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



Need for Restructuring Marginal Firms for Improved Business Dynamics / Feb. 23, 2021
As reviving corporate sector dynamics is becoming an imminent challenge, there is a stronger tendency where marginal firms remain in the market despite their financial distress and business deterioration. The steep rise in the number of marginal firms not only could directly undermine potential growth of the Korean economy, but also allocate scarce resources excessively to marginal firms. This is highly likely to discourage employment and investment of normal firms. The zombiefication of marginal firms is expected to continue for some time being as Covid-19 quarantine measures lengthen further. Against the backdrop, investors should be conservative in managing investment risk related to marginal firms, while policy authorities need to be fully prepared for any risk that might require measures that are bolder than those attemted to ensure financial stability.
Factors behind Rising Audit Fees in Listed Companies and Implications / Aug. 18, 2020
Audit fees for Korean listed firms have surged 57.2% in the past two years as new regulations for enhancing auditor independence and accounting transparency have taken into effect. The major factor behind the fee rise appears to have stemmed from the greater amount of audit hours spent under the new standard audit hours rule. The phenomenon could be taken positively, especially in establishing a framework that ensures faithful auditing procedure. However, regulators should keep a check on the pace of audit fee rise from the enforcement of the new regulation. The reshaping of the corporate ecosystem with the rise of the contactless economy in the post-COVID-19 period will increase demand for accounting transparency as financial statements are a basis for decision making associated with corporate restructuring, mergers, and acquisitions. Overall, a long-term, sophisticated approach is needed to help the new rules to take hold without undermining shareholder value.
Market Measures Under New Audit Environment: Current State and Implications / Mar. 31, 2020
Since Korea strengthened its external audit regulation, there has been a jump in non-clean audit opinions on listed companies. As those audit opinions could lead to delisting from the market, concerns are mounting over a possible auditing crisis when audited financial statements are released. An analysis on administrative issues designated in 2019 reveals that auditors issue non-clean opinions primarily due to an auditee’s failure to submit sufficient and appropriate evidence for major transactions, and weak internal controls. To alleviate the frequent administrative issues, effort is needed to ensure completeness of financial statements throughout the entire accounting cycle. This requires self-imposed measures by those charged with governance, as well as focused support by policy authorities.
New and Revised Accounting Standards for Higher Comparability / Dec. 17, 2019
Recently, several standards have been added or revised in the International Financial Reporting Standards as adopted by Korea (K-IFRS). The common thread of the changes is an improvement in financial statement comparability across different firms. By inducing firms to recognize one economic event as the same financial information, the new standards primarily aim to enhance investors’ understanding on the nature of corporate revenues and cash flows. An analysis on Korea’s listed companies over the past 15 years reveals that an improvement in comparability across firms does substantially enhance investors’ valuation effort with regard to the persistence of profits. This implies that comparable information does significantly enhance the understanding of financial information users. Given the limited role served by sell-side analysts as an information intermediary in Korea’s capital markets, the revised and new accounting standards aiming for higher comparability are expected to make meaningful contributions to lowering information risk and efficient asset allocation, especially in the KOSDAQ market. Policy authorities need to act in an expeditious and discreet manner, effectively addressing any practical difficulty the industry may face during the transition to the changes.

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 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)

- 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