Does Religiosity Matter to Value Relevance? Evidence from U.S. Banking Firms
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I examine whether religiosity is positively associated with the valuation multiples investors assign to fair valued items that are prone to managerial bias. Using a sample of U.S. banking firms, I find that the value relevance of net assets that are hard to verify is higher for firms located in more religious areas than for those located in less religious areas. Moreover, I hypothesize and find that audit quality and firm information environment quality moderate the positive association between religiosity and value relevance. I perform several robustness checks. First, I rule out several alternative explanations to my results. Second, I address the concern that my results suffer from an omitted correlated variable problem. Third, I show that my results hold for firms located in Urban as well as Rural areas.