Investigating the Effects of the EU Mandatory Adoption of IFRS on Accounting Quality: Evidence from Italy

Paola Paglietti


The European Community Regulation No. 1606/2002 required all EU listed companies to prepare their consolidated financial statements in accordance with IFRS as from 1 January 2005. This paper studies the impact of the IFRS mandatory adoption in a typical code-law European country such as Italy. It aims to investigate how and whether the accounting information quality changes following IFRS implementation. The focus is on value relevance which is considered as one of the basic attributes of accounting quality. An empirical analysis is performed on a sample of 960 firm-year observations concerning Italian listed companies observed from 2002 to 2007. Results confirm the expected overall increase in the value relevance under IFRS. The research also documents changes in Italy’s country-specific factors in the period surrounding IFRS adoption that may contribute to an improvement in accounting quality. Such a concern is consistent with previous literature supporting the idea that accounting quality does not depend only on the
high quality of accounting standards, but it is also a function of the country’s complex institutional setting.

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