Corporate Frauds: Factors Eliciting Fraud Behavior and Firms’ Financial Prospects

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Title

Corporate Frauds: Factors Eliciting Fraud Behavior and Firms’ Financial Prospects

Abstract

This dissertation expands the existing corporate fraud literature by providing an insight into the causes and consequences of corporate fraud in Pakistan. Four specific issues are studied in the context of Pakistan through interconnected objectives. Mentioning the first objective, the dissertation examines key factors eliciting fraudulent behavior of firms involved. The results indicate that among the variables proxied for internal antecedent factors, firm performance, organizational slack, organization size, tax aggressiveness and chief executive officer compensation significantly increase the probability of fraud occurrence. The results for the external antecedent factors indicate that dynamic environment and political connections are identified as connected with the likeliness of fraud commission. Lastly, with reference to monitoring variables, transient institutional investors, an outsider on board of directors, board size, the tenure of the chief executive officer and auditor change increase the fraud likeliness.

Referring to the second objective, the study focuses on examining changes in corporate financial decisions (i.e., financing, investment, and dividend payouts) with their interdependent and inter-temporal nature on fraud. Applying system-ofequations the study finds that financing, investment, and dividend payouts of the fraudulent firms decrease following the revelation of fraud. Moreover, the results for the simultaneity of corporate financial triad reflect that corporate financing, investment, and dividend payouts are jointly determined. It is observed that in investment decision and payout decision variables the inter-temporal nature prevails which is likely to create an omitted variable bias. The results provide conformity to the flow of fund framework.

In addition, the study finds that firms experience hurdles in raising funds from external capital markets but, on average, investment and cash flow remain unconnected while considering the financial constraint status of sample firms. Instead, they alter their net debt from cash flow changes and protect their capital expenditures. To all appearances, pecking order is involved concerning how firms use their cash flows.

In the third objective, the study dissects the response of violations announcements on the market liquidity of corresponding firms. Estimation of five liquidity measures is performed to test the market response on days around a violation announcement. The study reveals that the quoted and effective spread (in cents) identify the deterioration status of liquidity on days subsequent to the violations’ announcement, throughout the analysis period. Estimating the simultaneous system of equation, the study examines the impact of deteriorated liquidity on stock returns surrounding the day of violations’ announcement. The analysis imparts a decline in liquidity after the violations announcements and that abnormal return in the post-violation period relatively is greatly responsive to the change in expected spread.

Lastly, in respect of the fourth objective, the study investigates the post-fraud behavior of fraudulent firms to restore the corporate legitimacy. For this purpose, the study considers the changes in governance mechanism as ameliorating actions to improve the earning quality. The study finds that improved governance mechanism brings better performance in stock price while controlling for earnings performance. The last chapter of the dissertation discusses conclusions, implications, and limitations.

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