The female audit fee premium
Faculty of Applied Economics
Auditing : a journal of practice and theory. - Sarasota, Fla, 1981, currens
, p. 171-195
University of Antwerp
This study investigates the existence of a female audit fee premium (i.e., higher audit fees for female audit engagement partners). We analyse 57,723 firm-year observations from Belgian firms that were audited by 93 female and 599 male audit partners during the period 2008-2011. The results suggest that client firms pay higher audit fees (by about 7 percent) to female auditors. The findings are confirmed by an array of robustness checks, including a propensity score matched sample, a Heckman two-stage procedure, an examination of a sample of clients that switched audit partners, and fixed-effects models. The combined evidence in this study suggests the existence of a female audit fee premium. This fee premium may exist because of gender differences in knowledge, skills, abilities, preferences, and behavior or due to supply side factors (e.g., a demand for diversity, gendered perceptions about audit quality or client satisfaction).