Extant literature demonstrates that whistleblowing is associated with changes in the whistleblowing target’s financial reporting. This paper provides compelling evidence that whistleblowing also affects peer firms’ financial reporting. Specifically, we find that industry peers reduce their financial reporting aggressiveness following a whistleblowing allegation. This peer deterrent effect is stronger when the peer firm is geographically closer to the whistleblowing target, when the peer and whistleblowing target share a board member, when the peer is predicted to have a high probability of misstatement, and when the whistleblowing target is larger. Our findings are robust to an array of estimation methods, industry peer definitions, examining windows, and a placebo test.

Data Availability: Data are available from the public sources cited in the text.

JEL Classifications: D22; G30; M41.

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