How Stock Splits Affect Trading: A Microstructure Approach

Posted: 25 Apr 2001

See all articles by David Easley

David Easley

Cornell University - Department of Economics; Cornell University - Department of Information Science

Maureen O'Hara

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Gideon Saar

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Abstract

Extending an empirical technique developed in Easley, Kiefer, and O'Hara (1996, 1997a), we examine different hypotheses about stock splits. In line with the trading range hypothesis, we find that stock splits attract uninformed traders. However, we also find that informed trading increases, resulting in no appreciable change in the information content of trades. Therefore, we do not find evidence consistent with the hypothesis that stock splits reduce information asymmetries. The optimal tick size hypothesis predicts that stock splits attract limit order trading and this enhances the execution quality of trades. While we find an increase in the number of executed limit orders, their effect is overshadowed by the increase in the costs of executing market orders due to the larger percentage spreads. On balance, the uninformed investors' overall trading costs rise after stock splits.

Keywords: Stock splits, market microstructure, information asymmetry, optimal tick size, trading range

JEL Classification: G12, G30

Suggested Citation

Easley, David and O'Hara, Maureen and Saar, Gideon, How Stock Splits Affect Trading: A Microstructure Approach. Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Vol. 36, March 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=265017

David Easley

Cornell University - Department of Economics ( email )

414 Uris Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853-7601
United States
607-255-6283 (Phone)
607-255-2818 (Fax)

Cornell University - Department of Information Science ( email )

402 Bill & Melinda Gates Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Maureen O'Hara

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-3645 (Phone)
607-255-5993 (Fax)

Gideon Saar (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

431 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-7484 (Phone)
607-255-5993 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: https://www.johnson.cornell.edu/Faculty-And-Research/Profile?id=gs25

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