Faculty & Research

John Barrios

John Barrios

Assistant Professor of Accounting

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5807 South Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637

John M. Barrios’ general research interests focus on the intersection of labor economics and financial and managerial accounting. Specifically, his research has examined the areas of human capital, financial reporting, regulation, managerial incentives, and corporate governance. In addition to his research he has experience as an economic analyst for a political strategist.

Barrios earned his Ph.D. in Accounting from the University of Miami. During his time in the Ph.D. program, he was awarded the KPMG Scholarship from the KPMG Foundation. Additionally, he holds a Masters in Professional Accounting from the University of Miami and a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.

His hobbies and interests include reading, politics, cooking, fly-fishing, and salsa dancing.


2018 - 2019 Course Schedule

Number Name Quarter
30000 Financial Accounting 2019 (Winter)

Update: Occupational Licensing and Accountant Quality: Evidence from the 150-Hour Rule
Date Posted: May  15, 2018
I examine the effects of mandatory occupational licensure on the quality of Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) using the staggered state-level adoption of the 150-hour Rule (the Rule). Although the Rule reduces the number of entrants into the profession, an analysis of labor market outcomes shows that accountants subject to the Rule are more likely to be employed at a Big 4 public accounting firm and specialize in taxation. However, accountants subject to the Rule have the same likelihood of promotion, the same duration until promotion, and exit public accounting at faster rates than their non-Rule counterparts. Moreover, Rule accountants earn a wage premium relative to non-Rule accountants. These findings suggest that restrictive licensing laws reduced the supply of new CPAs and increased rents to the profession without drastically improving quality in the labor market.
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REVISION: Boards of a Feather: Foreign Directors around the World
Date Posted: Sep  05, 2017
We examine the country-level determinants of foreign director appointments on corporate boards and whether these appointments affect governance quality and firm value. We employ data on cross-border appointments from 38 countries and apply a gravity equation to model the aggregate flows of directors between country. We find that director appointments at the country-pair level are positively related to the two countries’ economic significance and geographic proximity, and negatively to differences in legal institutions and cultural values. Our results are consistent with cultural homophily playing a dominant role in matching directors to firms. When we examine long term changes in firm value around director turnover, we do not find that cultural similarities and differences incrementally explain changes in firm value. Our findings provide evidence as to the limitations of relying on globalization in trade and director reputation to drive improvements in corporate governance ...

New: Is Corporate Social Responsibility an Agency Problem? Evidence from CEO Turnovers
Date Posted: Dec  21, 2014
We empirically examine two competing claims: first, if a firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity is driven by its CEO’s private rent extraction (i.e. an agency problem), firms with higher CSR ratings are poorly governed and their managers are less likely to be dismissed for poor financial performance. In contrast, if CSR reflects owners’ preferences, CEOs of firms with higher CSR ratings are more likely to be removed in light of poor financial performance. We find that CEO turnover-financial performance sensitivity increases in firm CSR scores during the last years of both the outgoing CEO as well as his predecessor. Further, firm CSR ratings do not change following CEO turnover suggesting that CSR ratings are a firm characteristic. Our findings are consistent with the view that CSR is driven by shareholder preferences.

REVISION: CEO Turnover & Earnings Management: Do Family Ties Matter?
Date Posted: Dec  20, 2014
Using a hand-collected sample of Italian family and non-family-controlled firms, we investigate the moderating effect of family ownership on the relation between earnings management and CEO turnover. Consistent with agency theory, we find a positive and significant relation between earnings management and CEO turnover in the overall sample, the association being primarily driven by non-family-controlled firms. In family-controlled firms, we find that the positive relation is reduced. Furthermore, we find the association to be insignificant in cases where the CEO is a member of the controlling family. Robustness tests rule out competing hypotheses that differences in the propensity of family and non-family firms to manage earnings and ownership concentration drive our results. Overall, this study contributes to our understanding of family ownership driven differences in corporate governance systems, a relatively unexamined topic in the literature.