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Editorial

Accounting ethics research

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I ®rst began doing research on accounting ethics in 1969 (see, e.g., Loeb, 1970) when the topic was not a particularly fashionable area for academic research (see discussion in Previts and Merino, 1998, pp. 339±340). In the last decade there has been an increase in academic accounting ethics research. This increased interest in academic accounting ethics research may be due to a number of factors such as the Treadway Commission report (1987) and the activities of the American Accounting Association in the areas relating to ac-counting ethics (see, e.g., Loeb and Rockness, 1992, especially pp. 485±487; Ayres and Ghosh, 1996, p. 77).

The three main articles and comment that follow are drawn from a con-ference entitled ``Ethics and Economic Behavior in Accounting and Taxation'' that was held at the University of Oklahoma in April of 1997 (see Ayres and Ghosh, 1996, 1999). The conference coordinators, Professors Frances L. Ayres and Dipankar Ghosh, are also Special Associate Editors for this partial special theme issue that relates to ``economic behavior'' and accounting ethics (Ayres and Ghosh, 1996, 1999).

An important issue relating to accounting ethics research is de®ning what is accounting ethics research. I view the conference directed by Professors Ayres and Ghosh and this partial special theme issue as part of an ongoing e€ort to better de®ne the young and hopefully growing ®eld of academic accounting ethics research.

References

Ayres, F.L., Ghosh, D., 1996. A call for papers: Ethics and economic behavior in accounting and taxation. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy 15 (1), 77±79.

Ayres, F.L., Ghosh, D., 1999. Research in ethics and economic behavior in accounting. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy 18 (4/5), pp. 335±338.

Loeb, S.E., 1970. A Behavioral Study of CPA Ethics, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin. Journal of Accounting and Public Policy 18 (1999) 333±334

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Fran Ayres and Larry Gordon provided useful comments on an earlier draft of this editorial.

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Loeb, S.E., Rockness, J., 1992. Accounting ethics and education: A response. Journal of Business Ethics 11 (7), 485±490.

National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting (Treadway Commission), October 1987 Report of the National Commission on Fraudulent Financial Reporting.

Previts, G.J., Merino, B.D., 1998. A History of Accountancy in the United States: The Cultural Signi®cance of Accounting. Ohio State University Press, Columbus, OH.

Stephen E. Loeb

Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-1815, USA

E-mail: sloeb@rhsmith.umd.edu

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