Gender Diversity and Audit Quality: Evidence from Audit Partner Pairing
68 Pages Posted: 25 Aug 2017 Last revised: 11 Dec 2019
Date Written: November 01, 2019
This study examines how audit-partner gender-diversity impacts audit quality, using data from China, where two partners are assigned to lead each engagement. Female and male partners bring different resources, in the form of information, expertise, experience, and perspectives that could result in higher professional skepticism and better audit quality. The beneficial effect of gender diversity on audit quality is likely to be stronger when the two partners have similar authority or collaborated before, resulting in effective inter-partner communication, and in complex engagements where different perspectives are more valuable. Using the propensity to issue modified audit opinions as a proxy for audit quality, we provide evidence supporting these propositions. Additional analyses show that dyads of gender-diverse partners are less likely to be sanctioned and can charge higher audit fees. These findings further support the hypothesis that partner gender diversity enhances audit quality.
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