Substance Abuse and Workplace Fraud: Evidence from Physicians

46 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2018 Last revised: 23 Jun 2021

See all articles by Melanie Millar

Melanie Millar

Baylor University

Roger M. White

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Accountancy

Xin Zheng

University of British Columbia

Date Written: June 22, 2021

Abstract

We examine the relation between worker substance abuse and workplace fraud in a sample of medical doctors. Relative to their peers, we observe that doctors engaging in substance abuse are between 50 and 100 times more likely to commit fraud in a given year. This result is consistent with research suggesting that substance abuse both creates financial pressures and impairs the functioning of cognitive self-regulatory mechanisms. Our results are robust in within-subject tests and between-subject tests, as well as in tests using instrumental variables that exploit exogeneous variation in the state-level availability of opioids, a commonly abused substance.

Keywords: Substance Abuse, Fraud, Behavioral Finance, Impulsivity, Delay Discounting

JEL Classification: K42, G40, M12, M41, M51

Suggested Citation

Millar, Melanie and White, Roger M. and Zheng, Xin, Substance Abuse and Workplace Fraud: Evidence from Physicians (June 22, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3147938 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3147938

Melanie Millar (Contact Author)

Baylor University ( email )

School of Engineering & Computer Science
Waco, TX 76798
United States

Roger M. White

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Accountancy ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287
United States

Xin Zheng

University of British Columbia ( email )

2053 Main Mall
Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z2
Canada

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