An earlier article reviewed income smoothing in literature published up through 1953. This article extends that review through 1965, the year preceding the publication of the first modern empirical earnings management studies. The focus of this article is on the 1964 Gordon article which was the stimulus for those early income smoothing studies that began to appear in 1966 and marked the beginning of modern empiricism in accounting literature. Critical reading of Gordon's article suggests that he drew upon both earlier accounting and economics literature in formulating his theory of income smoothing. Review of the relevant earlier literature demonstrates that the primary elements of Gordon's article were present in both the earlier accounting and economics literature. Gordon's contribution was a more disciplined formulation of a theory of accounting choice than was present in the literature of this period and that theory included a series of seemingly straightforward, testable hypotheses.

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