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Using Field Experiments in Accounting and Finance

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  • ERIC FLOYD
  • JOHN A. LIST

Abstract

The gold standard in the sciences is uncovering causal relationships. A growing literature in economics utilizes field experiments as a methodology to establish causality between variables. Taking lessons from the economics literature, this study provides an “A‐to‐Z” description of how to conduct field experiments in accounting and finance. We begin by providing a user's guide into what a field experiment is, what behavioral parameters field experiments identify, and how to efficiently generate and analyze experimental data. We then provide a discussion of extant field experiments that touch on important issues in accounting and finance, and we also review areas that have ample opportunities for future field experimental explorations. We conclude that the time is ripe for field experimentation to deepen our understanding of important issues in accounting and finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Floyd & John A. List, 2016. "Using Field Experiments in Accounting and Finance," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 437-475, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:joares:v:54:y:2016:i:2:p:437-475
    DOI: 10.1111/1475-679X.12113
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    Cited by:

    1. Dennis, Sean A. & Johnstone, Karla M., 2018. "A natural field experiment examining the joint role of audit partner leadership and subordinates’ knowledge in fraud brainstorming," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 14-28.
    2. Manthei, Kathrin & Sliwka, Dirk & Vogelsang, Timo, 2019. "Talking about Performance or Paying for it? Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 12446, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Costello, Anna M. & Down, Andrea K. & Mehta, Mihir N., 2020. "Machine + man: A field experiment on the role of discretion in augmenting AI-based lending models," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2).
    4. Christian Leuz, 2018. "Evidence-based policymaking: promise, challenges and opportunities for accounting and financial markets research," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(5), pages 582-608, July.
    5. Shelley Xin Li & Tatiana Sandino, 2018. "Effects of an Information Sharing System on Employee Creativity, Engagement, and Performance," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 713-747, May.
    6. Miao Liu, 2022. "Assessing Human Information Processing in Lending Decisions: A Machine Learning Approach," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 607-651, May.
    7. John List, 2021. "2021 Summary Data of Artefactual Field Experiments Published on Fieldexperiments.com," Artefactual Field Experiments 00749, The Field Experiments Website.
    8. Lawrence, Alastair & Ryans, James & Sun, Estelle & Laptev, Nikolay, 2018. "Earnings announcement promotions: A Yahoo Finance field experiment," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 399-414.
    9. John List, 2022. "2021 Summary Data of Natural Field Experiments Published on Fieldexperiments.com," Natural Field Experiments 00747, The Field Experiments Website.
    10. Sidney J. Gray & Niclas Hellman & Mariya N. Ivanova, 2019. "Extractive Industries Reporting: A Review of Accounting Challenges and the Research Literature," Abacus, Accounting Foundation, University of Sydney, vol. 55(1), pages 42-91, March.
    11. Pablo Casas‐Arce & Sofia M. Lourenço & F. Asís Martínez‐Jerez, 2017. "The Performance Effect of Feedback Frequency and Detail: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Customer Satisfaction," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(5), pages 1051-1088, December.
    12. Christian Leuz & Peter D. Wysocki, 2016. "The Economics of Disclosure and Financial Reporting Regulation: Evidence and Suggestions for Future Research," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 525-622, May.
    13. Robert Bloomfield & Mark W. Nelson & Eugene Soltes, 2016. "Gathering Data for Archival, Field, Survey, and Experimental Accounting Research," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 341-395, May.
    14. Ian D. Gow & David F. Larcker & Peter C. Reiss, 2016. "Causal Inference in Accounting Research," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 477-523, May.
    15. Eric Floyd & Michael Hallsworth & John List & Robert Metcalfe & Kristian Rotaru & Ivo Vlaev, 2022. "What motivates people to pay their taxes? Evidence from four experiments on tax compliance," Natural Field Experiments 00750, The Field Experiments Website.
    16. Thomas R. Dyckman & Stephen A. Zeff, 2019. "Important Issues in Statistical Testing and Recommended Improvements in Accounting Research," Econometrics, MDPI, vol. 7(2), pages 1-11, May.
    17. Sutherland, Andrew G., 2020. "Technology is changing lending: Implications for research," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2).
    18. Manthei, Kathrin & Sliwka, Dirk & Vogelsang, Timo, 2021. "Information Provision, Incentives, and Attention: A Field Experiment on Facilitating and Influencing Managers' Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 14199, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Chandra Kanodia & Haresh Sapra, 2016. "A Real Effects Perspective to Accounting Measurement and Disclosure: Implications and Insights for Future Research," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(2), pages 623-676, May.
    20. Lisa-Marie Wibbeke & Maik Lachmann, 2020. "Psychology in management accounting and control research: an overview of the recent literature," Journal of Management Control: Zeitschrift für Planung und Unternehmenssteuerung, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 275-328, September.

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