Who Blows the Whistle on Corporate Fraud?
Abstract (via SSRN)
To identify the most effective mechanisms for detecting corporate fraud we study in depth all reported fraud cases in large U.S. companies between 1996 and 2004. We find that fraud detection does not rely on obvious actors (investors, SEC, and auditors), but takes a village of several non-traditional players (employees, media, and industry regulators). Having access to information or monetary rewards has a significant impact on the probability a stakeholder becomes a whistleblower. Reputational incentives do not work as well. Yet, after SOX auditors’ reputation pays off in new client business, increasing their willingness to reveal fraud.