Research Staff

Research Staff

Lee, Sang Ho Research Fellow Financial Services Industry


Ph.D. in Accounting, Korea University (2019)
B.B.A., Korea University (2014)
Professional Experience
2019. 9. ~ Current, Research Fellow, Korea Capital Market Institute
2019. 3. ~ 2019. 8., Research Fellow, IBRE, Korea University
2017. 3. ~ 2020. 2., Lecturer, Korea University



The Usefulness of ESG Disclosure based on Financial Materiality / Feb. 21, 2023
Amid soaring energy prices and higher inflation and interest rates, the anti-ESG movement opposing normative ESG activities has gathered the market’s attention and support in the United States. As corporate ESG strategies are expected to take concrete shape, it is also necessary for Korea to prepare for potential conflicts among stakeholders depending on ESG agenda. A comprehensive look at the value relevance of ESG activities for Korean firms reveals that only ESG activities with a strong relation to financial materiality guarantee future high stock returns. ESG activities rarely related to financial materiality are not only discouraged under the existing legal framework which aims to protect shareholder interest but are also difficult to gain consistent support from key stakeholders. Therefore, companies need to focus on ESG activities that are financially material. And the ESG disclosure system, which is to be phased in as a mandatory scheme starting from 2025, needs to identify and report financially material risks and opportunities that affect corporate value. Based on the system, it is necessary to promote a virtuous circle where improvement and disclosure of ESG performance serve as the source of sustainable financing.
Prolonged Trading Halts and Need for a Different Approach to Investor Protection / Aug. 24, 2022
Recently, prolonged trading halts are becoming more frequent in Korea’s stock market. As stricter audit standards have been introduced with the amendment to the Act on External Audit of Stock Companies, a growing number of trading halts have been issued. In addition, in most cases, trading would be resumed only after a contributing cause for a trading halt is resolved. From the perspective of investor protection, this could be understood as a desirable approach to protect investors from damage arising out of misrepresentation in financial statements. However, this also sparks concerns about extremely longer halts, property infringement and greater volatility, which requires investors’ extra caution. Protracted trading halts are not found in the US market because a trading halt would be, in principle, immediately lifted after any contributing cause is fully disclosed. Accordingly, in order to protect shareholders’ property right and guarantee continuity of trading by freely trading shares, the procedures for trading resumption should be improved in the Korean stock market. Amid information asymmetries, a trading halt should be used as an incentive to encourage full disclosure of new information over the long run. To this end, the Korean market should shift to a trading pause on the condition of disclosure of any material event, rather than seeking a prolonged trading halt that requires resolution of a contributing cause.
A Listed Firm’s Major Misappropriation Scandal and its Implications for the Internal Accounting Control System / Feb. 22, 2022
A large-scale misappropriation scandal involving a KOSDAQ-listed firm has sparked controversy over the effectiveness of the internal accounting control system. Against this backdrop, this study investigates how frequently misappropriation and breach of trust occurred in stock-listed corporations from 2016 to 2021. According to the investigation results, the audit of internal controls that has phased in from 2019 appears to have contributed to forestalling misappropriation and breach of trust incidents to some extent. However, it should be also pointed out that it would be difficult to prevent another major misappropriation from occurring without the tone at the top. This necessitates the establishment of additional regulations to supplement the current audit system. First, as for financial assets and debts in excess of material amount, whether account balance can be verified should be assessed strictly during the review process of interim financial statements. Second, the motive for committing accounting fraud should be thoroughly inhibited by delivering greater predictability of punishment for misappropriation and breach of trust. Third, it is worth considering providing incentives for the effective establishment and operation of internal controls. This requires a provision specifying that the management and the board of directors could be subject to alleviation of personnel-related and monetary penalties if they demonstrate a properly designed and functioning internal control system. Lastly, more incentives should be given to whistleblowers to avoid another accounting fraud and detect misconduct in advance.
A Proposed Improvement for Corporate ESG Disclosures / Sep. 07, 2021
With climate change measures and socially responsible investment taking hold, the demand for ESG information is growing rapidly. Different reporting standards set forth by international organizations are increasing the burden of producing ESG information on companies while comparability and reliability of ESG information have remained low. This necessitates forward-looking discussions about how to improve ESG corporate disclosures. First of all, listed firms should be mandated to disclose material ESG information in their annual reports. In addition, third-party assurance would be introduced to enhance the credibility of disclosed ESG information. Lastly, the existing separated channels related to ESG information disclosure should be integrated into a single channel to enhance investors’ accessibility.

