Insider Trading, Earnings Management and Information Asymmetry
Posted: 18 Mar 2015 Last revised: 4 Sep 2017
Date Written: January 5, 2015
Insider trading is highly tied to earnings management in an asymmetric information environment. Using US data during 2004-2012 and different discretionary accrual measures, we reveal that insiders net purchase ratio dominated by sales, insider purchase ratio and cumulative abnormal return are positively associated with absolute value of earnings management (earnings quality). We also document high earnings management practice in growth firms (low book-to market) than value firms (high book-to market) as well as active involvement of major insiders (e.g. CEO) in such practice for personal benefits. A leading role of information asymmetry and its moderation effect is prevalent. Further evidence also suggests manipulation of earnings for insiders’ opportunistic trading over routine trading. Overseeing the earnings management and insider trading behavior simultaneously by the regulators is identified as an important policy issue in this research.
Keywords: insider trading, earnings management, earnings quality, information asymmetry, opportunistic and routine trading
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