The research position is funded by a project grant of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).
The ideal candidate has a strong academic background in accounting and finance, including good research and statistical skills and an excellent command of the English language. A research master degree would be an added advantage.
The applicant is expected to conduct research in the field of financial disclosure behavior in an international setting. The research will be carried out in close collaboration with Prof. Walter Aerts and Prof. Tom Van Caneghem. The candidate is expected to enroll the university’s Ph.D. program and to obtain a Ph.D. at the end of the project. A short project description can be found below. We offer a four-year position (with periodic evaluation), a net monthly grant of over 1800 euro, and a stimulating working environment in a lively cosmopolitan city.
Short project description
We investigate intra-industry imitation in discretionary financial disclosure and management commentary. Imitation of discretionary reporting content and related reporting choices may be conceived as a rational response to discretion and related ambiguity in order to meet explicit and implicit industry norms. This issue is crucial in the current debate on a principles-based versus rules-based approach in the reporting standard-setting process. We will address the following research questions: (1) What is the extent of intra-industry benchmarking in specific discretionary reporting choices and which imitation mechanisms drive reporting conformity, (2) What is the impact of professional intermediaries (e.g. auditors, consultants) on imitation-driven reporting, (3) Which firm-specific factors (e.g. relative performance) affect the extent of benchmarked reporting, and (4) Whether and to what extent self-serving consequences (e.g. financial analyst behavior, cost of capital) of industry-based imitation in external reporting can be observed.
Applications should be sent by regular mail, and should include  a detailed CV including description of background in accounting and research,  complete transcripts of bachelor and master degrees including detailed marks,  a motivation letter and  (if available) results on TOEFL/GMAT/GRE tests.
Prof. Walter Aerts
University of Antwerp
Faculty of Applied Economic Sciences
The position is open until filled with a final deadline of October 1, 2012.
For more information, please contact Prof. Walter Aerts (University of Antwerp) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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