CORPORATE LOBBYING AND FRAUD DETECTION
This paper examines the relation between corporate lobbying and fraud detection. Using data on corporate lobbying expenses between 1998 and 2004, and a sample of large frauds detected during the same period, we find that firms’ lobbying activities make a significant difference in fraud detection: compared to non-lobbying firms, firms that lobby on average have a significantly lower hazard rate of being detected for fraud, evade fraud detection 117 days longer, and are 38% less likely to be detected by regulators. In addition, fraudulent firms on average spend 77% more on lobbying than non-fraudulent firms, and spend 29% more on lobbying during their fraud periods than during their non-fraud periods. The delay in detection allows managers to postpone the negative market reaction and to sell more of their shares.
Barclays Global Investors
Kelley School of Business