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The deterrence effect of whistleblowing

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  • Niels Johannesen

    (Department of Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • Tim B.M. Stolper

    (Department of Public Economics, University of Munich)

Abstract

We document that the first leak of customer information from a tax haven bank caused a signifficant decrease in the market value of Swiss banks known to be assisting with tax evasion and that the decrease was largest for the banks most strongly involved. These findings suggest that markets expected the leak to increase the perceived risk of committing and assisting with tax evasion and thus to lower both demand and supply in the market for criminal offshore banking services. This interpretation finds support in further evidence that the leak caused a sharp drop in foreign-owned deposits in tax havens.

Suggested Citation

  • Niels Johannesen & Tim B.M. Stolper, 2017. "The deterrence effect of whistleblowing," EPRU Working Paper Series 17-01, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:kud:epruwp:17-01
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    File URL: http://web.econ.ku.dk/eprn_epru/Workings_Papers/WP-2017-01.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kahan, Dan M & Posner, Eric A, 1999. "Shaming White-Collar Criminals: A Proposal for Reform of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 365-391, April.
    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. Johannesen, Niels, 2014. "Tax evasion and Swiss bank deposits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 46-62.
    4. Langenmayr, Dominika, 2017. "Voluntary disclosure of evaded taxes — Increasing revenue, or increasing incentives to evade?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C), pages 110-125.
    5. Niels Johannesen & Gabriel Zucman, 2014. "The End of Bank Secrecy? An Evaluation of the G20 Tax Haven Crackdown," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 65-91, February.
    6. Salinger, Michael, 1992. "Standard Errors in Event Studies," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(01), pages 39-53, March.
    7. Eddie Dekel & Barton L. Lipman & Aldo Rustichini, 1998. "Standard State-Space Models Preclude Unawareness," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(1), pages 159-174, January.
    8. Gabriel Zucman, 2013. "The Missing Wealth of Nations: Are Europe and the U.S. net Debtors or net Creditors?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1321-1364.
    9. Hanlon, Michelle & Slemrod, Joel, 2009. "What does tax aggressiveness signal? Evidence from stock price reactions to news about tax shelter involvement," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 126-141, February.
    10. Annette Alstadsæter & Niels Johannesen & Gabriel Zucman, 2017. "Tax Evasion and Inequality," NBER Working Papers 23772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jørgen Juel Andersen & Niels Johannesen & David Dreyer Lassen & Elena Paltseva, 2013. "Petro Rents, Political Institutions, and Hidden Wealth: Evidence from Bank Deposits in Tax Havens," Working Papers No 7/2013, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    12. Fama, Eugene F, 1991. " Efficient Capital Markets: II," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1575-1617, December.
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