This paper examines the effects of investor protection, firm informational problems (proxied by firm size, firm age, and the number of analysts following), and Big N auditors on firms' cost of debt around the world. Using data from 1994 to 2006 and over 90,000 firm-year observations, we find that the cost of debt is lower when firms are audited by Big N auditors, especially in countries with strong investor protection. Second, we find that firms with more informational problems (i.e., higher information asymmetry problems) benefit more from Big N auditors in terms of lower cost of debt only in countries with stronger investor protection.

JEL Classifications: G14; G15; G32; K22; M42.

You do not currently have access to this content.