Insecurity and White Collar Fraud

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Stereotype Threat for Credentials says:

    Perhaps this is a silly question, but why wouldn’t insecurity lead to overperformance?

  2. dave hoffman says:

    It might! I imagine it would depend on the situation, the target of the insecurity, etc. I don’t think there is terrific experimental work out there on corporate managers responses to psychological stimuli (for obvious, sample-finding, reasons).

  3. A.J. Sutter says:

    For those who read French, there is an uncannily prescient novel that appeared during the seasonal literary tidal wave last autumn: “Cendrillon” by Éric Reinhardt (Stock 2007), which was one of the most talked-about of the 600-plus books released that season. All of the characters are “avatars” of the author and, like Kerviel, are similarly insecure about their educational and social background; but one of them aspires to be rich, and after a chance meeting with a college classmate, becomes co-founder of a hedge-fund during the 1990s dot-com boom. Much of the second half of the book is set in the world of finance. Ultimately the character is driven to fraud, though in that case on account of his partner’s dogmatically contrarian bets. All of the avatars are psychological examinations of the impact of middle-class childhood, unsuccessful father, and mediocre university in French society (the premise being that the author would have turned out like one of them but for the help of the woman he married; he is the “Cendrillon” (Cinderella) of the title). The book also includes big chunks of entertaining humor and annoying self-indulgence, and is occasionally a bit of a slog. But the relevance to current events grows stronger the more we learn about Kerviel.