Examining the Stock Price Effect of Corruption Risk in the Supply Chain

Seongtae Kim, Stephan M. Wagner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Although corrupt practices in the supply chain are not rare, this topic seems neglected in the literature. This could potentially be because a supply chain focused framework is lacking, and therefore it is difficult to measure the true impact of such issues.Why, how, and how much does corruption damage the corresponding firm in the supply chain? Our study takes what we term a supply chain view of corruption, and then estimates the stock price effect of corruption from that point of view. We focus on kickbacks and bribery issues that may damage a target firm’s reputation and its market value. In particular, we address firms’ corrupt practices from a sustainability risk perspective with the conceptualization of corruption risk (CR). Using an event study methodology, based on a sample of 315 CR cases in the United States, we find significant market penalties for allegations of the target firms’ CRs (triggers) and its subsequent issues (investigation, regulatory and resolution). However, the market penalties are largely driven by triggers, not by the subsequent issues. We further reveal that the stock market reacts more negatively to CRs that occur upstream with suppliers than downstream with customers. Therefore, target focal firms must be cautious with upstream–trigger CRs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-865
JournalDecision Sciences
Issue number4
Early online date21 Sep 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Attribution Theory
  • Corruption Risk
  • Event Study
  • Signaling Theory
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainability Risk


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