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Fraudulent Financial Reporting and the Consequences for Employees

Author

Listed:
  • Choi, Jung Ho

    (Stanford University Graduate School of Business)

  • Gipper, Brandon

    (Stanford University Graduate School of Business)

Abstract

We examine employment effects, such as wages and employee turnover, before, during, and after periods of fraudulent financial reporting. To analyze these effects, we combine U.S. Census data with SEC enforcement actions against firms with serious misreporting (“fraud†). We find compared to a matched sample that fraud firms’ employee wages decline by 9% and the separation rate is higher by 12% during and after fraud periods while employment growth at fraud firms is positive during fraud periods and negative afterward. We discuss several reasons that plausibly drive these findings. (i) Frauds cause informational opacity, misleading employees to still join or continue to work at the firm. (ii) During fraud, managers overinvest in labor changing employee mix, and after fraud the overemployment is unwound causing effects from displacement. (iii) Fraud is misconduct; association with misconduct can affect workers in the labor market. We explore the heterogeneous effects of fraudulent financial reporting, including thin and thick labor markets, bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy firms, worker movements, pre-fraud wage levels, and period of hire. Negative wage effects are prevalent across these sample cuts, indicating that fraudulent financial reporting appears to create meaningful and negative consequences for employees possibly through channels such as labor market disruptions, punishment, and stigma.

Suggested Citation

  • Choi, Jung Ho & Gipper, Brandon, 2019. "Fraudulent Financial Reporting and the Consequences for Employees," Research Papers 3771, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:3771
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • M48 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • M51 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Firm Employment Decisions; Promotions

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