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Who Blows the Whistle on Corporate Fraud?

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  • ALEXANDER DYCK
  • ADAIR MORSE
  • LUIGI ZINGALES

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Dyck & Adair Morse & Luigi Zingales, 2010. "Who Blows the Whistle on Corporate Fraud?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(6), pages 2213-2253, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:6:p:2213-2253
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alexander Dyck & Natalya Volchkova & Luigi Zingales, 2008. "The Corporate Governance Role of the Media: Evidence from Russia," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(3), pages 1093-1135, June.
    2. Rafael Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2006. "What Works in Securities Laws?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(1), pages 1-32, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Clifford Winston, 1998. "U.S. Industry Adjustment to Economic Deregulation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 89-110, Summer.
    5. 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.
    6. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation," Scholarly Articles 29407535, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
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    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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