In Korea, a regulatory body can assign auditors to firms if they possess certain characteristics that cast doubt on auditor independence or the reliability of accounting disclosures. This paper investigates whether such mandatory assignment of auditors improves investors’ perceptions of the quality of accounting information. Using over 4,000 firm‐year observations from 1994 to 2002, we find that investors respond more favorably to positive earnings audited by assigned auditors than to those audited by non‐assigned auditors. Negative earnings, however, do not lead to significantly different reactions. Capital market participants respond more favorably to the book value of equity audited by assigned auditors than to that audited by non‐assigned auditors.
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