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William J. Mayew

Martin L. Black, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Business Administration
Fuqua School of Business
A424 Fuqua School of Business, 90120, Durham, NC 27708

Selected Publications


Equity analyst social interactions and geographic information transmission

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · March 1, 2024 We find that earnings forecasts by analysts with more local peers, defined as analysts working in the same brokerage office who cover different firms headquartered in the same area, are more accurate. These heightened accuracy effects are concentrated in s ... Full text Cite

Firms’ response to macroeconomic estimation errors

Journal Article Journal of Accounting and Economics · April 1, 2022 Initial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) announcements are important economic signals that convey information on the state of the economy but contain substantial estimation error. We investigate how GDP estimation errors affect firms' real decisions and profit ... Full text Cite

State sponsors of terrorism disclosure and SEC financial reporting oversight

Journal Article Journal of Accounting and Economics · August 1, 2021 We examine whether SEC effort to review state sponsors of terrorism (SST) disclosure negatively influences financial reporting oversight. Using comment letter inquiries about SST to measure effort, we find the likelihood that the SEC fails to identify a fi ... Full text Cite

Chief financial officer co-option and chief executive officer compensation

Journal Article Management Science · March 1, 2021 We study whether relative power in the chief executive officer (CEO)–chief financial officer (CFO) relationship influences CEO compensation. To operationalize relative power of a CEO over a CFO, we define CFO co-option as the appointment of a CFO after a C ... Full text Cite

Individual analysts’ stock recommendations, earnings forecasts, and the informativeness of conference call question and answer sessions

Journal Article Accounting Review · February 17, 2020 This paper deepens our understanding of the anatomy of an earnings conference call. Prior research indicates that, on average, analysts providing bullish stock recommendations or beatable earnings forecasts benefit from greater access to corporate manageme ... Full text Cite

What's in a (school) name? Racial discrimination in higher education bond markets

Journal Article Journal of Financial Economics · December 1, 2019 Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) pay higher underwriting fees to issue tax-exempt bonds, compared with similar non-HBCUs, apparently reflecting higher costs of finding willing buyers. The effect is three times larger in the Deep South, ... Full text Cite

Improving Experienced Auditors’ Detection of Deception in CEO Narratives

Journal Article Journal of Accounting Research · December 1, 2017 We experimentally study the deception detection capabilities of experienced auditors, using CEO narratives from earnings conference calls as case materials. We randomly assign narratives of fraud and nonfraud companies to auditors as well as the presence v ... Full text Cite

Which Spoken Language Markers Identify Deception in High-Stakes Settings? Evidence From Earnings Conference Calls

Journal Article Journal of Language and Social Psychology · March 1, 2016 Quarterly conference calls where corporate executives discuss earnings that are later found to be misreported offer an excellent test bed for determining if automated linguistic and vocalic analysis tools can identify potentially fraudulent utterances in p ... Full text Cite

MD&A disclosure and the firm's ability to continue as a going concern

Journal Article Accounting Review · July 1, 2015 This paper explores the role of textual disclosures in the Management, Discussion, and Analysis (MD&A) section of a firm's SEC 10-K filing in predicting a firm's ability to continue as a going concern. Using a sample of firms that filed for bankruptcy betw ... Full text Cite

Financial fraud detection using vocal, linguistic and financial cues

Journal Article Decision Support Systems · June 1, 2015 Corporate financial fraud has a severe negative impact on investors and the capital market in general. The current resources committed to financial fraud detection (FFD), however, are insufficient to identify all occurrences in a timely fashion. Methods fo ... Full text Cite

CEO tenure and the performance-turnover relation

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · March 1, 2014 In a broad cross-section of US firms, we document that the likelihood of a CEO's performance-related dismissal declines in his tenure. This finding is consistent with both firm performance revealing information about a CEO's uncertain executive ability and ... Full text Cite

Vocal fry may undermine the success of young women in the labor market.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2014 Vocal fry is speech that is low pitched and creaky sounding, and is increasingly common among young American females. Some argue that vocal fry enhances speaker labor market perceptions while others argue that vocal fry is perceived negatively and can dama ... Full text Cite

Voice pitch and the labor market success of male chief executive officers

Journal Article Evolution and Human Behavior · July 1, 2013 A deep voice is evolutionarily advantageous for males, but does it confer benefit in competition for leadership positions? We study ecologically valid speech from 792 male public-company Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and find that CEOs with deeper voices ... Full text Cite

Using earnings conference calls to identify analysts with superior private information

