TitleThe Value Relevance of Accounting under Political Uncertainty: Evidence Related to Quebec's Independence Movement
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsGraham, R, Morrill, C, Morrill, J
JournalJournal of International Financial Management and Accounting
Date Published2005

The Canadian province of Quebec is a region of an advanced industrialized nation characterized by a strong independence movement and, therefore, provides an interesting context in which to test the effect of political uncertainty on the relationship between market values and accounting values. In this study we compare market-to-book value associations of a sample of firms headquartered in Quebec with those of a sample of Canadian firms headquartered outside Quebec, over the period 1988”2002. Our comparisons suggest that, on average, the value of Quebec-based firms is significantly less than other Canadian firms when valuation is based on multiples of book value and earnings. In addition, we find that the "Quebec discount" decreased significantly in the period immediately following the 1995 provincial sovereignty referendum wherein Quebeckers voted (narrowly) against Quebec sovereignty. We conclude that the relative undervaluation of Quebec firms is related, at least in part, to political uncertainty associated with the Quebec independence movement.