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Re-Inventing Realities

ISBN: 978-0-76231-154-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-307-5

ISSN: 1041-7060

Publication date: 30 December 2004


The focus of this paper is to provide an understanding to the economics of accounting crime. The accounting crime is considered to be part of the white-collar crime, where economists believe that white-collar criminals are rational men. Thus, this paper assumes that a person commits an accounting crime is a rational man. In making choices, the criminal managers take account of expected gains and costs from various available actions. If they estimate that there is a net gain from their actions, they do commit an accounting crime. External pressures, internal pressures, capital requirements, and compensation pressures are the circumstances that may lead managers to commit an accounting crime. The paper concludes by arguing that if white-collar criminals know that costs of their action are more than the benefits of the action, as a rational man they will not take that action. Thus, the most important step to prevent white-collar crime is to make the cost of the crime so high that it will never generate an estimated net gain for white-collar criminals.


Okcabol, F. (2004), "THE ECONOMICS OF ACCOUNTING CRIME", Lehman, C., Tinker, T., Merino, B. and Neimark, M. (Ed.) Re-Inventing Realities (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 173-185.

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