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Firms’ Sustainability: Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Affect Internal Control?

by Fang-Nan Liao 1,2,*, Xiao-Li Ji 1,* and Zhi-Ping Wang 1
1
School of Economics and Business Administration, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China
2
School of Management, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(3), 794; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11030794
Received: 7 January 2019 / Revised: 24 January 2019 / Accepted: 28 January 2019 / Published: 2 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
This paper studies whether economic policy uncertainty (EPU) influences internal control (IC). Exploiting EPU as an exogenous shock and using unique internal control index data at the firm level from China, we can make causal inferences about the EPU effect on IC, and provide new insight into firms’ sustainability. Our results show that firms tend to cope with higher EPU by improving IC, indicating their efforts to ensure sustainability development. We also find that this trend is intensified for firms localized in regions with a lower marketization degree, state-owned firms, or firms with fewer analysts following. Further analyses show that EPU significantly reduces the internal control auditing fees, hence backing up the association between EPU and IC. Unlike the previous literature, this paper shows the important role of internal control for firms in coping with EPU, which is of crucial significance to how firms seek to adhere to sustainable development and how economic policy works best. View Full-Text
Keywords: economic policy uncertainty; internal control; macro environment; sustainability economic policy uncertainty; internal control; macro environment; sustainability
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Liao, F.-N.; Ji, X.-L.; Wang, Z.-P. Firms’ Sustainability: Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Affect Internal Control? Sustainability 2019, 11, 794.

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