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Who Blows the Whistle on Corporate Fraud?

  • ALEXANDER DYCK
  • ADAIR MORSE
  • LUIGI ZINGALES

To identify the most effective mechanisms for detecting corporate fraud, we study all reported fraud cases in large U.S. companies between 1996 and 2004. We find that fraud detection does not rely on standard corporate governance actors (investors, SEC, and auditors), but rather takes a village, including several nontraditional players (employees, media, and industry regulators). Differences in access to information, as well as monetary and reputational incentives, help to explain this pattern. In-depth analyses suggest that reputational incentives in general are weak, except for journalists in large cases. By contrast, monetary incentives help explain employee whistleblowing. Copyright (c) 2010 the American Finance Association.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6261.2010.01614.x
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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 2213-2253

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:6:p:2213-2253
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  1. Alexander Dyck & Natalya Volchkova & Luigi Zingales, 2006. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media: Evidence from Russia," NBER Working Papers 12525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "What Works in Securities Law?," NBER Working Papers 9882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Vives,Xavier (ed.), 2006. "Corporate Governance," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521032032.
  4. Paul M. Healy & Krishna G. Palepu, 2003. "The Fall of Enron," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(2), pages 3-26, Spring.
  5. Burns, Natasha & Kedia, Simi, 2006. "The impact of performance-based compensation on misreporting," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 35-67, January.
  6. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  7. Clifford Winston, 1998. "U.S. Industry Adjustment to Economic Deregulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 89-110, Summer.
  8. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1987. "Constraints on short-selling and asset price adjustment to private information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 277-311, June.
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