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Social Norms versus Standards of Accounting

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  • Shyam Sunder

Abstract

Historically, norms of accounting played an important role in corporate financial reporting. Starting with the federal regulation of securities, accounting norms have been progressively replaced by written standards. While social norms are maintained through an informal process of social as well as international sanctions, standards require more formal enforcement mechanisms, often supported by implicit or explicit power of the state to impose punishment. The spate of accounting and auditing failures of the recent years raise questions about the wisdom of this transition from norms to standards. Many aspects of family, local, professional, social, national and international behaviors continue to be governed by mechanisms in which norms play an important role. It is possible that the pendulum of standardization in acco

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number amz2525.

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Date of creation: 01 May 2005
Date of revision: 01 Sep 2005
Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:amz2525

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Web page: http://icf.som.yale.edu/
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  1. Shyam NMI Sunder, 2002. "Regulatory Competition for Low Cost-of-capital Accounting Rules," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm305, Yale School of Management.
  2. Posner, Richard A, 1997. "Social Norms and the Law: An Economic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 365-69, May.
  3. Karim Jamal & Michael Maier & Shyam Sunder, 2005. "Enforced Standards Versus Evolution by General Acceptance: A Comparative Study of E-Commerce Privacy Disclosure and Practice in the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 73-96, 03.
  4. Sunder, Shyam, 2002. "Regulatory competition among accounting standards within and across international boundaries," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 219-234.
  5. Shyam NMI Sunder & Ronald A. Dye, 2001. "Why Not Allow the FASB and IASB Standards to Compete in the U.S.?," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm192, Yale School of Management.
  6. Ellickson, Robert C, 1998. "Law and Economics Discovers Social Norms," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 537-52, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Shizuki Saito, 2011. "Accounting Standards and Global Convergence Revisited: Social Norms and Economic Concepts," The Japanese Accounting Review, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, vol. 1, pages 105-117, December.
  2. Murphy, Tim & O’Connell, Vincent & Ó hÓgartaigh, Ciarán, 2013. "Discourses surrounding the evolution of the IASB/FASB Conceptual Framework: What they reveal about the “living law” of accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 72-91.
  3. Shyam Sunder, 2011. "Paradox of Writing Clear Rules: Interplay of Financial Reporting Standards and Engineering," The Japanese Accounting Review, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, vol. 1, pages 119-130, December.

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