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Protecting Your Friends: The Role of Connections in Division Manager Careers

Paul Obermann, Assistant Professor of Finance

Co-Authors: Charles J. Hadlock, Jing Huang and Joshua R. Pierce

Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis | March 2024

We look at CEOs of S&P 1500 firms with multiple segments/divisions and how their social connections to their division managers affect labor market outcomes and job performance. In particular, division managers who share a social connection with the CEO are less likely to be dismissed and more likely to be promoted even after controlling for performance. A major part of the paper looks at whether this is efficient for the firm. However, most evidence points toward a favoritism/cronyism effect that is inefficient rather than soft information flow between connected pairs being able to produce superior performance. We show some evidence that connections can be beneficial in situations with more intrafirm information problems.



How do Auditors’ Use of Industry Norms Differentially Impact Management Evaluations of Audit Quality Under Principles-based and Rules-based Accounting Standards?

Erik Boyle, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation | January 2024

I find that when auditors and clients have disagreements about the appropriate accounting treatment for a transaction, management will evaluate the quality of the auditor’s decision differently based on whether the applicable accounting standard is more rules-based or principles-based. Under a more rules-based accounting standard, the client will evaluate the auditor’s decision based on the underlying characteristics of the transaction; as the standard becomes more principles-based, the client is more likely to be influenced by the presence of industry norms.


Teaching in and for the Hinterlands: a Commentary

Alex Rose, Associate Professor of Marketing

Taylor & Francis Group | February 2024

A commentary in which I provide a brief explanation of why I enjoy teaching in a "red state" and I encourage colleagues to consider academic posts outside of liberal areas. I focus on students' receptivity to material analysis and genuine need for economic mobility.


Disparities in Mortality Between Appalachian and NonAppalachian Regions of Kentucky

Sonali S. Salunkhe, Assistant Professor of Healthcare Administration

Co-Authors: Sahal Alzahrani and Beatrice Ugiliweneza 

Journal of Appalachian Health | December 2023

Although drug overdose fatalities have risen nationally, some geographical regions have been disproportionately affected. The study demonstrated significant intra-state geographical disparities in Kentucky in all-cause, drug-related, and opioid-related mortality, with the Appalachian region having significantly higher rates when compared to the non- Appalachian regions of Kentucky. The findings from this study will be beneficial in identifying trends of drug use in Kentucky to develop interventions and strategies which could shift the substance use epidemic in the future. Also, the information on geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic factors related to these types of mortality can be factored into the interventions’ design specific to targeting population's socio- demographics.


The ChatGPT Artificial Intelligence Chatbot: How Well Does It Answer Accounting Assessment Questions?

Erik Boyle, Assistant Professor of Accounting | Christopher Pearson, Assistant Professor of Accounting | Kristen Thompson, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Co-Authors: David A. Wood, Muskan P. Achhpilia, Mollie T. Adams, Sanaz Aghazadeh, Elizabeth D. Almer, and multiple additional authors

PDXScholar | November 2023

Our paper looks at the performance of ChatGPT on accounting exams. We find that students, on average, outperform ChatGPT by roughly 20-30%. We also discuss positive and negative effects of AI on accounting academics and in the field.


Socioeconomic Status & Health Disparities: Utilizing a Composite Index Across Health Datasets

Iris Buder, Associate Dean, MHA Program Director, Associate Professor of Economics

Co-Authors: Jacob Jennings, Dae Hyun Kim and Norman Waitzman

Forum for Social Economics | August 2023

In the US, socioeconomic status (SES) is often measured using individual proxies such as income, rather than the interaction of income, education, and occupation. In this article, we examine the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and health outcomes utilizing a composite SES index. To assess whether this composite SES index holds, we evaluate its consistency across four national datasets. The results reveal that the generated composite SES index provides similar SES classifications across the four datasets and offer greater insights into the components of SES for a given group. This is particularly important due to the challenges inherent in measuring SES and its multifaceted impacts on health outcomes. 



The Influence of Uncertainty on Financial Reporting Behavior: The Case of P&C Insurers

Justin Wood, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Accounting

Co-Authors: Daniel Ames, Brent Lao, Jomo Sankara

Journal of Business Finance & Accounting | August 2023

We examine how uncertainty about a firm’s future cash flows influences the quality of its accounting information. As uncertainty increases, information asymmetry between managers and stakeholders will almost certainly increase, amplifying the potential influence of uncertainty. We focus on a specific setting where severe levels of uncertainty can influence financial reporting, the property-casualty (P&C) insurance industry and use catastrophes as a shock to the level of uncertainty regarding P&C insurer’s future cash flows. 



Does Rocky Mountain Credit Union Competition Still Affect Commercial Bank Interest Rates?

Robert Tokle, Professor of Accounting

Co-Authors: Thomas M. Fullerton, Bryce Jones, Steven L. Fullerton

Journal of Regional Economics | February 2023

Previously, empirical results had shown that increased credit union competition in Idaho and Montana had led to banks to offer higher deposit rates.   Upon more recent examination, this effect appears to have faded.  Potential contributing factors may include bank consolidation, the low interest rate environment during the period examined, and a greater emphasis on non-interest rate competition.


Cyber Terrorism Cases and Stock Market Valuation Effects

Erik Boyle, Assistant Professor of Accounting

Co-Authors: Katherine Taken Smith, Lawrence Murphy Smith, Marcus Burger

Information and Computer Security | January 2023

We analyze publicly reported cyberattacks on companies that occurred during the period of 2010-2019. We find that company stock price value is significantly negatively impacted in the time period following these attacks, which helps to document one cost of cyberterrorism in today’s markets.