Does Policy Uncertainty Increase Audit Fees? Evidence from Government Official Turnover in China
- 2019年第12卷 
【中文摘要】本文基于政策不确定性视角，利用地级市官员变更的“准自然实验”，考察了政策不确定性对审计费用的影响。研究发现，地方官员变更导致的政策不确定性提高了审计收费，这一关系在不具有地方政治关联的样本组中更为显著。进一步研究发现，官员变更对审计费用的影响在政策不确定性程度较高、盈余操纵程度较大的样本组中更加明显。机理分析表明，政策不确定性降低了 分析师跟踪数量，增加了信息环境不透明性，提升了企业的经营风险和审计师的审计投入，进一步提高了审计费用。本文对理解政治环境与企业微观行为及审计决策等方面具有一定的启示和借鉴意义。 【Abstract】Using the quasi-natural experiment of government official turnover，we examine the effect of governmental policy uncertainty on audit fees. We find that governmental policy uncertainty induced by official turnover significantly increases audit fees. The positive relationship is more pronounced in firms without political connections ，in non-state-owned-enterprises（non-SOEs）， and in firms with a higher level of earning management.Furthermore， we show that if new officials come from other cities or if official turnovers are considered unusual， the positive relationship becomes stronger. Additional analysis reveals that higher governmental policy uncertainty reduces analyst coverage and thereby increases information asymmetry and firm level risk， which results in a higher level of audit risk and eventually leads to a higher audit premium. Overall， we show that policy uncertainty can be an important factor influencing audit services， and the positive relationship between policy uncertainty and audit fees is conducive to better understanding the political environment in which audit services are performed.