We thank Laurent Coppens for his work on earlier versions. Part of this paper was completed while Erik Peek was visiting the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.