U.S. Evidence from D&O Insurance on Accounting-Related Agency Costs: Implications for Country-Specific Studies Academic Article uri icon


  • Many studies use country-specific evidence to investigate research questions of broad interest due to research advantages of a given country, such as data availability or to exploit an exogenous event that allows identification. One such research stream largely examines Canadian directors' and officers' (D&O) insurance and finds that more coverage (i.e., higher limits) is negatively associated with financial reporting quality and positively related to litigation (accounting-related agency costs). However, the U.S. and Canada differ on key issues relevant to securities litigation and D&O insurance. Thus, we predict and find that premiums, rather than limits, provide information about U.S. accounting-related agency costs. Nonetheless, the incremental information provided by premiums about accounting-related agency costs is limited, and audit fees provide more consistent and better information about these agency costs. Thus, although researchers argue for disclosure of U.S. D&O insurance information, the usefulness of such disclosures may be limited because audit fees are already disclosed. Our findings also suggest caution in broadly generalizing country-specific studies.

author list (cited authors)

  • Donelson, D. C., Monsen, B. R., & Yust, C. G.

complete list of authors

  • Donelson, Dain C||Monsen, Brian R||Yust, Christopher G

publication date

  • January 1, 2021 11:11 AM