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Corporate anti-corruption disclosure: An examination of the impact of media exposure and country-level press freedom

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Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Corporate corruption is a major social issue, and in this study we investigate the impacts of media exposure and country-level press freedom on disclosures of companies’ anti-corruption efforts. We use Transparency International’s 2012 assessment of the disclosure by the 105 largest multinational firms and find that media exposure, using either an existence or an extensiveness measure, is positively associated with reporting scores. We also document, however, that lower press freedom in the country where companies are headquartered is related to lower levels of anti-corruption disclosure as well as a reduced effect of media exposure on the reporting. These results hold when we control for a variety of firm-specific factors potentially influencing differences in disclosure. We also find that press freedom ratings explain more variation in corporate anti-corruption disclosures than other country-level metrics potentially affecting the practice. Overall, our findings suggest that the potential for improving corporate anti-corruption efforts by inducing better reporting may not work in countries where press freedom is limited.


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