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Information uncertainty and auditor reputation

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Author Info

  • Autore, Don M.
  • Billingsley, Randall S.
  • Schneller, Meir I.
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    Abstract

    This paper explores the relationship between information uncertainty and auditor reputation revealed by the failure of Arthur Andersen (AA). AA's reputation deteriorated considerably when it announced on January 10, 2002, that it had shredded documents related to its audit of Enron. AA's demise was sealed on March 14, 2002, with its indictment for obstruction of justice. We find that on these dates the clients of AA and other Big Five auditors that are characterized by higher information uncertainty experience relatively larger share price declines compared to clients with lower information uncertainty. The findings suggest that the market relies more heavily on auditor reputation for higher information uncertainty firms, which implies that the value of an audit is greater when a firm is harder to value. Our results highlight the importance of information uncertainty in financial markets: where there is a shock to auditor reputation, firms with greater information uncertainty suffer the largest losses.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Banking & Finance.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (February)
    Pages: 183-192

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:33:y:2009:i:2:p:183-192

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

    Related research

    Keywords: Information uncertainty Auditor reputation Contagion Arthur Andersen;

    References

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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lim, Chee Yeow & Lobo, Gerald J., 2010. "Auditor reputation and earnings management: International evidence from the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 2318-2327, October.
    2. DeBoskey, David Gregory & Jiang, Wei, 2012. "Earnings management and auditor specialization in the post-sox era: An examination of the banking industry," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 613-623.
    3. Huang, Roger D. & Li, Hang, 2009. "Does the market dole out collective punishment? An empirical analysis of industry, geography, and Arthur Andersen's reputation," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(7), pages 1255-1265, July.
    4. Lu, Chia-Wu & Chen, Tsung-Kang & Liao, Hsien-Hsing, 2010. "Information uncertainty, information asymmetry and corporate bond yield spreads," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 2265-2279, September.
    5. Lagoarde-Segot, Thomas, 2009. "Financial reforms and time-varying microstructures in emerging equity markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1755-1769, October.
    6. Jin, Justin Yiqiang & Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lobo, Gerald J., 2011. "Ability of accounting and audit quality variables to predict bank failure during the financial crisis," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 2811-2819, November.
    7. Martin Schneider, 2010. "The Research Agenda: Martin Schneider on Multiple Priors Preferences and Financial Markets," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(2), April.
    8. Jin, Justin Yiqiang & Kanagaretnam, Kiridaran & Lobo, Gerald J., 2013. "Unintended consequences of the increased asset threshold for FDICIA internal controls: Evidence from U.S. private banks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 4879-4892.
    9. Chen, Li-Wen & Chen, Fan, 2009. "Does concurrent management of mutual and hedge funds create conflicts of interest?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1423-1433, August.

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