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · June 1, 2013 We examine the extent to which analysts who participate in earnings conference calls by asking questions possess superior private information relative to analysts who do not ask questions. Using a large sample of earnings conference call transcripts over t ... Full text Cite

The Extent of Implicit Taxes at the Corporate Level and the Effect of TRA86

Journal Article Contemporary Accounting Research · December 1, 2012 Full text Cite

Speech analysis in financial markets

Journal Article Foundations and Trends in Accounting · December 1, 2012 The ways in which managers communicate information to capital market participants go far beyond financial statements and accounting numbers. Managers communicate economically relevant information both verbally, in documents distributed and available to inv ... Full text Cite

Religious Social Norms and Corporate Financial Reporting

Journal Article Journal of Business Finance and Accounting · September 1, 2012 Religion has been shown to influence economic choices and outcomes in a variety of contexts. Honesty and risk aversion are two social norms forwarded to characterize the religious. Using the level of religious adherence in the county of a US firm's headqua ... Full text Cite

Analyzing Speech to Detect Financial Misreporting

Journal Article Journal of Accounting Research · May 1, 2012 We examine whether vocal markers of cognitive dissonance are useful for detecting financial misreporting. We use speech samples of CEOs during earnings conference calls, and generate vocal dissonance markers using automated vocal emotion analysis software. ... Full text Cite

Equity analyst social interactions and geographic information transmission

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · March 1, 2024 We find that earnings forecasts by analysts with more local peers, defined as analysts working in the same brokerage office who cover different firms headquartered in the same area, are more accurate. These heightened accuracy effects are concentrated in s ... Full text Cite

Firms’ response to macroeconomic estimation errors

Journal Article Journal of Accounting and Economics · April 1, 2022 Initial Gross Domestic Product (GDP) announcements are important economic signals that convey information on the state of the economy but contain substantial estimation error. We investigate how GDP estimation errors affect firms' real decisions and profit ... Full text Cite

State sponsors of terrorism disclosure and SEC financial reporting oversight

Journal Article Journal of Accounting and Economics · August 1, 2021 We examine whether SEC effort to review state sponsors of terrorism (SST) disclosure negatively influences financial reporting oversight. Using comment letter inquiries about SST to measure effort, we find the likelihood that the SEC fails to identify a fi ... Full text Cite

Chief financial officer co-option and chief executive officer compensation

Journal Article Management Science · March 1, 2021 We study whether relative power in the chief executive officer (CEO)–chief financial officer (CFO) relationship influences CEO compensation. To operationalize relative power of a CEO over a CFO, we define CFO co-option as the appointment of a CFO after a C ... Full text Cite

Individual analysts’ stock recommendations, earnings forecasts, and the informativeness of conference call question and answer sessions

Journal Article Accounting Review · February 17, 2020 This paper deepens our understanding of the anatomy of an earnings conference call. Prior research indicates that, on average, analysts providing bullish stock recommendations or beatable earnings forecasts benefit from greater access to corporate manageme ... Full text Cite

What's in a (school) name? Racial discrimination in higher education bond markets

Journal Article Journal of Financial Economics · December 1, 2019 Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) pay higher underwriting fees to issue tax-exempt bonds, compared with similar non-HBCUs, apparently reflecting higher costs of finding willing buyers. The effect is three times larger in the Deep South, ... Full text Cite

Improving Experienced Auditors’ Detection of Deception in CEO Narratives

Journal Article Journal of Accounting Research · December 1, 2017 We experimentally study the deception detection capabilities of experienced auditors, using CEO narratives from earnings conference calls as case materials. We randomly assign narratives of fraud and nonfraud companies to auditors as well as the presence v ... Full text Cite

Which Spoken Language Markers Identify Deception in High-Stakes Settings? Evidence From Earnings Conference Calls

Journal Article Journal of Language and Social Psychology · March 1, 2016 Quarterly conference calls where corporate executives discuss earnings that are later found to be misreported offer an excellent test bed for determining if automated linguistic and vocalic analysis tools can identify potentially fraudulent utterances in p ... Full text Cite

MD&A disclosure and the firm's ability to continue as a going concern

Journal Article Accounting Review · July 1, 2015 This paper explores the role of textual disclosures in the Management, Discussion, and Analysis (MD&A) section of a firm's SEC 10-K filing in predicting a firm's ability to continue as a going concern. Using a sample of firms that filed for bankruptcy betw ... Full text Cite

Financial fraud detection using vocal, linguistic and financial cues

Journal Article Decision Support Systems · June 1, 2015 Corporate financial fraud has a severe negative impact on investors and the capital market in general. The current resources committed to financial fraud detection (FFD), however, are insufficient to identify all occurrences in a timely fashion. Methods fo ... Full text Cite

CEO tenure and the performance-turnover relation

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · March 1, 2014 In a broad cross-section of US firms, we document that the likelihood of a CEO's performance-related dismissal declines in his tenure. This finding is consistent with both firm performance revealing information about a CEO's uncertain executive ability and ... Full text Cite

Vocal fry may undermine the success of young women in the labor market.

