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  • 1.
    Huq, Asif
    et al.
    Högskolan Dalarna.
    Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov
    Högskolan Dalarna, HUI Research.
    Hartwig, Fredrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Business and Economic Studies, Business administration.
    Rudholm, Niklas
    HUI Research.
    Free to choose: Do voluntary audit reforms increase employment growth?2021In: International Journal of the Economics of Business, ISSN 1357-1516, E-ISSN 1466-1829, Vol. 28, no 1, p. 163-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many European countries have abolished mandatory audits for small firms to reduce the regulatory and administrative burden for these firms. However, we still lack knowledge on whether such legislative changes affect employment growth for those firms that become free to choose to have external audits. We investigate this question using a Swedish reform that made audits voluntary for small firms fulfilling certain requirements. The reform created an almost ideal natural experiment, which we use to evaluate the effects of voluntary audits on employment growth for small firms using a difference-in-difference estimator. We find that firms which fulfilled the requirements for voluntary auditing, compared to a control group of similar firms that did not, increased their employment growth rate by 0.59%. This corresponds to 2,770 jobs being created in the year following the reform, suggesting that mandatory audits act as a growth barrier for small firms.

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