Reporting Sexual Misconduct in the #MeToo Era
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics
80 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2019 Last revised: 30 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 18, 2020
We model the reporting of sexual misconduct. Individuals under-report misconduct due to strategic uncertainty over whether others will report and corroborate a pattern of behavior. Under-reporting occurs if and only if misconduct is widespread. Making sanctions more responsive to reports, raising public awareness of misconduct, implementing confidential holding tanks, and appropriately calibrating damage awards can encourage reporting. However, we also show when such policies are ineffective or backfire. Managers may avoid mentoring subordinates, spilling over into reporting. A holding tank may discourage reporting by raising the bar to access reports. Overall, we highlight several unintended and intended consequences of #MeToo.
Keywords: Misconduct, reporting, retaliation, coordination
JEL Classification: D82, D83, K40, M10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation