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Short Sellers and Financial Misconduct

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Author Info

  • JONATHAN M. KARPOFF
  • XIAOXIA LOU

Abstract

We examine whether short sellers detect firms that misrepresent their financial statements, and whether their trading conveys external costs or benefits to other investors. Abnormal short interest increases steadily in the 19 months before the misrepresentation is publicly revealed, particularly when the misconduct is severe. Short selling is associated with a faster time-to-discovery, and it dampens the share price inflation that occurs when firms misstate their earnings. These results indicate that short sellers anticipate the eventual discovery and severity of financial misconduct. They also convey external benefits, helping to uncover misconduct and keeping prices closer to fundamental values. Copyright (c) 2010 the American Finance Association.

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File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-6261.2010.01597.x
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 65 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 1879-1913

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:65:y:2010:i:5:p:1879-1913

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Cited by:
  1. Aitken, Michael & Cumming, Douglas & Zhan, Feng, 2013. "Exchange trading rules, surveillance and insider trading," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/15, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  2. Engelberg, Joseph E. & Reed, Adam V. & Ringgenberg, Matthew C., 2012. "How are shorts informed?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 260-278.
  3. Blau, Benjamin M. & Pinegar, J. Michael, 2013. "Are short sellers incrementally informed prior to earnings announcements?," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 142-155.
  4. Fernando D. Chague & Rodrigo De-Losso, Alan De Genaro, Bruno C. Giovannetti, 2013. "Short Selling and Inside Information," Working Papers, Department of Economics 2013_06, University of São Paulo (FEA-USP).
  5. Lynch, Andrew & Nikolic, Biljana & Yan, Xuemin (Sterling) & Yu, Han, 2014. "Aggregate short selling, commonality, and stock market returns," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 17(C), pages 199-229.
  6. Hazarika, Sonali & Karpoff, Jonathan M. & Nahata, Rajarishi, 2012. "Internal corporate governance, CEO turnover, and earnings management," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 44-69.
  7. Blau, Benjamin M. & Wade, Chip, 2012. "Informed or speculative: Short selling analyst recommendations," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 14-25.
  8. Autore, Don M. & Gehy, Dominique, 2013. "Changing the rules again: Short selling in connection with public equity offers," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1974-1985.

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