An empirical study of the impact of changes in ownership structure on audit quality in an emerging stock market

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Fong Sum Wood Library
Agency theory; Audit quality; Corporate governance; Ownership structure; Accounting
thesis / dissertation description
This study uses agency theory to test whether the demand for quality audits by listed Chinese companies is associated with changes in ownership structure, which is characterized by the dominance of the state, institutional and individual shareholders. The empirical test results obtained in a concentrated ownership setting are supportive of agency theory. Specifically, I find that the decrease of state shares and the corresponding increase of institutional shares result in a demand for higher-quality audits in China’s stock market. The results provide empirical support for the government’s recent initiative in reducing state ownership in listed companies to improve firm performance and the supply of quality accounting information through independent auditing.