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Preventing and Controlling Corporate Crime: The Dual Role of Corporate Boards and Legal Sanctions

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2019
13 pages
This is the Final Summary Overview of a project that examined two distinct but related mechanisms of corporate-crime prevention and control, i.e., firm governance-related mechanisms and formal legal and regulatory intervention-related mechanisms.
Associated with these broad study objectives are more focused issues, i.e., whether firm participation in illegal behavior is inversely related to gender diversity of companies' board of directors, as well as whether offending decreases after government enforcement actions. A central product of this study is the development of a unique panel database of publicly available secondary sources that combines data on firm characteristics, corporate boards, and corporate offending, as measured by government enforcement actions. This project supplements data previously collected by Gerald Martin on accounting and bribery enforcement actions. The current project uses and improves these data by adding enforcement actions related to company anti-competitive and illegal environmental activities. The combined data are then linked to company information, creating annual panels with which to examine changes over time in key variables. The data pertain to 3,327 publicly traded U.S. companies for the years 1996-2013, resulting in 24,305 distinct firm years for analysis. The majority of firms had no formal actions brought against them for the three broad types of offending covered in this project; however, 25 percent of the companies were involved in some type of illegal activity, with the most common type being environmental (72 percent of cases). 3 tables, 1 figure, and 5 references

Date Published: April 1, 2019