Reporting Sexual Misconduct in the #MeToo Era

73 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2019 Last revised: 9 Nov 2020

See all articles by Ing-Haw Cheng

Ing-Haw Cheng

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business

Alice Hsiaw

Brandeis University - International Business School

Date Written: November 6, 2020

Abstract

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

Cheng, Ing-Haw and Hsiaw, Alice, Reporting Sexual Misconduct in the #MeToo Era (November 6, 2020). Tuck School of Business Working Paper No. 3506936, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3506936 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3506936

Ing-Haw Cheng (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States

Alice Hsiaw

Brandeis University - International Business School ( email )

Mailstop 32
Waltham, MA 02454-9110
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.brandeis.edu/~ahsiaw/

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