Journal Article PloS one · January 2014 Vocal fry is speech that is low pitched and creaky sounding, and is increasingly common among young American females. Some argue that vocal fry enhances speaker labor market perceptions while others argue that vocal fry is perceived negatively and can dama ... Full text Cite

Voice pitch and the labor market success of male chief executive officers

Journal Article Evolution and Human Behavior · July 1, 2013 A deep voice is evolutionarily advantageous for males, but does it confer benefit in competition for leadership positions? We study ecologically valid speech from 792 male public-company Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and find that CEOs with deeper voices ... Full text Cite

Using earnings conference calls to identify analysts with superior private information

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · June 1, 2013 We examine the extent to which analysts who participate in earnings conference calls by asking questions possess superior private information relative to analysts who do not ask questions. Using a large sample of earnings conference call transcripts over t ... Full text Cite

The Extent of Implicit Taxes at the Corporate Level and the Effect of TRA86

Journal Article Contemporary Accounting Research · December 1, 2012 Full text Cite

Speech analysis in financial markets

Journal Article Foundations and Trends in Accounting · December 1, 2012 The ways in which managers communicate information to capital market participants go far beyond financial statements and accounting numbers. Managers communicate economically relevant information both verbally, in documents distributed and available to inv ... Full text Cite

Religious Social Norms and Corporate Financial Reporting

Journal Article Journal of Business Finance and Accounting · September 1, 2012 Religion has been shown to influence economic choices and outcomes in a variety of contexts. Honesty and risk aversion are two social norms forwarded to characterize the religious. Using the level of religious adherence in the county of a US firm's headqua ... Full text Cite

Analyzing Speech to Detect Financial Misreporting

Journal Article Journal of Accounting Research · May 1, 2012 We examine whether vocal markers of cognitive dissonance are useful for detecting financial misreporting. We use speech samples of CEOs during earnings conference calls, and generate vocal dissonance markers using automated vocal emotion analysis software. ... Full text Cite

The power of voice: Managerial affective states and future firm performance

Journal Article Journal of Finance · January 1, 2012 We measure managerial affective states during earnings conference calls by analyzing conference call audio files using vocal emotion analysis software. We hypothesize and find that, when managers are scrutinized by analysts during conference calls, positiv ... Full text Cite

Analyst reputation and the issuance of disaggregated earnings forecasts to I/B/E/S

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · March 1, 2011 Although sell-side analysts privately forecast revenues and expenses when producing earnings forecasts, not all analysts choose to provide I/B/E/S with earnings forecasts disaggregated into revenues and expenses. We investigate the role of reputation in ex ... Full text Cite

Do pennies matter? Investor relations consequences of small negative earnings surprises

Journal Article Review of Accounting Studies · March 1, 2010 Anecdotal and survey evidence suggest that managers take actions to avoid small negative earnings surprises because they fear disproportionate, negative stock-price effects. However, empirical research has failed to document an asymmetric pricing effect. W ... Full text Cite

Evidence of management discrimination among analysts during earnings conference calls

Journal Article Journal of Accounting Research · June 1, 2008 This paper considers the potential for public information disclosures to complement the existing private information of financial analysts. In such a setting, analysts allowed to participate during earnings conference calls by asking questions receive publ ... Full text Cite

Employee stock option fair-value estimates: Do managerial discretion and incentives explain accuracy?

Journal Article Contemporary Accounting Research · December 1, 2006 We examine the determinants of managers' use of discretion over employee stock option (ESO) valuation-model inputs that determine ESO fair values. We also explore the consequences of such discretion. Firms exercise considerable discretion over all model in ... Full text Cite

Debt reclassification and capital market consequences

Journal Article Journal of Business Finance and Accounting · September 1, 2006 We provide initial evidence on the economic consequences of a relatively large, fully disclosed, and apparently purposeful reporting decision: the balance sheet classification of short-term obligations as long-term debt in accordance with Statement of Fina ... Full text Cite