This paper investigates the association between the adoption of international accounting standards and foreign investment decisions. Prior research suggests that information asymmetries between local and foreign investors and behavioral biases caused by unfamiliarity of the foreign markets contribute to investors preferring to invest in their home markets. Because one of the goals of the adoption of international accounting standards is to establish a high-quality, internationally familiar set of accounting standards, I predict that foreign investments will increase in countries that adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) after the adoption and that this increase is driven by the familiarity of IFRS. I find that foreign equity portfolio investments (FPI) increase in countries that adopt IFRS. More importantly, I find that this relation is driven by foreign investors from countries that also use IFRS. Moreover, the effect of accounting familiarity is more pronounced when investor and investee countries share language, legal origin, culture, and region. I also find that countries with lower corruption and better investor protection experience larger increases in FPI after they adopt IFRS relative to other IFRS users. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that familiar accounting information drives foreign investment decisions.

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