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Did the Sarbanes-Oxley Act Improve Corporate Governance?: The Impact of SOX on Agency Costs in Publicly Traded Firms
Although significant attention has been given to the costs associated with SOX there is no notable research examining the benefits derived therefrom. The purpose of this research is to draw upon the long established stream of agency theory literature to fill the void in the current literature and complement its focus on costs with a serious investigation...
Although significant attention has been given to the costs associated with SOX there is no notable research examining the benefits derived therefrom. The purpose of this research is to draw upon the long established stream of agency theory literature to fill the void in the current literature and complement its focus on costs with a serious investigation into whether benefits are being realized from this legislation. Investigating domestic, manufacturing firms listed on the New York Stock Exchange, this research concludes that many governance controls long held to temper agency conflict did not do so in a pre-SOX environment. However, it illustrates that SOX caused these governance mechanisms to effectively moderate agency conflict in a post-SOX environment for this sample. Additionally, it concludes that in a model that includes audit fees, SOX improved the effectiveness of these governance mechanisms in the reduction of agency costs more predominantly with more robust results. Therefore, this research is the first to provide evidence that there are measurable benefits that flow from the passage of SOX.
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