Religion, crime, and financial reporting

Abstract

The literature provides evidence on the separate roles of injunctive and descriptive norms in explaining corporate financial reporting, ignoring that descriptive norms are likely endogenous and partly explained by injunctive norms. We jointly analyze the direct and indirect effects of religious social norms (an injunctive norm) via local crime rates (a descriptive norm) on financial reporting quality. We find that religious social norms relate negatively to corporate earnings management and tax avoidance. We also show that this association is partially explained by crime rates in the firm’s geographical environment, underlining the indirect relation between religious social norms and financial reporting quality. Overall, the study highlights the importance of considering the interrelations between injunctive and descriptive norms when analyzing the effect of norms on corporate decision-making.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.