Sarbanes-Oxley and the Cross-Listing Premium

42 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2007


This article tests whether the Sarbanes-Oxley Act ("SOX") affected the premium that investors are willing to pay for shares of foreign companies cross-listed in the United States. I find that from year-end 2001 (pre-SOX) to year-end 2002 (after SOX adoption), the Tobin's q and market/book ratios of foreign companies subject to SOX (cross-listed on levels 2 or 3) declined significantly, relative to Tobin's q and market/book ratios of both (i) matching non-cross-listed foreign companies from the same country, the same industry, and of similar size, and (ii) cross-listed companies from the same country that are not subject to SOX (listed on levels 1 or 4), whose Tobin's q and market/book ratios declined only slightly and increased in some specifications, compared to matching non-cross-listed companies. Thus, the premium associated with trading in the United States was roughly constant, while the premium associated with being subject to U.S. regulation declined. The biggest losers were companies that were more profitable, riskier, and smaller, companies with a higher level of pre-SOX disclosure, and companies from well-governed countries. These results are consistent with the view that investors expected SOX to have greater costs than benefits for cross-listed firms on average, especially for smaller firms and already well-governed firms.

In a related paper, Kate Litvak, The Effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on Foreign Companies Cross-Listed in the U.S., Journal of Corporate Finance, vol. 13, pp. 195-228 (2007),, I conduct an event study of the reaction of level-23 cross-listed companies, and find that their prices declined during SOX-relevant event periods, relative to level-14 cross-listed companies and non-cross-listed companies.

Keywords: Sarbanes-Oxley Act, cross-listing, cross-listing premium, corporate governance

JEL Classification: G15, G18, G30, G38, K20, K22

Suggested Citation

Litvak, Kate, Sarbanes-Oxley and the Cross-Listing Premium. Michigan Law Review, Vol. 105, pp. 1857-1898, 2007, U of Texas Law, Law and Econ Research Paper No. 94, Available at SSRN:

Kate Litvak (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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