Audit Partner Specialization and Future Stock Price Crash Risk: Evidence from China
Posted: 10 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 9, 2017
We investigate the association between audit partner industry specialization and future stock price crash risk. Although research on audit partners has been growing, we are not aware of any prior studies that investigate partner-level specialization and crash risk. Using a large sample of Chinese stocks spanning the period 2000-2015, we find a statistically significant and negative association between auditor industry specialization and stock price crash risk. The result is consistent with the proposition that high quality auditors constrain bad news hoarding by managers. We further document that the negative association is more pronounced for firms who switch from non-specialist audit partners to specialist audit partners. We also find some evidence that audit partners’ personal characteristics moderate the association between partner specialization and crash risk. Our results remain robust to alternative measures of partner specialization and to controls for endogeneity.
Keywords: audit partner specialization, crash risk, China
JEL Classification: G12, G30, M41, M42
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