Nanyang Business School Accounting Conference

Theme: ESG and Accounting

The Nanyang Business School Accounting Conference will be held online by the Center for Accounting and Auditing Research (CAAR) of Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University Singapore on 19-20 May 2022. The theme of the conference will broadly be on the interplay between accounting and ESG (Environment, Social and Governance), with an emphasis on sustainability. While there is a preference for papers on ESG, manuscripts in all areas of research in accounting using all methodologies are welcome. We will invite a discussant for each accepted paper.

Based on publications in major accounting journals, Nanyang Technological University is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world for accounting research by Brigham Young University Accounting Research Ranking.

Paper Submission

Please submit papers to this website: www.cognitoforms.com/Ntu18/PaperSubmissionSystemNBSAC2022

Deadline for submission is Monday, 28 February 2022. Authors of accepted papers will be notified by Thursday, March 31, 2022. 

Accepted papers and conference program will be made available on this conference website.

Registration

Please register here from Friday, 1 April 2022, and registration fee is SGD $50. Registration will closed on 17 May, Tuesday at 12 PM (SG TIME)
For more enquiries, please contact: d-caar@ntu.edu.sg

Programme Schedule

19 May 2022, Thursday

TimeProgrammeDetails
8.30amOpening RemarksBy Prof Christina Soh
Dean, Nanyang Business School,
Nanyang Technological University
8.40amKeynote SpeechPresenter: Jeffrey Hales,
Chair, Standards Board, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board; Professor, University of Texas, Austin

Moderator: Huai Zhang,
Nanyang Technological University
9.20amBreak 
9.30amPaper 1 “Passing the Mic: Career and Firm Outcomes of Executive Interactions”
Wei Cai, Columbia Business School
Ethan Rouen, Harvard Business School
Yuan Zou, Harvard Business School

Presenter: Yuan Zou, Harvard Business School
Discussant: Lu Hai, University of Toronto
Moderator: Cheong Foong Soon, Nanyang Technological University

Download Paper -  Passing the Mic: Career and Firm Outcomes of Executive Interactions
  Abstract:
We exploit a unique feature of conference calls to study one type of interaction among executives — directly inviting colleagues to respond to analysts’ questions. We find that the frequency of initiating interaction is positively associated with an executive’s ability, but not associated with firm performance. When new CEOs initiate more interactions than their predecessors, interaction among the rest of the executive team also increases, suggesting a learning effect. Turning to the outcomes of this practice, we find that executives who initiate more interactions than their peers are twice as likely as the average executive to be promoted to CEO. What is more, appointing CEOs who initiate more interactions than their predecessors results in an average three-day abnormal return of 0.9% around the announcement of the appointment. Teams composed of executives who interact with each other more frequently also have greater retention. Lastly, firms in which new CEOs initiate more interactions than their predecessors experience higher growth in Tobin’s Q, a result that is concentrated among growth and R&D-intensive firms. 
10.20amBreak 
10.30amPaper 2“When Doing Good Backfires: The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility Fit on Long - and Short-Horizon Investors”

Chezham Sealy, University of Alabama
Christopher Agoglia, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
David Piercey, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

Presenter: Chezham Sealy, University of Alabama
Discussant: Marlys Lipe, University of South Carolina
Moderator: Zheng Leitter, Nanyang Technological University

Download Paper - When Doing Good Backfires - The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility Fit on Long and Short Horizon Investors
  Abstract:
We investigate how the perceived fit of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to a firm's core business operations affects the investment willingness of long- and short-horizon investors. Although so-called “sin firms” frequently use CSR as a tool to manage negative shareholder perceptions, our results indicate that doing so can backfire by reducing long-horizon investment willingness if the CSR initiative does not fit with the firms' core business operations. In contrast, more “virtuous” firms benefit from reporting any type of CSR initiative and can maximize long-horizon investment willingness by engaging in high-fit CSR. Short-horizon investors are not impacted by CSR fit and are most willing to invest in sin firms when no CSR is reported. Our findings provide important insights to researchers and can help guide managers as to the best CSR initiatives to engage in, and highlight, when communicating with investors.
11.20amBreak 
11.30amPaper 3“Do Commercial Ties Influence ESG Ratings? Evidence from Moody's and S&P”

Xuanbo Li, Singapore Management University
Yun Lou, Singapore Management University
Liandong Zhang, Singapore Management University

Presenter: Yun Lou, Singapore Management University
Discussant: Bin Ke, National University of Singapore
Moderator: Huaxiang Yin, Nanyang Technological University
  Abstract:
Using Moody's and S&P's acquisitions of Vigeo Eiris and RobecoSAM as shocks to the commercial ties between ESG rating agencies and their rated firms, we investigate whether conflicts of interest brought about by commercial ties influence ESG ratings. We find that, after the acquisitions, the ESG rating agencies issued higher ESG ratings to firms that have existing credit rating business with Moody's or S&P, relative to those that do not. The increase in ESG ratings is more pronounced for firms that have stronger credit rating relationships with Moody's or S&P and firms that issue green bonds. Furthermore, the increase is larger for firms with fewer ESG disclosures and lower pension fund holdings, suggesting that the reputation or regulatory cost of ESG rating inflation is lower when public ESG information is limited and investor monitoring is weak. More importantly, we find that the ESG rating quality (in terms of predicting future ESG ratings and negative news) deteriorates after the acquisitions. This result helps us rule out the possibility that the increased ESG ratings is due to more private information available to the ESG rating agencies from Moody's or S&P. Overall, the paper highlights the potential conflicts of interest arising from commercial ties due to the consolidation in the ESG rating industry, which deserves attention from investors and regulators.
12.20pmEvent Ends 

