Dual–Class Ownership Structure and Audit Fees
14 Pages Posted: 23 May 2020
Date Written: March 2020
A dual‐class share structure creates a separation between cash flow rights and voting rights. Dual‐class firms impact audit fees through their effect on supply/demand for auditing. This article examines the association between audit fees and dual‐class share structure for U.S. public firms. We find that a dual‐class share structure is associated with lower audit fees compared to single‐class firms. Further, within dual‐class firms, we find that the divergence between cash flow rights and voting rights is negatively associated with audit fees. The results are consistent with the managerial incentive‐alignment effect and/or the insulation effect of a dual‐class share structure on the supply/demand for audit services. This study highlights that the ownership structure of a firm constitutes an important role in audit pricing.
Keywords: Agency Theory, Audit Fees, Corporate Governance
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