Mr. and Mrs. Lin Jo Yan Professor
Head of Department, Accounting
Senior Fellow, Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research
Fellow, Academy of International Business
Most Cited Article - Journal of Accounting and Economics, 2004; Board Characteristics, Accounting Report Integrity, and the Cost of Debt
13th Most Cited Article of all time - Journal of Finance Founding-Family Ownership and Firm Performance: Evidence from the S&P 500
Web of Science
I am a Professor at the National University of Singapore and hold the Mr. and Mrs. Lin Jo Yan Professorship, with appointments in both accounting and finance. I serve as a Senior Fellow of the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research (ABFER), a Fellow at the Academy of International Business (AIB), as the Director of Business Doctoral Programs in NUS Business School, and Head of Department, Accounting.
My research interests range from founding-family ownership to the disclosure of corporate innovation, spanning the organization of intermediaries to insider trading by federal regulators. Current projects include investigating the impact of family ownership on financial misconduct, measuring unreported innovation, organizational choices in audit firms, the source of reputation in Big 4 firms, and shadow trading in corporate customers and suppliers. Over the past several years, my work has appeared in the most influential academic journals in accounting, economics, finance, law, and management.
This research has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, The Economist, Forbes, the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, Inc Magazine, SmartMoney, MSNBC, CNN, Bloomberg TV, and several other major newspapers and business magazines in the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and Asia.
The Ownership Complaint Gap: Stock vs Mutual Intermediaries
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Forthcoming
We document a substantial customer complaint gap between stock and mutual financial firms. To assess whether this 21% per year complaint gap stems from complaint-prone customers in stock insurers, we examine state-adjudicated complaint success. To further delineate between customer selection or treatment explanations, we exploit within insurer complaints around random claims (natural disasters) and attention shocks (media scrutiny). Further tests reveal the complaint gap widens with greater competition, near insolvency thresholds, and with more price regulation. Overall, the results are inconsistent with the hypothesis that mutual financial firms exhibit low customer satisfaction, suggesting customers find this a beneficial organizational structure.
CEO Confidence and Unreported R&D
Management Science, 2018
We investigate whether managerial traits influence corporate decisions to provide mandatory financial disclosures. Our results indicate that confident-CEO firms are 24 percent more likely to report their R&D expenditures relative to cautious-CEO firms. Overall, our analysis suggests that the precision or reliability of mandatory disclosures systematically varies with managerial characteristics.
Playing the Boys Game: Golf Buddies and Board Diversity
American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 2016
We study the participation of women in golf, a social activity with over four-fifths male participation, on their likelihood of serving on a board of directors. Exploiting a novel dataset of golf games in Singapore, we find that woman golfers enjoy a 74% higher likelihood of serving on a board relative to male golfers. A woman’s probability of serving on the board in more hierarchal firms or those in predominately male industry increases by 116% to 158% when she plays golf. In sum, our results suggest that "playing the boys game" facilitates women’s directorships in publicly traded firms.