The Future of Financial Fraud
31 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2020 Last revised: 17 Aug 2020
Date Written: July 9, 2020
Is financial fraud becoming a bigger or smaller problem over time? Current empirical approaches to this question generate mixed inferences. As an alternative, I use two theoretical constructs that isolate several factors that motivate fraud, and use them to consider the impact of technological and wealth changes over time. Some changes, such as an increase in anonymity in some financial transactions, facilitate new fraud innovations and increase the possibility of fraud. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic shutdown has fostered major disruptions in relative demands and organizational capital that also increase the likelihood of fraud over the next few years. Viewed over a longer time scale, however, the majority of technological and wealth changes seem likely to increase the use and effectiveness of reputational capital, third-party enforcement, and ethical motivations as fraud deterrents. I predict that, on net, these changes will drive a long-term decrease in the incidence of fraud.
Keywords: Financial misconduct, fraud, trust, reputation
JEL Classification: A13, G38, K40, Z10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation