Gender Diversity of Audit Committees and Audit Fees: Evidence from Chinese Listed Companies
This paper investigates whether women, who serve on the audit committee of the board, can have a significant impact in reducing audit fees paid by China's A-share listed companies during the period 2004 to 2007. We show that audit committees composed of both men and women pay significantly smaller audit fees. The relationship is significantly greater in non-state enterprises than that exhibited by state-owned enterprises and significantly greater in companies deemed to have weak management vis-à-vis strong management. Further analysis shows that the composition of the committee is irrelevant when management is strong, regardless of whether it provides guidance for a state-owned enterprise or a strictly public company. When management is deemed weak, however, gender diversity is associated with smaller fees.
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