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Booms, Busts, and Fraud

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  • Paul Povel

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Rajdeep Singh

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Andrew Winton

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

We examine firm managers' incentives to commit fraud in a model where firms seek funding from investors and investors can monitor firms at a cost in order to get more precise information about firm prospects. We show that fraud incentives are highest when business conditions are good, but not too good: in exceptionally good times, even weaker firms can get funded without committing fraud, whereas in bad times investors are more vigilant and it is harder to commit fraud successfully. As investors' monitoring costs decrease, the region in which fraud occurs shifts towards better business conditions. It follows that if business conditions are sufficiently strong, a decrease in monitoring costs actually increases the prevalence of fraud. If investors can only observe current business conditions with noise, then the incidence of fraud will be highest when investors begin with positive expectations that are disappointed ex post. Finally, increased disclosure requirements can exacerbate fraud. Our results shed light on the incidence of fraud across the business cycle and across different sectors.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/fin/papers/0312/0312007.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Finance with number 0312007.

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Date of creation: 11 Dec 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0312007

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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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Keywords: Boom; Credit Cycle; Fraud; Monitoring;

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References

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  1. Persons, John C & Warther, Vincent A, 1997. "Boom and Bust Patterns in the Adoption of Financial Innovations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 939-67.
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Cited by:
  1. Chi, Jianxin (Daniel) & Gupta, Manu, 2009. "Overvaluation and earnings management," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(9), pages 1652-1663, September.
  2. Tomasz Piskorski & Amit Seru & James Witkin, 2013. "Asset Quality Misrepresentation by Financial Intermediaries: Evidence from RMBS Market," NBER Working Papers 18843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Leonard I. Nakamura & Kasper Roszbach., 2010. "Credit ratings and bank monitoring ability," Working Papers 10-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Chernobai, Anna & Yasuda, Yukihiro, 2013. "Disclosures of material weaknesses by Japanese firms after the passage of the 2006 Financial Instruments and Exchange Law," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1524-1542.
  5. Bar-Isaac, Heski & Shapiro, Joel, 2013. "Ratings quality over the business cycle," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(1), pages 62-78.
  6. Jiong Gong & Preston McAfee & Michael A Williams, 2011. "Fraud Cycles," Levine's Working Paper Archive 661465000000001154, David K. Levine.
    • Gong, Jiong & McAfee, R. Preston & Williams, Michael, 2011. "Fraud cycles," MPRA Paper 28934, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Cope, Eric W. & Piche, Mark T. & Walter, John S., 2012. "Macroenvironmental determinants of operational loss severity," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 1362-1380.
  8. Shivdasani, Anil & Song, Wei-Ling, 2010. "Breaking Down the Barriers: Competition, Syndicate Structure, and Underwriting Incentives," Working Papers 10-25, University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, Weiss Center.
  9. Agliardi, Elettra & Andergassen, Rainer, 2009. "Last resort gambles, risky debt and liquidation policy," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 142-155, August.
  10. Shivdasani, Anil & Song, Wei-Ling, 2011. "Breaking down the barriers: Competition, syndicate structure, and underwriting incentives," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(3), pages 581-600, March.
  11. Giovanni Immordino & Marco Pagano, 2008. "Corporate Fraud, Governance and Auditing," CSEF Working Papers, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy 203, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 26 Apr 2012.
  12. Goldman, Eitan & Slezak, Steve L., 2006. "An equilibrium model of incentive contracts in the presence of information manipulation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 603-626, June.
  13. Friebel, Guido & Guriev, Sergei, 2005. "Earnings Manipulation and Incentives in Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Beatty, Anne & Liao, Scott & Yu, Jeff Jiewei, 2013. "The spillover effect of fraudulent financial reporting on peer firms' investments," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 183-205.
  15. Lennox, Clive & Li, Bing, 2014. "Accounting misstatements following lawsuits against auditors," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 58-75.

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