Title: Do strategic cost policies lead to more sustainable practices? Evidence from county governments

Authors: Ouadie Akaaboune; Royce D. Burnett; Christopher J. Skousen; Assyad Al-Wreiket

Addresses: Department of Accounting, College of Business, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX 77341, USA ' School of Accountancy, Strome College of Business, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA 23529, USA ' School of Accountancy, Jon M. Huntsman School of Business, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322, USA ' Department of Accounting, College of Business, Frostburg State University, Frostburg, MD 21532, USA

Abstract: We contribute to social responsibility research by expanding its scope to include government-level actors and their stakeholders - citizens. We use county-level fiscal policy (strategic cost management) to investigate the public sector's role in maximising citizens' value through sustainability efforts. To date, inquiries of public sector sustainability take place mostly at the national level. Evidence suggests national-level inquiries are relatively poor indicators of public or private sustainability efforts and that investigations of sustainability at the local public sector-level may be more informative. Accordingly, we assess the link between strategic cost management and citizen-stakeholder value via panel analysis of 66 counties in Florida between 2005 and 2014. Contrasting prior literature, our results indicate a strategic cost management strategy that increased total aggregate county spending results in a reduction of emission levels. Further, when total spending is held constant while simultaneously allocating resources to social-public spending, county emission levels are reduced.

Keywords: environment; social-public spending; public sector; social responsibility; strategic cost; sustainability; efficiency; strategic cost management; county governments.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAAPE.2020.106767

International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, 2020 Vol.16 No.1, pp.43 - 62

Received: 29 Mar 2019
Accepted: 30 Oct 2019

Published online: 14 Apr 2020 *

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