Department of Economics Seminar
Does Shareholders' Religiosity Influence Firm Uncertainty? A Global Analysis
7.11.2017 16:00
YER : AB7, 7302
​This study examines the impact of religiosity on firm uncertainty utilising a sample of 136,065 firm-year observations between 2007 and 2016 from 54 countries globally. We use two measures of Firm uncertainty defined as the volatility in companies’ accounting and stock market returns. Religiosity is measured by the importance of religion in the countries where the companies and major shareholders are located. We find robust evidence that companies located in countries with higher levels of religiosity and companies monitored by religious shareholders display lower levels of uncertainty in both accounting and market measures. These findings support the notion that religion, as a set of social norms, able to restrain unethical activities by managers and lead to risk-aversion behaviour. The analysis further shows that the negative association between religiosity and firm uncertainty is stronger for firms with lower external monitoring measured by the percentage of institutional ownership. This result is consistent with the view that religiosity can function as an alternative control mechanism for corporations.

Professor Omneya Abdelsalam PhD, FHEA
Professor of Accounting & Islamic Finance at Durham University Business School

Omneya is Director of the Ethical Finance, Accountability and Governance research centre. Before joining Durham University Business School in June 2014, Omneya was the director of the El Shaarani Centre for Islamic Business & Finance (EIBF) at Aston University since January 2010. She holds degrees from the Universities of Heriot-Watt (UK) and Mansoura (Egypt). In addition, she is a fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy. Omneya published in top Academic journals such as Journal of Banking & Finance, Journal of Economic Behaviour and Organisation, Journal of Business Ethics, Journal of International Accounting Research. She is a member of the editorial boards of peer reviewed academic journals and ad-hoc reviewer of various academic journals and international conferences. She is also a subject editor at the journal of International Financial Markets Institutions and Money. She also co-edited two dedicated special issues in Islamic Finance in the journal of Economic Behavior and Organization in 2014 & 2016. Omneya was awarded “The Aston University Excellence in Teaching” Award in 2005 and the “Aston Business School Award for Innovation & Inspiration” in 2009.

The language of the event is English.