Do Proxies for Informed Trading Measure Informed Trading? Evidence from Illegal Insider Trades
65 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2018 Last revised: 21 Apr 2018
Date Written: January 23, 2018
This paper exploits hand-collected data on illegal insider trades to provide new evidence of the ability of standard measures of illiquidity to detect informed trading. Controlling for unobserved cross-sectional and time-series variation, sampling bias, and strategic timing of insider trades, I find that when information is short-lived, absolute order imbalance and the autocorrelation of order flows are statistically and economically robust predictors of insider trading. However, when information is long-lasting, insiders strategically time their trades to avoid illiquidity and none of the measures I consider are reliable predictors of insider trading, including bid-ask spreads, Kyle's $\lambda$, and Amihud illiquidity.
Keywords: Insider Trading, Asymmetric Information, Liquidity, Price Impact, Information Networks
JEL Classification: D53, D83, D85, G12, G14, K42
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