In this study, we examine the structure of the state auditor or equivalent function to determine the relationship with federal corruption convictions. Specifically, we explore whether differences in the responsibilities for (1) financial statement audits of state or local governments (i.e., state audit function  vs.  private-sector auditor) and (2) fraud investigations through whistleblower programs within states are associated with federal corruption prosecutions within the state. We find that states’ efforts in the fight against corruption appear to be more effective where state audit functions are responsible for both financial statement audits and fraud investigations. We interpret our results as support for deterrence benefits achievable through state auditor functions’ active involvement in financial statement audits and fraud investigations.

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