When is Insider Trading Informative
37 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2011 Last revised: 16 Mar 2012
Date Written: November 2011
Insider trades have been shown to earn abnormal returns. However, the information content of these trades is less certain. Based on the simple idea that insiders respond to benefits and costs in informative trading, this paper explores the relationship between insider trading informativeness and the information and regulation environments. We show that insider trades are more informative when firms are less transparent, and this correlation increases in the post-SOX period when reportings become timelier. Insider purchases are also more informative when SEC enforcement receives higher media attention. The correlation between informativeness and transparency, which is primarily driven by opportunistic trades, is manifested in long-term insider gains even after controlling for size and book-to-market. By asking \When is insider trading informative?", we provide an affirmative answer to the question \Is insider trading informative?"
Keywords: insider trade, information asymmetry, cumulative abnormal return
JEL Classification: G3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation