Accounting education is part of the causal chains that produce every accounting outcome of interest to researchers and practitioners because of its power to determine which people become accountants and to shape their traits through training. In this essay, I characterize the trait-shaping power of accounting education using a framework I call the “selection/transformation framework.” I then show how this framework can facilitate the generation of important, novel accounting education research questions using the examples of materialistic values among accounting students, the underrepresentation of Black people in audit firms, and the communication skills of accounting graduates. The research program I advocate would require the use of a variety of methods, but my examples focus on archival methods because of my familiarity with them and their relatively infrequent use in the accounting education literature.

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