Murray State University’s Department of Accounting through the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business was recently recognized as one of the top accounting departments by the Social Science Research Network ( The department ranks 34th among the top 400 accounting departments worldwide according to the network, in terms of total number of downloads.
Posting abstracts and papers on SSRN is one way that faculty members at Murray State and other universities disseminate research findings. SSRN facilitates research not just in the United States but in universities throughout the world, including those in developing countries where funds are often not available to pay for library subscriptions to journals and research databases. SSRN, along with Google Scholar, have helped advance research on an international level.
Murray State accounting department faculty members have posted numerous abstracts and papers on SSRN. One of the papers, “A Multinational Analysis of Corruption and Economic Activity,” was written by Murray State professors Leigh Johnson and Murphy Smith and co-authored by two non-Murray State professors, the late Lawrence C. Smith, Jr. and William Gruben. The paper is accessible online via SSRN at
In their study, the authors analyze the relationship between corruption and economic activity, using data obtained from the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Transparency International (TI). Transparency International publishes annually a ranking of countries according to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). Examples of corruption activities include bribery, corporate fraud, cartels, and corruption in supply chains and transnational transactions.
The authors conclude that corruption is associated with a variety of problems, such as impeding economic development. Effective corporate governance that restricts corruption benefits individual business firms as well as overall economic activity in host countries. Results of this study offer insights into the consequences of corruption on economic activity. Generally lower-corruption countries have experienced significantly less unemployment than higher-corruption countries. In addition, gross fixed capital formation and foreign direct investment were more favorable (though not significantly different) for the lower-corruption countries.
Technology has altered the world in myriad ways, including online access to research. The aim of the Social Science Research Network is to offer rapid dissemination of research in the social sciences, including research in the accounting field. SSRN works with many academic organizations, publishers, and universities to disseminate research. Among the partners are organizations such as the American Accounting Association, American Economic Association, and the American Bar Association; and publishers such as Elsevier, Academic Press, and Harvard University Press. The SSRN eLibrary includes abstracts on over 675,000 scholarly working papers and forthcoming papers and over 565,500 downloadable full text documents in Adobe Acrobat pdf format. In addition, the eLibrary provides access to research papers of a number of Fee Based Partner Publications.
Leigh Redd Johnson is an Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Law in the accounting department at Murray State University.  Prior to joining Murray State, Johnson was a corporate and securities associate at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC in its Research Triangle Park, North Carolina office.  Among others, she has published in The U.C. Davis Business Law Journal, Issues in Accounting Education, The Journal of Corporate Accounting and Finance, The Journal of Corporate Taxation, The American Journal of Business Education, and The Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues. Murphy Smith is the Dill Distinguished Professor of Accounting in the Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business. His work is highly referenced, having over 1,600 citations to his work shown on Google Scholar. Smith’s work has been reported in various news media, including National Public Radio, Fortune, and USA Today, and The Wall Street Journal. Smith is a member of Murray State’s Christian Faculty Network.
The late Lawrence C. Smith, Jr. was a world renowned economics professor. The Academy of Economics and Finance selected him to be the first recipient of the Distinguished Fellow Award in 1999. He served on the economics faculty at several universities, including University of Southern Mississippi, University of Louisiana at Monroe, Mississippi College, and Louisiana Tech University. William C. Gruben is a Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M International University.
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