Insider Trading Restrictions and Earnings Management
Accounting and Business Research
56 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2017 Last revised: 3 Jun 2020
Date Written: November 8, 2019
We study whether firms that voluntarily restrict insider trading have lower incentives for earnings management. Using a large sample of US firms, we measure these restrictions based on the extent to which insider transactions happen shortly after quarterly earnings announcements. We find that the adoption of insider trading restrictions is associated with a reduction of 9.92 percent in absolute discretionary accruals. Our findings are robust to controlling for changes in corporate governance, and we do not find evidence of a substitution effect between accruals and real earnings management, target beating or timeliness of loss recognition. Taken together, our results indicate that the voluntary adoption of blackout periods that limit insider trading improves the quality of financial reporting.
Keywords: Insider trading, voluntary insider trading restrictions, earnings management, real earnings management, corporate governance
JEL Classification: G14, G34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation