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Disclosing conflicts of interest - Do experience and reputation matter?


  • Koch, Christopher
  • Schmidt, Carsten


In a controlled laboratory experiment, we investigate the effects of disclosing conflicts of interest on the reporting behaviour of information providers. First, we replicate the findings of Cain, Loewenstein, and Moore (Cain, D.M., Loewenstein, G., & Moore, D.A. (2005). The dirt on coming clean: Perverse effects of disclosing conflicts of interest. Journal of Legal Studies 34, 1-25) that such disclosure can trigger more biased reporting, since it removes moral concerns. Second, we show that this effect diminishes or even reverts with experience and reputation. Third, we observe that non-disclosure can have the positive effect of facilitating the formation of reputation.

Suggested Citation

  • Koch, Christopher & Schmidt, Carsten, 2010. "Disclosing conflicts of interest - Do experience and reputation matter?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 95-107, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:35:y:2010:i:1:p:95-107

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph Weber & Michael Willenborg & Jieying Zhang, 2008. "Does Auditor Reputation Matter? The Case of KPMG Germany and ComROAD AG," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 941-972, September.
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    3. Ljungqvist, Alexander & Marston, Felicia & Starks, Laura T. & Wei, Kelsey D. & Yan, Hong, 2007. "Conflicts of interest in sell-side research and the moderating role of institutional investors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 420-456, August.
    4. Daylian M. Cain & George Loewenstein & Don A. Moore, 2005. "The Dirt on Coming Clean: Perverse Effects of Disclosing Conflicts of Interest," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 1-25, January.
    5. Uri Gneezy, 2005. "Deception: The Role of Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 384-394, March.
    6. Uri Gneezy & John A List, 2006. "Putting Behavioral Economics to Work: Testing for Gift Exchange in Labor Markets Using Field Experiments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1365-1384, September.
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    9. Cowen, Amanda & Groysberg, Boris & Healy, Paul, 2006. "Which types of analyst firms are more optimistic?," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1-2), pages 119-146, April.
    10. Joel Sobel, 1985. "A Theory of Credibility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(4), pages 557-573.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sascha Behnk & Iván Barreda-Tarrazona & Aurora García-Gallego, 2017. "An experimental test of reporting systems for deception," Working Papers 2017/11, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    2. Behnk, Sascha & Barreda-Tarrazona, Iván & García-Gallego, Aurora, 2014. "The role of ex post transparency in information transmission—An experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 45-64.
    3. Chen, D.L. & Levonyan, V. & Reinhart, S.E. & Taksler, G., 2014. "Do Payment Disclosure Laws Affect Industry-Physician Relationships?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/24, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Tobias Gesche, 2016. "De-biasing strategic communication," ECON - Working Papers 216, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Jul 2017.
    5. Mariya Teteryatnikova & James Tremewan, 2016. "An offer you can refuse: the effects of transparency with endogenous conflict of interest," Vienna Economics Papers 1602, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
    6. Sascha Behnk & Iván Barreda-Tarrazona & Aurora García-Gallego, 2012. "Reducing deception through subsequent transparency - An experimental investigation," Working Papers 2012/14, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    7. de Meza, David Emmanuel & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Reyniers, Diane, 2010. "Disclosure, Trust and Persuasion in Insurance Markets," IZA Discussion Papers 5060, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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