Anonymous Shell Companies: A Global Audit Study and Field Experiment in 176 Countries

24 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2018

See all articles by Brent Allred

Brent Allred

College of William and Mary

J. Sharman

College of William and Mary

Date Written: January 2017

Abstract

To test whether firms behave consistently with international law prohibiting anonymous incorporation, we conducted a global audit study and field experiment, using data from 1639 incorporation firms in 176 countries. We requested anonymous incorporation and randomly assigned references to international law, threat of penalties, norms of appropriate behavior, or a placebo. We find a substantial number of firms willing to flout international standards and show that those in OECD countries proved significantly less compliant with rules than in developing countries or tax havens. Firms in tax havens displayed significantly greater compliance and were sensitive to experimental interventions invoking international law.

Keywords: shell corporations, international law, audit study, global field experiment, tax havens

Suggested Citation

Allred, Brent and Sharman, J., Anonymous Shell Companies: A Global Audit Study and Field Experiment in 176 Countries (January 2017). Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 48, Issue 5, 2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3160749 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41267-016-0047-7

Brent Allred (Contact Author)

College of William and Mary ( email )

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

J. Sharman

College of William and Mary

P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23185
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
0
Abstract Views
203
PlumX Metrics