SYNOPSIS

This study examines how family firms' unique ownership structure and agency problems affect their selection of industry-specialist auditors. Using data from Standard & Poor's (S&P) 1500 firms, the results show that family firms are more likely to appoint industry-specialist auditors than non-family firms, which suggests that family firms have strong incentives to signal the quality of financial reporting. Additional analysis indicates that due to the potential entrenchment problems, family firms with family member CEOs or with dual-class shares have even a higher tendency to hire industry-specialist auditors to signal their disclosure quality.

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