American Accounting Association

AUGUST 4–8, 2012  •  WASHINGTON, DC

Speaker Information

Opening Plenary Speakers: Bruce Carruthers and Deirdre McCloskey
Monday, August 6, 2012 ~ 8:30am–9:45am

Bruce CarruthersBruce Carruthers
John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Chair, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University

Presentation: "Accounts and Social Context: Why Accounting is a Sociological Issue"

Description:A series of issues, questions, and topics that underscore the social significance of accounts, accountability and accounting will be discussed.

Deirdre McCloskeyDeirdre McCloskey
Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English, and Communication, University of Illinois at Chicago

Presentation: "The Bankruptcy of Statistical Significance"




Tuesday Morning Plenary Speakers: Gregory Berns and Kevin A. McCabe
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 ~ 8:30am–9:45am

Gregory BernsGregory Berns
Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics and Director of Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University

Presentation: "From Neuroeconomics to Neuroaccounting"

Description: Brain imaging technologies, especially functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have resulted in new ways of looking at human decision making. Early studies of the brain focused on the reward system, which soon gave way to linking activity in the reward system to the decisions that people make. The field of neuroeconomics grew out of the observation that activity in the human reward system could be related to aspects of expected utility theory and prospect theory. Such results are now being extended beyond the study of individual decision making to the biology of how markets are an aggregation of brains and how these markets assimilate information such as stock prices and earnings announcements.

Kevin McCabeKevin A. McCabe
Professor of Economics and Law, George Mason University




Tuesday Luncheon Speaker: Dan Roam
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 ~ 12:00pm–1:45pm

Dan Roam

Dan Roam
Best-selling international author of "The Back of the Napkin" and "Blah, Blah, Blah: What To Do When Words Don't Work"

Presentation: "The Pathways Commission: Seeing the Big Picture"
Introduction by Bruce Behn, The University of Tennessee




Tuesday Afternoon Plenary Speakers: Raymond Ball and Philip Brown AM
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 ~ 2:00pm–3:30pm

Raymond BallRaymond Ball
Sidney Davidson Distinguished Service Professor of Accounting, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Philip Brown AM
Emeritus Professor of Accounting and Finance, The University of Western Australia and The University of New South Wales

Presentation: The Seed that Made a Difference: Ball and Brown (1968)

Philip Brown AMDescription: When Ray Ball and Philip Brown AM received the inaugural Seminal Contribution to Accounting Literature award for their 1968 paper it was said that "The evidence accumulated from financial accounting research that traces its roots to the Ball and Brown paper, as well as the great number of citations to this pioneering work, testify to its enduring impact." That statement remains true today




Wednesday Morning Plenary Speakers: Bart J. Wilson and Sarah F. Brosnan
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 ~ 8:30am–9:45am

Bart J. WilsonBart J. Wilson
Donald P. Kennedy Endowed Chair in Economics and Law, Chapman University’s Economic Science Institute

Presentation: "The Emergence of Property as a Convention in the Laboratory"

Description: Did the long, dead philosophers of 18th century Scotland get it right when they argued that property is an invention of man and the foundation of a system that creates wealth? If, as F.A. Hayek says, the conception of property did not fall ready made from heaven, then how does it form? These are two of the questions my co-authors and I are exploring using the modern tool of experimental economics. Economists, like most people, tend to think that the government must set the rules of conduct to establish what is right. But as accountants know from professional experience, and as my subjects demonstrate when making decisions for cold hard cash in the laboratory, we observe that rulesof conduct emerge in precisely the opposite way, from our knowledge of what is right.

Sarah F. BrosnanSarah F. Brosnan
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Georgia State University

Presentation: "Coordination across the Primates"

Description: Along with the dispositions to trust and reciprocate and the propensity to exchange, the human ability to coordinate activities is a pillar upon which the flourishing of the species is built. The ability of two individuals to coordinate, literally to mutually arrange, an activity presupposes firstly that two individuals cognize that the outcomes of their actions are interdependent. Secondly, successful coordination assumes a shared attention and agreement on the ends to be achieved by mutually arranging a pair’s activities. Within the Pleistocene tribe or the modern small group of family, friends and neighbors, these conditions are almost trivially met as personally known individuals share the habits, knowledge, and beliefs about the methods and possibilities necessary to coordinate successfully. But what happens when modern strangers face a novel task of playing a simple 2 x 2 normal form game of coordination? Moreover, what about our primate relatives; do we share with them the ability to cognize actions as interdependent and to share attention on the ends achieved? My colleagues and I have investigated this question using the Assurance game in capuchin monkeys, rhesus monkeys, chimpanzees, and humans, and find evidence that such coordination is shared across the primates, albeit with some variations. This phylogenetic distribution implies that no single mechanism drives coordination decisions across the primates, and that multiple mechanisms may be used even within the same species. These results provide insight into the evolution of decision-making strategies across the primates.



Wednesday Luncheon Speakers: Doyle Z. Williams and Karen Pincus
Wednesday, August 8, 2012 ~ 12:00pm–1:45pm

Doyle Z. WilliamsDoyle Z. Williams
Executive Director of the
Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program

Presentation: "The Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program
— A Status Report"

Description: This presentation will describe the origins, implementation, and current status of the $17 million program funded by the accounting profession and administered by the AICPA Foundation to help address the shortage of academically qualified accounting faculty, especially in tax and auditing. The fourth and last class of the approximately 120 ADS Program Scholars will be enrolled for the fall of 2012.

Karen PincusKaren Pincus
Doyle Z. and Maynette Derr Williams Professor of Accounting, University of Arkansas

Presentation: "Challenges on the Horizon"

Description: What are the major challenges accounting faculty and accounting programs will face over the next decade? Are they insoluble problems or brilliantly disguised opportunities?



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