This study investigates the existence of a female audit fee premium (i.e., higher audit fees for female audit engagement partners). We analyze 57,723 firm-year observations from Belgian firms that were audited by 93 female and 599 male audit partners during the period 2008–2011. The results suggest that client firms pay higher audit fees (by about 7 percent) to female auditors. The findings are confirmed by an array of robustness checks, including a propensity score matched sample, a Heckman two-stage procedure, an examination of a sample of clients that switched audit partners, and fixed effects models. The combined evidence in this study suggests the existence of a female audit fee premium. This fee premium may exist because of gender differences in knowledge, skills, abilities, preferences, and behavior or due to supply-side factors (e.g., a demand for diversity, gendered perceptions about audit quality, or client satisfaction).

Data Availability: The data are publicly available from the sources identified in the paper.

You do not currently have access to this content.