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

  • Abigail McIntosh Allen

    ()

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Karthik Ramanna

    ()

    (Harvard Business School, Accounting and Management Unit)

Registered author(s):

    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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    Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 10-105.

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    Length: 54 pages
    Date of creation: May 2010
    Date of revision: May 2012
    Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:10-105
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