Booms, Busts, and Fraud
We examine firm managers' incentives to commit fraud in a model where firms seek funding from investors and investors can monitor firms at a cost in order to get more precise information about firm prospects. We show that fraud incentives are highest when business conditions are good, but not too good: in exceptionally good times, even weaker firms can get funded without committing fraud, whereas in bad times investors are more vigilant and it is harder to commit fraud successfully. As investors' monitoring costs decrease, the region in which fraud occurs shifts towards better business conditions. It follows that if business conditions are sufficiently strong, a decrease in monitoring costs actually increases the prevalence of fraud. If investors can only observe current business conditions with noise, then the incidence of fraud will be highest when investors begin with positive expectations that are disappointed ex post. Finally, increased disclosure requirements can exacerbate fraud. Our results shed light on the incidence of fraud across the business cycle and across different sectors.
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Persons, John C & Warther, Vincent A, 1997. "Boom and Bust Patterns in the Adoption of Financial Innovations," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 10(4), pages 939-967.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpfi:0312007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.