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Document Type

Dissertation

Department

Accounting

First Advisor's Name

Dr.Dasaratha Rama

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr.Kannan Raghunandan

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Dr.Clark Wheatley

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr.Suchismita Mishra

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Keywords

Gender, Audit Committees, female

Date of Defense

7-16-2008

Abstract

Issues related to the composition of audit committees have attracted significant interest from legislators and regulators in recent years. In my dissertation, I examine one overlooked component of audit committee composition – namely, the presence of female directors on the audit committee. I empirically test to see if there are any differences in the functioning of audit committee when there is at least one female director on the audit committee. My dissertation examines three issues: audit committee diligence, audit pricing and earnings management. The absence of females on corporate boards has become the focus of legislators in some countries. Prior research, in a variety of contexts, suggests that women are in general more conservative in their judgments and decisions. The first part of my dissertation empirically shows that the presence of at least one female director on the audit committee makes the audit committee have more meetings. The second essay empirically examines if there is a positive association between audit fees and the presence of female directors in the audit committee. I posit that having a female director on the audit committee will result in higher audit fees. I find no significant evidence to show that audit fees are higher when there is a female director on the audit committee. The third part of my dissertation empirically examines if there an association between the presence of a female director on the audit committee and earnings management. I find no significant evidence to show that the presence of female directors on the audit committee constrains earnings management. Overall, the results suggest that having a female on the audit committee changes the form – if not the substance – of audit committee functioning.

Identifier

FI08121919

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