Professor of Law, Honorable Roger J. Traynor Chair
San Francisco, CA, UNITED STATES
Contacts: email@example.com / 415-703-8205 / Office 310-200
B.A., History and Economics
The Guardian online
Do individual auditors in the private sector hold similar sway over the codes of conduct put forth by brands? Together with Jodi Short at UC Hastings College of Law and Andrea Hugill at Harvard Business School, I analysed data from nearly 17,000 private sector audits that occurred during 2004-2009...view more
Boston Review online
A forum of leading academics address the efficacy of private efforts to improve working conditions in global supply chains.view more
Workshop John S. and Marilyn Long U.S.-China Institute for Business and Law, UC Irvine
Research on Effective Government: Workshop on Inspection and Compliance Resources for the Future, Washington, DC
Whither Enforcement Workshop London School of Economics
Fraud & Misconduct Workshop UC Berkeley Haas School of Business
42nd Annual Administrative Law Symposium Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC.
Rethinking Regulatory Paradigms Workshop Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Evolution of Regulation Workshop Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, Washington, DC.
Faculty Workshop Duke University School of Law, Durham, NC
NYU Law & Economics Colloquium New York University School of Law, NY.
Transnational business regulation is increasingly implemented through private voluntary programs - like certification regimes and codes of conduct - that diffuse global standards. But little is known about the conditions under which companies adhere to these standards. We conduct one of the first large-scale comparative studies to determine which international, domestic, civil society, and market institutions promote supply chain factories’ adherence to the global labor standards embodied in codes of conduct imposed by multinational buyers. We find that suppliers are more likely to adhere when they are embedded in states that participate actively in the ILO treaty regime and that have stringent domestic labor law and high levels of press freedom. We further demonstrate that suppliers perform better when they serve buyers located in countries where consumers are wealthy and socially conscious. Taken together, these findings suggest the importance of overlapping state, civil society, and market governance regimes to meaningful transnational regulation.view more
Outsourcing firms increasingly rely on social auditors to provide strategic information about the conduct of their suppliers to manage the reputational risks that can arise from dangerous, illegal, and unethical behavior at supply chain factories. But little is known about what influences auditors’ ability to identify and report poor supplier conduct. We find evidence that private supply chain auditors’ reporting practices are shaped by several social factors including their experience, gender, and professional training; their ongoing relationships with suppliers; and the gender diversity of their audit teams. By providing the first comprehensive and systematic findings on supply chain auditing practices, our study suggests strategies companies can pursue to develop more credible monitoring regimes to reduce information asymmetries between themselves and their suppliers.view more
Using data from a sample of U.S. industrial facilities subject to the federal Clean Air Act from 1993 to 2003, this article theorizes and tests the conditions under which organizations’ symbolic commitments to self-regulate are particularly likely to result in improved compliance practices and outcomes. We argue that the legal environment, particularly as it is constructed by the enforcement activities of regulators, significantly influences the likelihood that organizations will effectively implement the self-regulatory commitments they symbolically adopt. We investigate how different enforcement tools can foster or undermine organizations’ normative motivations to self-regulate. We find that organizations are more likely to follow through on their commitments to self-regulate when they (and their competitors) are subject to heavy regulatory surveillance and when they adopt self-regulation in the absence of an explicit threat of sanctions. We also find that historically poor compliers are significantly less likely to follow through on their commitments to self-regulate, suggesting a substantial limitation on the use of self-regulation as a strategy for reforming struggling organizations. Taken together, these findings suggest that self-regulation can be a useful tool for leveraging the normative motivations of regulated organizations but that it cannot replace traditional deterrence-based enforcement.view more
Administrative agencies are increasingly establishing voluntary self-reporting programs, both as an investigative tool and as a way of encouraging regulated firms to police themselves. Effective self-policing is critical to contemporary regulatory designs, which rely heavily on regulated entities to monitor and assure their own regulatory compliance. We investigate whether self-reporting, or the voluntary disclosure of legal violations, can serve as a reliable signal of the discloser’s effective self-policing efforts, which might warrant a reduction in regulatory scrutiny. We find that voluntary disclosures are associated with improvements in regulatory compliance and environmental performance, indicating that self-reporting is associated with effective self-policing. In addition, we find evidence that regulators subsequently reduced their scrutiny over voluntary disclosers, which suggests that self-reporting can help regulators economize government enforcement resources and develop cooperative relationships with firms that are committed to self-policing.view more
Innovative regulatory programs are encouraging firms to police their own regulatory compliance and voluntarily disclose, or confess, the violations they find. Despite the win-win rhetoric surrounding these government voluntary programs, it is not clear why companies would participate and whether the programs themselves do anything to enhance regulatory effectiveness. Tasked with monitoring the legality of its own operations, why would a firm that identifies violations turn itself in to regulators rather than quietly fix the problem? And why would regulators entrust regulated entities to monitor their own compliance and enforce the law against themselves? This paper addresses these questions by investigating the factors that lead organizations to self-disclose violations, the effects of self-policing on regulatory compliance, and the effects of self-disclosing on the relationship between regulators and regulated firms. We investigate these research questions in the context of the US Environmental Protection Agency's Audit Policy.view more
Jodi L. Short and Michael W. Toffel
Government agencies are increasingly turning to private, third-party monitors to inspect and assess regulated entities’ compliance with law. The integrity of these regulatory regimes rests on the validity of the information third-party monitors provide to regulators. The challenge in designing third-party monitoring regimes is that profit-driven private monitors, typically selected and paid by the firms subject to monitoring, have incentives to downplay problems they observe in order to satisfy and retain their clients. This paper discusses the most important factors that our research and the research of many others has shown can affect the integrity of third-party monitoring, and highlights some policy implications for regulators designing third-party monitoring regimes.view more