Hal White

Color portrait of Hal White

Associate Professor

Department Accounting
Office Address 385 Business Building
Phone Number 814-865-3901
Email Address hdw113@psu.edu

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Professor White is an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Smeal College of Business. Before joining Smeal in 2014, he spent six years at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business as an Assistant Professor of Accounting (three years as Ernst &Young Faculty Fellow), where he taught in the BBA, MBA and PhD programs and was nominated for the 2013-14 Teaching Excellence Award for Full-Time MBA Program. Professor White earned his PhD from Penn State in 2007. While in the PhD program, he taught introductory and intermediate level undergraduate accounting courses, for which he received the Dillwyn P. Paiste, III Award for Excellence in Teaching (Smeal College of Business Award) in 2006 and was nominated for the Ossian R. MacKenzie Doctoral Teaching Award in 2004 . Before entering academia, Professor White worked in public accounting as an auditor in the late 1990s, first with Deloitte & Touche LLP, then with Pearce, Beville, Leesburg and Moore LLP. He is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive).

Professor White's research focuses broadly on corporate disclosure. In particular, his research includes assessing the quality of financial reports, disclosure externalities, disclosure regulation, and managerial signaling. He also examines the impact of recent innovations in information technology on firm communications. His work has been published in top-tier academic journals, such as the Journal of Accounting Research , Journal of Accounting and Economics , The Accounting Review, Review of Accounting Studies , and Journal of Financial Economics , and has been featured in major news outlets, such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times. Professor White has been invited to present his research at some of the world’s leading academic institutions, such as Chicago, Cornell, Duke, Harvard, LBS, MIT, Northwestern, Stanford, Wharton and Yale. He serves on the Editorial Board of The Accounting Review and the Journal of Financial Reporting, and serves as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Accounting Research , Journal of Accounting and Economics , Review of Accounting Studies , Contemporary Accounting Research and Management Science , among other journals.


Ph D, Accounting, Penn State University, 2007

MBA, Finance, University of Alabama - Tuscaloosa, 2002

BS, Accounting, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1998

Courses Taught

ACCTG 566 provides a broad perspective of accounting that spans beyond the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) by exploring the role of financial accounting (and more broadly, corporate disclosure) in the capital markets. This includes discussions about (i) how accounting information flows in the capital markets and why it is so crucial to a well-functioning economy, (ii) key capital market stakeholders, their incentives, and their relation with corporate disclosure, (iii) various disclosure types and venues and their decision usefulness, (iv) the role of corporate governance in ensuring the provision of useful accounting information, (v) earnings management types, incentives, and settings, (vi) the standard setting process, and (vii) the role of emerging technologies in shaping corporate communications with the market. The course will also expose students to the history of accounting to provide insight into how and why accounting has morphed into its current state. Finally, throughout the course, there will be discussion and tie-ins to academic research on capital markets with an emphasis on corporate disclosure research.

ACCTG 590 – Colloquium (1)
Continuing seminars which consist of a series of individual lectures by faculty, students, or outside speakers.

ACCTG 597 – Special Topics (Variable)
Formal courses given on a topical or special interest subject which may be offered infrequently; several different topics may be taught in one year or term.

ACCTG 471 – Int Fin Acctg I (3)
Theory and practice issues in income concepts and value measurement; GAAP; revenues, costs, assets, liabilities, and equities. ACCTG 471 Intermediate Accounting I (3) This course provides students with an understanding of generally accepted accounting principles and procedures so that they properly account for and present information in financial statements prepared for external users. The student should acquire a complete understanding of the accounting issues relating to cash, receivables, inventory, plant assets, natural resources, and intangibles. The student should be able to evaluate alternative accounting methods and choose the methods which will best convey the financial information related to the above areas. The student should be able to apply appropriate generally accepted accounting principles and procedures to account for transactions related to the above asset areas. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the transaction analysis, recording, classification, summarization, and reporting procedures in the accounting cycle, and an understanding of the information contained in the financial statements. Finally, student should be able to demonstrate written communication skills required of accountants.

Selected Publications

White H., Miller G., Chapman K., "Investor Relations and Information Assimilation [Forthcoming, March 2019]." The Accounting Review, 2018.
White H., Shroff N., Kausar A., "Real Effects of the Audit Choice." Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2016.
White H., Cai Y., Kim Y., Park J., "Common Auditors in M&A Transactions." Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2016.
White H., Miller B., Blankespoor E., "Initial Evidence on the Market Impact of the XBRL Mandate." Review of Accounting Studies, 2014, pp. 1468-1503.
White H., Goodman T., Neamtiu M., Shroff N., "Management Forecast Quality and Capital Investment Decisions." The Accounting Review, 2014, pp. 331-365.
White H., Blankespoor E., Miller G., "The Role of Dissemination in Market Liquidity: Evidence From Firms' Use of Twitter." The Accounting Review, 2014, pp. 79-112
Winner of AAA FASB Best Paper Award, 2017.
White H., Shroff N., Sun A., Zhang W., "Voluntary Disclosure and Information Asymmetry: Evidence From the 2005 Securities Offering Reform." Journal of Accounting Research, 2013, pp. 1299-1345.
White H., Badertscher B., Shroff N., "Externalities of Public Firm Presence: Evidence From Private Firms' Investment Decisions." Journal of Financial Economics, 2013, pp. 682-706.
White H., Louis H., Sun A., "Insider Trading After Repurchase Tender Offer Announcements: Timing Versus Informed Selling." Financial Management, 2010, pp. 301-322.
White H., Fischer P., Gramlich J., Miller B., "Investor Perceptions of Board Performance: Evidence From Uncontested Director Elections." Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2009, pp. 172-189.
White H., Louis H., "Do Managers Intentionally Use Repurchase Tender Offers to Signal Private Information? Evidence From Firm Financial Reporting Discretion." Journal of Financial Economics, 2007, pp. 205-233.


Journal of Financial Reporting, Editorial Board, January 2015 - Present
The Accounting Review, Editorial Board, January 2014 - Present