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Towards an understanding of the role of standard setters in standard setting

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  • Allen, Abigail
  • Ramanna, Karthik
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    Abstract

    We investigate the effect of standard setters in standard setting. We examine how certain professional and political characteristics of FASB members and SEC commissioners predict the accounting “reliability” and “relevance” of proposed standards. Notably, we find FASB members with backgrounds in financial services are more likely to propose standards that decrease “reliability” and increase “relevance,” partly due to their tendency to propose fair-value methods. We find opposite results for FASB members affiliated with the Democratic Party, although only when excluding financial-services background as an independent variable. Jackknife procedures show that results are robust to omitting any individual standard setter.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Accounting and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 55 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 66-90

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jaecon:v:55:y:2013:i:1:p:66-90

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jae

    Related research

    Keywords: Accounting; FASB; Politics; Relevance; Reliability; Standard setting;

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    References

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    1. Bertomeu, Jeremy & Magee, Robert P., 2011. "From low-quality reporting to financial crises: Politics of disclosure regulation along the economic cycle," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 209-227.
    2. S. P. Kothari & Susan Shu & Peter D. Wysocki, 2009. "Do Managers Withhold Bad News?," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 241-276, 03.
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    4. Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    5. Ramanna, Karthik, 2008. "The implications of unverifiable fair-value accounting: Evidence from the political economy of goodwill accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(2-3), pages 253-281, August.
    6. Kalt, Joseph P & Zupan, Mark A, 1984. "Capture and Ideology in the Economic Theory of Politics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 279-300, June.
    7. Kau, James B & Rubin, Paul H, 1979. "Self-Interest, Ideology, and Logrolling in Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 365-84, October.
    8. Clare Leaver, 2009. "Bureaucratic Minimal Squawk Behavior: Theory and Evidence from Regulatory Agencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 572-607, June.
    9. Kothari, S.P. & Ramanna, Karthik & Skinner, Douglas J., 2010. "Implications for GAAP from an analysis of positive research in accounting," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2-3), pages 246-286, December.
    10. S.P. Kothari & Karthik Ramanna & Douglas J. Skinner, 2009. "Implications for GAAP from an Analysis of Positive Research in Accounting," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-137, Harvard Business School, revised Sep 2010.
    11. Kellogg, Robert L., 1984. "Accounting activities, security prices, and class action lawsuits," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 185-204, December.
    12. Zhang, Jieying, 2008. "The contracting benefits of accounting conservatism to lenders and borrowers," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 27-54, March.
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