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Competing for Capital: Auditing and Credibility in Financial Reporting

Author

Listed:
  • Raphael Boleslavsky
  • Bruce I. Carlin
  • Christopher Cotton

Abstract

When self-interested agents compete for scarce resources, they often exaggerate the promise of their activities. As such, principals must consider both the quality of each opportunity and each agent’s credibility. We show that principals are better off with less transparency because they gain access to better investments. This is due to a complementarity between the agents’ effort provision and their ability to exaggerate. As such, it is suboptimal for principals to prevent misreporting, even if doing so is costless. This helps explain why exaggeration is ubiquitous during allocation decisions: money management, analyst coverage, private equity fundraising, and venture capital investments.

Suggested Citation

  • Raphael Boleslavsky & Bruce I. Carlin & Christopher Cotton, 2017. "Competing for Capital: Auditing and Credibility in Financial Reporting," NBER Working Papers 23273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23273
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance

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