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Whistleblower Rewards, False Reports, and Corporate Fraud

Listed author(s):
  • Buccirossi, Paolo
  • Immordino, Giovanni
  • Spagnolo, Giancarlo

It is often claimed that rewards for whistleblowers lead to fraudulent reports, but for several US programs this has not been a major problem. We model the interaction between rewards for whistleblowers, sanctions against fraudulent reporting, judicial errors and standards of proof in the court case on a whistleblower's allegations and the possible follow-up for fraudulent allegations. Balancing whistleblower rewards, sanctions against fraudulent reports, and courts' standards of proof is essential for these policies to succeed. When the risk of retaliation is severe, larger rewards are needed and so are tougher sanctions against fraudulent reports. The precision of the legal system must be sufficiently high, hence these programs are not viable in weak institution environments, where protection is imperfect and court precision low, or where sanctions against false reporting are mild. Internal reporting channels may interfere with external ones in unexpected ways.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 12260.

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Date of creation: Aug 2017
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:12260
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  1. Stikeleather, Bryan R., 2016. "When do employers benefit from offering workers a financial reward for reporting internal misconduct?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-14.
  2. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Abbink, Klaus & Wu, Kevin, 2017. "Reward self-reporting to deter corruption: An experiment on mitigating collusive bribery," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 256-272.
  4. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13637 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Kofman, Fred & Lawarree, Jacques, 1996. "On the optimality of allowing collusion," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 383-407, September.
  6. Mariagiovanna Baccara & Heski Bar-Isaac, 2008. "How to Organize Crime -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1039-1067.
  7. Maria Bigoni & Sven-Olof Fridolfsson & Chloé Le Coq & Giancarlo Spagnolo, 2012. "fines, leniency, and rewards in antitrust," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 43(2), pages 368-390, June.
  8. Aubert, Cecile & Rey, Patrick & Kovacic, William E., 2006. "The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1241-1266, November.
  9. Heski Bar-Isaac & Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2006. "How to Organize Crime," Working Papers 06-07, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Guido Friebel & Sergei Guriev, 2012. "Whistle-Blowing and Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(4), pages 1007-1027, December.
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