Other Activities

Research Papers
[International Journal Publications]
- "Do Competent Managers Hoard Bad News? Self-regulation Theory and Korean Evidence" (with Ji Yeon Ryu, and Sejoong Lee: Finance Research Letters (SSCI), 41: 101836, 2021)
- "Do Audit Efforts Increase the Future Equity Value of Client Firm?" (with Seung Uk Choi, and Ji Yeon Ryu: Managerial Auditing Journal (SSCI), 36(1): 132~166, 2021)

"Corporate Tax Avoidance and the Cost of Equity Capital: International Evidence(with Hong Min Chun, Grace Il Joo Kang, and Yong Keun Yoo: Applied Economics (SSCI), 52(29): 3123~3137, 2020)
- "Real Earnings Management and the Cost of Debt Capital: International Evidence" (with Ji Hye Kim, and Yong Keun Yoo: Asia-Pacific Journal of Accounting & Economics (SSCI), 27(2): 151~172, 2020)

[Korean Journal Publications]
- "The Usefulness of Material Disclosure on ESG Activities" (Written in Korean; with Hee-Yeon Sunwoo, Woo-Jong Lee, and Inhyung Lee: Korean Accounting Review, 47(6): 59~86, 2022, Corresponding Author)
- "ESG Disclosure Incentive: Voluntary or Washing?" (Written in Korean; with Jae Yeon Sim, and Ji Yeon Ryu: Review of Accounting and Policy Studies,  27(1): 249~274, 2022, 1st Author)
- "The Effect of Zombie Leverage at Low Costs on the Productivity of Non-Zombie Firms" (Written in Korean; with Ji Yeon Ryu: Review of Accounting and Policy Studies,  26(1): 125~156, 2021, 1st Author)
- "The Study on the Explanatory Variables of Cash Crunch Risk and the Prediction of Delisting for the COVID-19 Demand Shock" (Written in Korean; with Kwang Bok Hue, and Taedong Kim: Review of Accounting and Policy Studies,  25(4): 145~170, 2020, 1st Author)
- "The Effect of Labor Union and Full-time Employee Ratio on Labor Cost Behavior for Korean Manufacturing Firms" (Written in Korean; with Jin Bae Kim: Korean Journal of Management Accounting Research, 19(2): 1~26, 2019, 1st Author)
- "Audit Opinions and Legal Environments: An International Investigation(Written in Korean; with Ji Yeon Ryu, and Yong Keun Yoo: Review of Accounting and Policy Studies, 24(2): 1~24, 2019, Co-author)
- "The Association between Accounting Comparability and Unfaithful Disclosure Firm" (Written in Korean; with Bo Young Moon, Ji Yeon Ryu: Journal of Taxation and Accounting, 19(4): 171~214, 2018, 1st Author)
- "Timeliness of Accounting Earnings and Market Anomaly" (Written in Korean; with Ji Yeon Ryu, and Seung Uk Choi: Korean Management Review, 47(4): 753~781, 2018, Co-author)
- "The Relation between Abnormal Audit Fees and Market Anomaly: Do Investors Perceive Abnormal Audit Fees?" (Written in Korean; with Seung Uk Choi: Korean Accounting Journal, 27(1): 1~37, 2018, 1st Author)
- "Problems and Recommendations for Government Performance Evaluation on Taxation policy" (Written in Korean; with Manwoo Lee, and Jun Yong Shim: Journal of Taxation and Accounting, 18(6): 285~309, 2017, Corresponding Author)
- "The Relationship between the Inherent Risk of Detailed Accounts and External Audit Hours, Audit Fees and the Hourly Fee Rate - An Analysis before and after K-IFRS Adoption and Whether the Auditor is Big4 or not" (Written in Korean; with Seok Woo Jeong, and Nam Chul Jung: Study on Accounting, Taxation & Auditing, 59(3): 77-122, Co-author)
- "The Effect of Accounting Conservatism on Future Stock Price Crash Risk - The Moderating Effect of Financial Statements Comparability and Information Asymmetry" (Written in Korean; with Seung Uk Choi: Korean Management Review, 46(2): 561-594, 2017, 1st Author)
- "The Effect of Real Earnings Management on Future Stock Price Crash Risk" (Written in Korean; with Chang Seop Rhee, and Jaeyon Chu: Korean Management Review, 46(1): 287-313, 2017, 1st Author)

[Working papers under review or revision]
"Internet Penetration and Accruals Earnings Management: International Evidence" (with Tony Kang, Ji Yeon Ryu, and Yong Keun Yoo)

- Awarded by the Chairperson of the Korea Exchange, 2023
- Best Research Report, Korea Capital Market Institute, 2021
- Best Research Report, Korea Capital Market Institute, 2020
- Deloitte Academic Research Award, Korean Accounting Association · Deloitte Anjin LLC, 2020
- Seok-top Teaching Award, Korea University, 2019 Fall(*2), 2019 Spring, 2018 Fall
- Outstanding Teaching Award, Korea University, 2018 Spring
- Distinguished Research Award, IBRE, Korea University, 2018
- The Best Paper Award, Study on Accounting, Taxation & Auditing, KICPA, 2017