Corporate Ethics and Governance

Improving corporate ethics, governance, and financial risk regulation through objective, empirical research and analysis.

RAND research on corporate ethics and governance aims to improve public understanding of corporate ethics, law, and governance. Our work also addresses related problems in public policy and risk management, particularly concerning the relationship between regulators and the private sector. Research projects have been supported by government, foundation, and private-sector sponsors.

RAND's work in this area began in the wake of the Enron and Worldcom scandals, and the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002. Those historical events, together with the 2008 financial crisis, illustrate a complex public policy nexus that touches on many different issues: corporate ethics and senior management misconduct; organizational governance and risk management; systemic risk and financial regulation; and ultimately, the role of government in regulating the business behavior of large organizations. We strive to conduct work in all of these areas.

Over the past decade, some of our major research efforts have included empirical studies on board governance and the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley; on the landscape of investment-advisers and broker-dealers and the impact of federal regulation upon them; and on the relationship between fair value accounting and systemic risk in the lead-up to the 2008 crisis. To all of this work, we bring RAND's full set of research capabilities, including a world class, multi-disciplinary staff; scientific rigor and objectivity in approach; and a commitment to advancing the public good through our work.

  • Financial video game

    Let's (Not) Play Games with Dodd-Frank

    May 4, 2017

    Dodd-Frank, the 2010 financial reform law, is now itself the target of reform. Those involved with the overhaul could draw inspiration from an unlikely source: video games. A simulation game could help predict the effects of changes to regulations—and avoid high-stakes missteps.

  • The U.S. Capitol building with flags flying

    Operations, Compliance, and Accountability in Corporate Political Spending

    Jun 23, 2016

    Relatively few companies have implemented compliance mechanisms and programs in support of their corporate political spending. A roundtable symposium considered key questions in operations, compliance, ethics, and transparency in political disclosure.

  • Glowing spiral light bulb hanging among dead ones

    Shining a Light on State Campaign Finance

    Aug 9, 2015

    This report evaluates the impact the National Institute on Money in State Politics has had on the public discourse over campaign finance at the state level.