Essays on Corporate Governance
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In this thesis I investigate the economic determinants and consequences of corporate governance (broadly defined) in Canadian “comply or explain” governance disclosure regime. I find that the quality of governance in firms varies in the cross-section and is associated with firm value as economic theory suggests. Furthermore, I find the effectiveness of board and audit committee has a strong impact on the auditor-client management relationship in their negotiation over financial reporting. Such relationships then influence financial reporting quality and audit fees. Overall, my results support that the theorized advantages of “comply or explain” allow firms greater flexibility in tailoring their governance practice to their specific circumstances. Such tailored governance practice is more efficient and cost-effective and serves the interests of shareholders by 1) improving firm value; 2) constraining managerial opportunism; and 3) improving audit quality without incurring higher audit fees.