The John M. Olin Center

Paper Abstract

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89. Jihwon Park, Does Compliance Training Decrease Corporate Misconduct? Evidence from Field Data, 05/2020.

Abstract: Firms spend significant resources on compliance training, but it is often criticized as being cosmetic. Using proprietary records on compliance training and allegations of misconduct from a large multinational firm, I investigate whether compliance training decreases corporate misconduct. I find that in-person training impacts employee behavior but do not find evidence for video training, which indicates that compliance training can be effective when employees are attentive. However, this effect lasts for only two months, suggesting that compliance training only temporarily raises awareness. I also find that the effectiveness of training is curtailed by employees’ economic incentives to misbehave, such as high performance pressure and weak public enforcement. Overall, this study advances our understanding of how and when compliance training can impact employee behavior and describes its limitations.