Abstract

Targeting is the practice of inspecting firms most likely to violate a regulation. This paper provides empirical evidence on the role of targeting in regulatory compliance. I propose that self-reporting by a firm is used to demonstrate that firms are willing to cooperate. The results indicate that there is a one-quarter penalty period following a violation. Inspections are also determined by the economic situation of the surrounding community, demonstrating that targeting opens the door to interest-group influence. Inspections that detect violations encourage self-reporting, showing that firms demonstrate their desire to cooperate with regulators by disclosing violations.

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