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  1. null (Ed.)
    Audits are a standard mechanism for reducing corruption in government investments. The quality of audits themselves, however, may be affected by relationships between auditor and target. We study whether provincial chief auditors in China show greater leniency in evaluating prefecture governments in their hometowns. In city-fixed-effect specifications—in which the role of shared background is identified from auditor turnover—we show that hometown auditors find 38 percent less in questionable monies. This hometown effect is similar throughout the auditor’s tenure and is diminished for audits ordered by the provincial Organization Department as a result of the departure of top city officials. We argue that our findings are most readily explained by leniency toward local officials rather than an endogenous response to concerns of better enforcement by hometown auditors. We complement these city-level findings with firm-level analyses of earnings manipulation by state-owned enterprises (SOE) via real activity manipulation (a standard measure from the accounting literature), which we show is higher under hometown auditors. (JEL D73, H54, H83, L32, M42, O18, P25) 
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  2. null (Ed.)
    This paper presents an innovative system to monitor the physical soil conditions needed for modern agriculture. The current technique to measure soil properties relies on taking samples from place to place and takes them for laboratory testing. To build up and monitor a data-based system for a large area, such a method is costly and time-consuming. This paper reported our recent work on the development of a passive impedance-loaded surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensor for a low-cost soil condition monitoring system. The SAW sensor will eventually be connected to an antenna and a impedance-based sensor for autonomous soil nutrient sensing. In this research, first, the coupling-of-modes (COM) analysis was performed to simulate the SAW device. The sensors were fabricated with E-beam lithography techniques and tested with different external load resistances. We investigated how the sensor signal changed with the external resistance loading. The experimental results were verified by comparing them with simulation results. 
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