ABSTRACT

Given the recent trend in foreign firms leaving the U.S., this paper analyzes 122 firms that voluntarily deregistered from the U.S. from 2004 through 2012. I find that a deregistration from the U.S. is associated with greater absolute abnormal accruals and less timely recognition of economic losses compared to both before the firm deregistered and to a matched control firm that still maintains a U.S. cross-listing. Upon further examination, I find the decrease in accounting quality is not significant for firms returning to home markets that require IFRS, but rather the significant decrease is attributable only to foreign firms returning to non-IFRS environments. Further tests show that the level of regulatory quality in the home market, relative to the U.S., is not a significant mitigating factor in the negative association between deregistration and accounting quality. These findings imply that, after controlling for country and regulatory effects, accounting standards play a significant role in explaining the relationship between deregistration from U.S. exchanges and financial reporting quality.

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