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Board Characteristics and Audit Fees: Why Ownership Structure Matters?

  • Desender, Kurt A.

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • Garcia-Cestona, Miguel A.

    (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)

  • Crespi, Rafel

    (Universitat Illes Balears)

  • Aguilera, Ruth V.

    (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Analyzing 247 French and Spanish listed companies, we evaluate the influence of the ownership structure and the board of directors on the demand for external audit services. We argue that controlling shareholders influence the priorities of the board to focus on the provision of resources rather than monitoring. In contrast, boards in widely-held firms have a stronger focus on monitoring. To test our arguments, we explore how the relationship between the board of directors and the demand for audit is contingent on the firm's ownership structure. Our results show that the ownership structure has a significant influence on the board's priorities and the demand for audit. In addition, we uncover that for widely-held firms, board independence and CEO duality are positively related to the audit fees. In contrast, for closely-held firms, the relationship between board characteristics and the demand for external audit becomes insignificant.

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File URL: http://www.business.illinois.edu/Working_Papers/papers/09-0107.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business in its series Working Papers with number 09-0107.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:illbus:09-0107
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.business.uiuc.edu/Working_Papers/Main.asp

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  1. Rafel Crespi-Cladera & Miguel A. Garcia-Cestona, 1999. "Ownership and Control: A Spanish Survey," Working Papers 1999.23, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Craswell, Allen T. & Francis, Jere R. & Taylor, Stephen L., 1995. "Auditor brand name reputations and industry specializations," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 297-322, December.
  3. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  6. Larry H. P. Lang & Mara Faccio & Leslie Young, 2001. "Dividends and Expropriation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 54-78, March.
  7. Sanjai Bhagat & Bernard Black & Margaret Blair, 2004. "Relational Investing And Firm Performance," Journal of Financial Research, Southern Finance Association;Southwestern Finance Association, vol. 27(1), pages 1-30.
  8. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Agency Problems and Residual Claims," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 327-49, June.
  9. W. Robert Knechel & Marleen Willekens, 2006. "The Role of Risk Management and Governance in Determining Audit Demand," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(9-10), pages 1344-1367.
  10. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  11. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  12. Luca Enriques & Paolo Volpin, 2007. "Corporate Governance Reforms in Continental Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(1), pages 117-140, Winter.
  13. Scott W. Barnhart & M. Wayne Marr & Stuart Rosenstein, 1994. "Firm performance and board composition: Some new evidence," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(4), pages 329-340, July/Augu.
  14. Renée B. Adams & Daniel Ferreira, 2007. "A Theory of Friendly Boards," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(1), pages 217-250, 02.
  15. Pugliese, A. & Bezemer, P.J. & Zattoni, A. & Huse, M. & van den Bosch, F.A.J. & Volberda, H.W., 2009. "Boards of Directors’ Contribution to Strategy: A Literature Review and Research Agenda," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-013-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  16. Heflin, Frank & Shaw, Kenneth W., 2000. "Blockholder Ownership and Market Liquidity," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 35(04), pages 621-633, December.
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