Today’s post is from Peter Leasure J.D. (current Ph.D. candidate, University of South Carolina, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice).
When asked about all sorts of automotive and household repairs, a dear friend used to reply, “I know just enough to get into trouble.”
Such can be the case with statistics and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) research. While statistical research within the FCPA is sparse, some efforts have been made. However, some of these efforts fell short and the entire legal field, especially those publishing legal journals, could greatly benefit from a better understanding of statistics.
My new article forthcoming in the Journal of Financial Crime titled “Embracing Fragility in Our Data: A Cautionary Example from Research on the FCPA and Voluntary Disclosure” (click here to download) provides a clear example of the need for a greater understanding of statistics in FCPA research.
“Embracing Fragility in Our Data” critiques the methodology of a previous study  which looked at whether there are benefits to voluntary disclosure of FCPA misconduct. In the study being critiqued, results showed that voluntarily disclosing companies faced nearly two and a half times higher total fines than companies that did not voluntarily disclose. A simple Google Scholar search yields twenty eight manuscripts that have relied upon and cited the findings noted by that previous study. It is no doubt likely that several other academics and practitioners have also relied upon and communicated those findings.