The Ethics of Insider Trading Reform

27 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2018 Last revised: 16 Oct 2018

See all articles by John P. Anderson

John P. Anderson

Mississippi College School of Law

Date Written: March 22, 2018


Vagueness in the law renders the insider trading enforcement regime in the United States unjust and irrational. One way to improve the current regime from the standpoint of justice and efficiency would be to recognize an express safe harbor for issuer-licensed insider trading. It is anticipated that any such move toward liberalization would meet political and cultural resistance on the premise that all insider trading (even if it is licensed by the issuer and economically efficient) is morally wrong. The goal of this paper is to clear the path to liberalization by answering such objections to reform in the ethical terms in which they are expressed.

Keywords: Insider Trading, Securities Regulation, Ethics, Law and Economics, Deontology, Utilitarianism, Virtue Theory, White Collar Crime

Suggested Citation

Anderson, John P., The Ethics of Insider Trading Reform (March 22, 2018). Mercatus Research Paper, Mississippi College School of Law Research Paper No. 2018-01, Available at SSRN: or

John P. Anderson (Contact Author)

Mississippi College School of Law ( email )

151 East Griffith Street
Jackson, MS 39201
United States

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