Audit Regulation and the Cost of Equity Capital: Evidence From the PCAOB’s International Inspection Regime
52 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2020
Date Written: October 30, 2019
This study investigates the relation between audit regulation and the cost of equity capital. While a relation is intuitively appealing, there is a general lack of empirical evidence because changes in audit regulation are frequently accompanied by other major regulatory changes. We exploit variation in the timing of regulatory changes induced by foreign governments’ staggered allowance of PCAOB inspections. Using a difference-in-differences design, we find that foreign SEC registrants with auditors from countries that allow PCAOB inspections enjoy a lower cost of capital, relative to foreign SEC registrants with auditors from countries that prohibit inspections. Further, we find that this cost of capital effect is attenuated for companies with higher quality existing governance mechanisms. Finally, we document that inspection access is associated with higher quality analyst forecasts, which suggests that this change in audit regulation reduces information risk for market participants.
Keywords: Audit Regulation; Audit Policy; PCAOB; Cost of Capital; International
JEL Classification: M40; M42; K22; K33; G28
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation