The Impact of Religiosity on Earnings Quality: International Evidence from the Banking Sector

Omneya Abdel‐Salam, Antonios Chantziaras, Masud Ibrahim, Kamil Omoteso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


We examine the impact of religiosity on earnings quality, utilising a global sample of 1283 listed banks headquartered in 39 countries and covering the period 2002–2018. Using instrumental variables two-stage least squares regressions, we demonstrate that religiosity has a significant positive impact on banks’ earnings quality. We further show that the impact of religiosity becomes more pronounced among banks headquartered in countries where religion is an important element of national identity and in countries with weak legal protection. We show that the effects of religiosity are more intense during the global financial crisis period. Overall, these findings support the notion that high religiosity tends to reduce unethical activities by managers and can function as an alternative control mechanism for minimising agency costs. Our empirical investigation is robust to alternative model and sample specifications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100957
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
JournalThe British Accounting Review
Early online date2 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Oct 2020


  • religiosity
  • earnings quality
  • informal institutions
  • institutional environment
  • social norms theory
  • Institutional environment
  • Social norms theory
  • Informal institutions
  • Religiosity
  • Earnings quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting

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