Some Methodological Deficiencies in Empirical Research Articles in Accounting

Forthcoming, Accounting Horizons.

23 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2013 Last revised: 15 May 2014

See all articles by Thomas R. Dyckman

Thomas R. Dyckman

Cornell University - Department of Accounting

Stephen A. Zeff

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business

Date Written: March 26, 2014

Abstract

This paper uses a sample of the regression and behavioral papers published in The Accounting Review and the Journal of Accounting Research from September 2012 through May 2013. We argue first that the current research results reported in empirical regression papers fail adequately to justify the time period adopted for the study. Second, we maintain that the statistical analyses used in these papers as well as in the behavioral papers have produced flawed results. We further maintain that their tests of statistical significance are not appropriate and, more importantly, that these studies do not – and cannot – properly address the economic significance of the work. In other words, significance tests are not tests of the economic meaningfulness of the results. We suggest ways to avoid some but not all of these problems. We also argue that replication studies, which have been essentially abandoned by accounting researchers, can contribute to our search for truth, but few will be forthcoming unless the academic reward system is modified.

Keywords: empirical research, methodology, sample periods

JEL Classification: B40, M41

Suggested Citation

Dyckman, Thomas R. and Zeff, Stephen A., Some Methodological Deficiencies in Empirical Research Articles in Accounting (March 26, 2014). Forthcoming, Accounting Horizons.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2324266 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2324266

Thomas R. Dyckman

Cornell University - Department of Accounting ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-3491 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

Stephen A. Zeff (Contact Author)

Rice University - Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business ( email )

6100 South Main Street
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77005
United States
713-348-6066 (Phone)
713-348-6296 (Fax)

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