Do culture and religion mitigate earnings management? Evidence from a cross-country analysis

  • Jeffrey L Callen
  • Mindy Morel
  • Grant Richardson
Original Article


This study investigates whether culture in general and religion in particular mitigate earnings management. Using a cross-country data set, empirical tests based on rank regressions indicate that earnings management is unrelated to both religious affiliation and the degree of religiosity. In contrast, earnings management is found to be negatively related to the updated Hofstede cultural variable of individualism and positively related to uncertainty avoidance. The results also indicate that the positive impact of the legal environment in mitigating earnings management, documented by Leuz, can no longer be demonstrated after controlling for culture.


earnings management religion culture cross-country study 



We wish to thank the anonymous referee of this Journal for insightful and constructive comments. We also thank colleagues at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto for helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of TorontoTorontoCanada

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