Financial statement audits,a game of chicken?

Journal of Business Ethics 41 (1-2):1 - 11 (2002)
This paper uses the intuition from the game of chickento model client-auditor financial reporting and audit effort strategies. Within an ethical context, our model is concerned with the client misreporting and its detection by the auditor. The paper uses a welfare game(similar to the game of chicken) to more formally model client-auditor strategies. The welfare game is then extended to provide additional insight into ethical and audit effort issues.Such a welfare gameprovides equilibrium in mixed strategies. This mixed strategy solution makes possible four outcomes from the game: 1) Financial Statements are fairly presented by client and the auditor performs a normal audit, 2) Financial Statements are fairly presented by client and the auditor performs an extended audit (over auditing), 3) Financial State-ments are misstated by client and detected by the auditor, and 4) Financial Statements are misstated by client and not detected by the auditor (audit failure despite no intended unethical action on the part of the auditor).
Keywords auditing  ethics  game theory
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