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Does leverage influence auditor choice? A cross-country analysis

  • Geraldine Broye
  • Laurent Weill

This article investigates the impact of legal environment on the relationship between leverage and auditor choice in 10 European countries. We demonstrate that the relationship between the choice of a high-quality auditor and firm leverage varies significantly across countries. This finding suggests the absence of a systematic demand for auditing to mitigate agency problems between insiders and debtholders. These differences are explained through legal environment indicators. We create in this aim an index to measure auditor liability exposure. Our results provide evidence that the stronger the protection of creditor rights and disclosure requirements, the higher the demand for audit quality by highly-leveraged companies. Inversely, the auditor liability exposure has a negative impact on the link between leverage and auditor choice.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09603100701222325
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Financial Economics.

Volume (Year): 18 (2008)
Issue (Month): 9 ()
Pages: 715-731

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Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:18:y:2008:i:9:p:715-731
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