Loan Guarantees, Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure and Audit Fees: Evidence from China

Journal of Business Ethics 166 (2):293-309 (2020)
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Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between loan guarantees and audit fees as well as the moderating effect of corporate social responsibility. We find that guaranteeing another entity’s debt significantly increases firms’ own audit fees. However, the disclosure of CSR information attenuates the fee-increasing effects of loan guarantees. A closer examination reveals that the role of CSR is attributable to the information effect rather than the signal effect. Our results are robust to the use of a quasi-natural experiment, a propensity score matching analysis, a Heckman two-stage treatment effect model and alternative proxies. This work makes new contributions to the current understanding of the consequences of loan guarantees, determinants of audit fees and value of CSR disclosure.

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