Whistle-Blowing and the Incentive to Hire
22 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2018 Last revised: 15 Apr 2020
Date Written: August 22, 2018
In this article we focus on a previously neglected cost of whistle-blower awards: employers may base their hiring decisions, on the margin, not on the productivity of an employee but rather on the probability that the employee will become a whistle-blower. We develop a three-stage model to examine how productivity losses due to distortions at the hiring stage influence optimal whistle-blower rewards. We characterize optimal rewards for whistle-blowing, and show that the size of these rewards depends on the harm from crime, the punishment for crime, and the relative responsiveness of the employer's hiring decisions and offending decisions. Moreover, when rewards can be chosen according to either the benefits of the employer from offending or the productivity of the worker being hired, productivity-based rewards are superior to benefit-based rewards.
Keywords: whistle-blowing, crime, deterrence, hiring incentives
JEL Classification: K2, K31, K42, M5, J00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation