Does Social Capital Affect Asymmetric Cost Behaviour? Evidence from U.S. Counties

52 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2017 Last revised: 15 Mar 2018

Sven Hartlieb

University of Bamberg

Thomas R. Loy

University of Bayreuth - Business Administration

Brigitte Eierle

University of Bamberg

Date Written: August 8, 2017

Abstract

We examine the impact of social capital on asymmetric cost behaviour. Social capital captures the strength of social norms and the density of social networks in a region. As such, it is a socio-economic factor that might affect managerial resource adjustment decisions via different channels. We find that firms headquartered in U.S. counties with high social capital exhibit significantly less asymmetric cost behaviour. Social capital restrains managers from taking opportunistic resource adjustment decisions that would induce cost stickiness. This is in line with our additional finding, that cooperative norms to act in an ethical manner are the dominant channel for our setting, by which social capital affects cost behaviour. Our results corroborate the important role of managerial discretion in cost behaviour and make a significant contribution in understanding how environmental, local factors explain differences in sticky cost behaviour across firms.

Keywords: Cost Behaviour, Cost Stickiness, Social Capital, Norms, Managerial Opportunism

JEL Classification: A13, M14, M40, M41

Suggested Citation

Hartlieb, Sven and Loy, Thomas R. and Eierle, Brigitte, Does Social Capital Affect Asymmetric Cost Behaviour? Evidence from U.S. Counties (August 8, 2017). AAA 2018 Management Accounting Section (MAS) Meeting. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3013837 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3013837

Sven Hartlieb (Contact Author)

University of Bamberg ( email )

Kirschaeckerstrasse 39
Bamberg, 96045
Germany

Thomas R. Loy

University of Bayreuth - Business Administration ( email )

Universit├Ątsstr. 30
Bayreuth, 95447
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wp.uni-bayreuth.de

Brigitte Eierle

University of Bamberg ( email )

Feldkirchenstra├če 21
Bamberg, 96052
Germany
00499518632545 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.uni-bamberg.de/bwl-irwp/home/

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