A geographic analysis of constituents’ formal participation in the process of international accounting standard setting: Do we have a level playing field?
Jorissen, Ann * × Lybaert, Nadine * Orens, Raf * Van der Tas, Leo * #
Journal of Accounting and Public Policy vol:32 issue:4 pages:237-270
As a private organization, input legitimacy, being achieved when inputs received reflect the opinions of all stakeholders involved, is a key issue for the IASB’s acceptance as global standard setter. To study this input legitimacy, this paper examines the evolution of constituent participation in international accounting standard setting in terms of geographic diversity over the period 1995– 2007 and examines whether biases (due to differences in institutional regimes) or unequal access (due to differences in participation costs) are present in this process. Based on an analysis of 7442 comment letters we observe an increase in participation over time. However, we also find distortions in the geographic representation of constituents, due to differences in the institutional regimes of countries and due to differences in participation costs, proxied by the level of familiarity with the accounting values embedded in IFRS, with the system of private standard setting, and with the English language. These geographic biases in constituent participation might induce criticism in relation to the input legitimacy of the international accounting standard setting process.