The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

The Successes and Failures of Whistleblower Laws

Robert G. Vaughn

Drawing on literature from several disciplines, this enlightening book examines the history of whistleblower laws throughout the world and provides an analytical structure for the most common debates about the nature of such laws and their potential successes and failures.

Chapter 8: Incentives

Robert G. Vaughn

Subjects: law - academic, comparative law, criminal law and justice, labour, employment law, politics and public policy, public policy


Protection of whistleblowers from retaliation provides an incentive for their disclosures. In this sense, protection is the price paid for information whether it is provided to an employer, to a government regulatory or law enforcement agency, to members of the legislature, or to the public through the media or through private organizations. The conception of protection as an incentive invites an evaluation of the balance between the costs of the protections and the value of disclosures. For example, a finding that whistleblowers are likely to make disclosures in ignorance of protections or despite ineffective protections affects the calculus of costs and benefits.

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