 

20 May 2022, Friday

 

TimeProgrammeDetails
8.30amPaper 4“Watching from the Sky: Business Observability and Voluntary Disclosure”
Clark Liu, Tsinghua University
Yancheng Qiu, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Shujing Wang, Tongji University
Eric Yeung, Cornell University

Presenter: Eric Yeung, Cornell University
Discussant: Frank Zhang, Yale University
Moderator: Alper Darendeli, Nanyang Technological University

Download Paper - Watching from the Sky - Business Observability and Voluntary Disclosure
  Abstract:
Exploiting the staggered releases of satellite traffic data across U.S. retailers, we study how improved business observability affects corporate voluntary disclosure. We document that following satellite traffic data release, firms significantly suppress issuing management forecasts, especially good news forecasts. This result is best explained by management’s incentive to avoid missing its own earnings “guidance” after business observability improves. Consistent with this explanation, we document that good news suppression occurs among quarterly guidance and is more pronounced when institutional ownership, operating uncertainty, or expected litigation risk are higher. When management decides to issue good news forecasts, they also become more qualitative.
9.20amBreak 
9.30amPaper 5ESG and Shareholder Value The Role of Board Facial Impressions and Perceived Trustworthiness

Jeff Chen, Texas Christian University
Siew Hong Teoh, University of California LA
Aaron Yoon, Northwestern University
Luo Zuo, Cornell University

Presenter: Aaron Yoon, Northwestern University
Discussant: Zhaoyang Gu, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Moderator: Kelvin Law, Nanyang Technological University

Download Paper -  ESG and Shareholder Value: The Role of Board Facial Impressions and Perceived Trustworthiness
  Abstract:
We propose that when agents such as managers and employees trust the board more and have shared values with the board, the firm is able to manage its ESG activities more effectively to increase firm value. ESG activities are potentially risky for agents, so trust and shared values help reduce agency problems. We test whether the interaction of ESG ratings and perceptions of trustworthiness extracted from facial features of board members predict future firm performance. We find evidence that the interaction of high ESG ratings and high board trust predicts high future abnormal positive returns, sales, and accounting profitability. The predictive relations are especially strong in firms with newer CEOs, in firms that score high in the governance index, and for ESG ratings related to environmental and social issues.  
10.20amBreak 
10.30amPaper 6“Substitution between CSR Activities: Evidence from Hiring and Mistreating Unauthorized Workers and Pollution”

Ying Huang, University of Texas at Dallas
Ningzhong Li, University of Texas at Dallas
Xiaolu Zhou, Chinese University of Hong Kong

Presenter: Ningzhong Li, University of Texas at Dallas
Discussant: Xiumin Martin, Washington University
Moderator: Chung Byung Hun, Nanyang Technological University

Download Paper - Substitution between CSR Activities - Evidence from Hiring and Mistreating Unauthorised Workers and Pollution
  Abstract:
We argue substitution exists among CSR investments and exogenously increasing one CSR investment could lead to a decrease in another CSR investment. We provide evidence using the U.S. states’ staggered adoptions of E-Verify mandates, which curtails a labor-related social bad by reducing the hiring of unauthorized workers and related workplace abuses. We find the mandate leads to an increase in plant-level pollution, an environmental social bad, and the effect is stronger when the mandate applies to more employers, for plants in states with more unauthorized workers in the labor force, and for plants with jobs that are inherently more hazardous.
11.20amBreak 
11.30amPaper 7“Ranking the stars in employee giving programs. When does donation engagement spill-over to subsequent ethics?”

Eddy Cardinaels, Tilburg University and KU Leuven
Qinnan Ruan, Tilburg University
Huaxiang Yin, Nanyang Technological University

Presenter: Huaxiang Yin, Nanyang Technological University
Discussant: Ranjani Krishnan, Michigan State University
Moderator: Yachang Zeng, Nanyang Technological University

Download Paper -  Ranking the stars in employee giving programs. When does donation engagement spill-over to subsequent ethics?
  Abstract:
Using an experiment, we examine whether ranking employees on a social dimension can facilitate employees to learn something about their self-concept and make better decisions in subsequent ethical decisions. We examine this question in the context of popular employee giving programs, where proponents argue that such employee engagement can spill-over into better ethical decision making afterwards. We predict and find disclosing relative performance information (RPI) about employees’ charitable contributions activates such an ethics spillover, but only when employees’ donations involve money but not time. We attribute our findings to the fact that money compared to time is less easily adjusted for other competing motives, which makes RPI more relevant for learning where one stands in terms of ethics. Our results suggest that ranking employees on a social dimension can lead to positive spill-overs for subsequent ethical decisions. Yet, how companies organize their donation programs seems crucial for activating such a spill-over.  
12.20pmConcluding RemarksBy Prof. Tan Hun Tong
Director, the Centre for Accounting & Auditing Research (CAAR)
12.30pmEvent Ends