About the Center for Economic Analysis

​​​​​The Center's activities include:

  1. Preparing economic analysis to inform standard setting and other PCAOB rulemaking
  2. Fostering economic research on audit-related topics, including the role and relevance of the audit in capital markets
  3. Developing economic tools for use in PCAOB oversight programs

Economic Analysis to Inform Standard Setting and Other PCAOB Rulemaking

The Center conducts economic analyses to inform standard setting initiatives and ensure that regulatory decisions, including whether to adopt new requirements and impose corresponding burdens, are informed by a rigorous review and analysis of the best information available. Center economists help tailor solutions to identified problems and provide information and analysis that allows the Board, the SEC, and the public to compare the relative merits of different approaches.

PCAOB released its Staff Guidance on Economic Analysis in PCAOB Standard Setting in 2014. The guidance provides an analytical framework for staff to evaluate the economic implications of standard-setting projects that are presented for Board consideration.

Economic Research on Audit-Related Topics

High quality economic research on audit-related topics, including the role and relevance of the audit in capital markets, informs the PCAOB in its oversight activities and provides evidence regarding the possible outcomes of policy decisions. 

The Center aims to lever the use of research in the PCAOB oversight programs through effective interaction with the academic community.

The Center engages the academic community through its economic research fellowship program, an annual Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets, and by inviting guest speakers to visit the PCAOB. In addition, because of the significant costs to investors and disruption to capital markets that arise from outbreaks of financial statement fraud and the Board's investor protection mandate, the Center performs and promotes research specifically related to financial statement fraud.

Economic Research Fellowship Program

The Center maintains an economic research fellowship program that is intended to generate high quality, publishable economic research on topics that are of direct relevance to the mission of the PCAOB. Among other things, the fellowship program provides a way for the Board to obtain an outside perspective in analyzing data collected by the PCAOB through its oversight activities.

The research topics of economic research fellows​, including a description of​ any nonpublic data sets required for research, are presented to the Board for approval and research papers are reviewed to confirm that the topic of the paper is consistent with the researcher’s proposal. That review does not, however, encompass an evaluation of the conclusions reached by researchers.​

​Working Papers

The resulting working papers are listed on the working papers page​.

Current Fellows

Prior Fellows

​Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets

In conjunction with the Journal of Accounting Research, the Center hosts an annual economic Conference on Auditing and Capital Markets. The conference is intended to promote academic research that studies the economic impact of auditing and audit regulation o​n capital markets. Papers are selected for presentation and discussion at the conference following a double-blind review by a program committee of leading academics assembled by the editorial board of the Journal of Accounting Research and Professor Luigi Zingales, the Center's Founding Director.​

Seminar Series

The Center arranges internal PCAOB seminars at which scholars present research on issues directly related to PCAOB oversight activities and discuss those issues with PCAOB staff and Board members.

Economic Tools for Use in PCAOB Oversight Programs

In collaboration with other offices and divisions, the Center uses economics to enhance PCAOB programs and its ability to oversee auditors and further enhance investor protection. Among other things the Center conducts post-implementation reviews​ to evaluate the overall effect of PCAOB rulemaking, performs analyses that inform selection of engagements for inspection, and considers ways to apply economic and statistical analyses to help measure the effectiveness of PCAOB oversight activities and identify and implement opportunities to improve PCAOB critical processes.