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Working Papers (2005), ESSEC Business School

Socially Efficient Managerial Dishonesty

Besancenot D., VRANCEANU Radu

As a reaction to the corporate scandals of the early 2000s, the US Administration dramatically tightened sanctions against managers who disclose misleading financial information. This paper argues that such a reform might come with some unpleasant macroeconomic effects. The model is cast as a game between the manager of a publicly listed company and the supplier of an essential input, under asymmetric information about the type of the firm. The analysis focuses on the Hybrid Bayesian Equilibrium where at least some managers choose to communicate a false information about the true type of the firm. We show that by dissuading "virtuous lies", whereby a manager strives to win time for a financially distressed company, a tougher sanction brings about a higher frequency of default.

BESANCENOT, D. and VRANCEANU, R. (2005). Socially Efficient Managerial Dishonesty. ESSEC Business School.