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Abstract

We provide evidence on the characteristics of local generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) earnings for firms cross-listing on U.S. exchanges relative to a matched sample of foreign firms currently not cross-listing in the United States to investigate whether U.S. listing is associated with differences in accounting data reported in local markets. We find that cross-listed firms differ in terms of the time-series properties of earnings and accruals, and the degree of association between accounting data and share prices. Cross-listed firms appear to be less aggressive in terms of earnings management and report accounting data that are more conservative, take account of bad news in a more timely manner, and are more strongly associated with share price. Furthermore, the differences appear to result partially from changes around cross-listing and partially from differences in accounting quality before listing. We do not observe a similar pattern for firms cross-listed on other non-U.S. exchanges or on the U.S. over-the-counter market, suggesting a unique quality to cross-listing on U.S. exchanges.