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Optimal Regulation of Auditing

We study regulation of the auditing profession in a model where audit quality is unobservable and enforcing regulation is costly. The optimal audit standard falls short of the first-best audit quality, and is increasing in the riskiness of firms and in the amount of funding they seek. The model can encompass collusion between clients and auditors, arising from the joint provision of auditing and consulting services: deflecting collusion requires less ambitious standards. Finally, banning the provision of consulting services by auditors eliminates collusion but may not be optimal in the presence of economies of scope.

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Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 133.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2005
Date of revision: 01 May 2007
Publication status: Published in CESifo Economic Studies, Vol. 53, No. 3, September 2007, pages 363–388
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:133
Contact details of provider: Postal: I-80126 Napoli
Phone: +39 081 - 675372
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  1. Alessandro Lizzeri, 1999. "Information Revelation and Certification Intermediaries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 30(2), pages 214-231, Summer.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "The Rise of the Regulatory State," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 401-425, June.
  3. Giovanni Immordino & Marco Pagano, 2003. "Legal Standards, Enforcement and Corruption," CSEF Working Papers 98, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Oct 2009.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Giovanni Immordino & Marco Pagano, 2008. "Corporate Fraud, Governance and Auditing," CSEF Working Papers 203, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 26 Apr 2012.
  6. A. Mitchell Polinsky & Steven Shavell, 1999. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," NBER Working Papers 6993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Agrawal, Anup & Chadha, Sahiba, 2005. "Corporate Governance and Accounting Scandals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(2), pages 371-406, October.
  8. Paul K. Chaney, 2002. "Shredded Reputation: The Cost of Audit Failure," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(4), pages 1221-1245, 09.
  9. Dye, Ronald A, 1993. "Auditing Standards, Legal Liability, and Auditor Wealth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 887-914, October.
  10. Klein, April, 2002. "Audit committee, board of director characteristics, and earnings management," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 375-400, August.
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