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Zingales to lead accounting oversight board center


Luigi Zingales, professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, has been named the founding director of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board’s new Center for Economic Analysis, the school announced today.

The center will be conducting research and analyzing data, and will consult with the board to help improve the auditing process, especially as it relates to financial markets.

“The primary function is to support the board in whatever charges they have, and help them do cost-benefit analysis,” Zingales said. “The secondary goal is to help them rethink what they are doing from an economic perspective. That’s part of why they are bringing me to the table.”

“The Center for Economic Analysis, under the leadership of renowned economist Luigi Zingales, will play an integral role in advancing the PCAOB’s goal to enhance the relevance and reliability of audits to better serve financial markets," said James R. Doty, PCAOB chairman.

Zingales, Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance and the David G. Booth Faculty Fellow, said he hopes to create a serious research center on a par with other organizations, like the Fed.

“So my goal is in three years to have a self-sustaining center,” he said. “I see my role as time-limited, and what I would like is in three years to have a reputable center that would attract scholars on a permanent basis.”

The center will hire staff and begin operations next year, and will hold a conference related to its work, as well.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) falls under the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission and was created by Congress to oversee the audits of public companies.