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How Does Financial Misreporting Impact Borrower Reputation?

Misreporting firms experience an increase of 20-86% in their interest rate spread in the first eight years after they restate previously inaccurate financial information.
How Does Financial Misreporting Impact Borrower Reputation?

How Does Financial Misreporting Impact Borrower Reputation?


Sudheer Chava, Georgia Institute of Technology
Kershen Huang, Nova Southeastern University 
Shane A. Johnson, Texas A&M University

Research Questions Addressed

  • How does deliberate financial misreporting impact a firm’s reputation and its ability to secure low-cost loans?
  • How long does it take a firm to rebuild its reputation following an act of deliberate misreporting?
  • Does additional effort improve a firm’s ability to restore its reputation after misreporting?

Primary Findings

  • Firms that deliberately misreport financial information pay significantly higher interest rates than firms that truthfully report their finances.
  • Higher interest rates for misreporting firms are maintained for at least six years after the misreporting is identified. Furthermore, the interest rate premium paid by misreporting firms does not decrease over that same period.
  • Actions that misreporting firms take to restore their reputation do not result in a decrease in the interest rate premium.

View the full brief

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Sudheer Chava
Alton M. Costley Chair

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