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PhD Spotlight - Xin Ding

Xin Ding

Xin Ding joined the Telfer PhD in Management program in 2019, specializing in accounting, under the co-supervision of Professor Walid Ben-Amar and Professor Lamia Chourou.

Why did you choose to study accounting and control? Do you have any personal motivations behind your research interest in this field?

Human activities emit large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHGs), contributing to climate change. Climate change is considered one of the most critical risks in the next decade and has significant impacts on the environment and human societies. Therefore, I am interested in exploring how companies combat this global issue.

What is your research about?

My research focuses on the consequences of climate risk. Particularly, I am interested in whether and how company stakeholders (i.e., investors, creditors, and auditors) integrate climate risk into their assessments. Moreover, I am curious about how different firm-level and country-level factors moderate this relationship. My research will contribute to the academic literature by providing evidence that climate risk matters to different stakeholders and by showing how the impact of climate risk varies across firms and countries.

You recently submitted an article to Emerging Markets Review. What are the highlights from that study?

Our paper examines whether, and to what extent, auditors integrate climate risk into their work in the context of emerging countries. We find that auditors charge higher audit fees for firms with higher climate risk. Furthermore, our results suggest that climate governance mitigates the positive relationship between climate risk and audit fees.

What impact might your research have in the policy domain or for the business sector in Canada?

Recently, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) proposed National Instrument (NI) 51-107, which highlights the need for consistent and comparable climate change disclosures. My research can provide important empirical support for this proposal. In our opinion, high-quality climate change disclosures will enhance the transparency of climate information, therefore reducing the negative effects of climate risk on firms (e.g., increased audit fees).