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Deviations From Norms and Informed Trading

Alok Kumar

University of Miami - School of Business Administration

Jeremy K. Page

Brigham Young University

October 24, 2011

Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA), Forthcoming

This paper proposes and tests the conjecture that sophisticated individuals deviate from established personal and social norms only when the perceived benefits are sufficiently large. We apply this broad idea to the context of institutional investing and predict that norm-constrained investors deviate from norms when they have compelling information. Consequently, they should earn higher abnormal returns from those investments. We test this prediction using norms against gambling and holding "sin" stocks. Consistent with our conjecture, we find that when gambling-averse institutions invest in lottery-type stocks, they earn higher abnormal returns on their lottery stock holdings, outperforming the holdings of gambling-tolerant institutions. Similarly, institutions that are averse to holding sin stocks earn higher abnormal returns on those they choose to hold. Overall, these results indicate that deviations from established social norms can be used to identify informed investing.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 62

Keywords: Institutional investors, informed trading, investor tastes, skewness, gambling, sin stocks, social norms

JEL Classification: D14, G11, G14

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Date posted: March 21, 2011 ; Last revised: October 16, 2012

Suggested Citation

Kumar, Alok and Page, Jeremy K., Deviations From Norms and Informed Trading (October 24, 2011). Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis (JFQA), Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1787447 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1787447

Contact Information

Alok Kumar
University of Miami - School of Business Administration ( email )
514 Jenkins Building
Department of Finance
Coral Gables, FL 33124-6552
United States
305-284-1882 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://moya.bus.miami.edu/~akumar
Jeremy K. Page (Contact Author)
Brigham Young University ( email )
Marriott School of Management
685 TNRB
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801-422-7173 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://marriottschool.byu.edu/directory/details?id=19364

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