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Advertising investments, information asymmetry, and insider gains

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  • Joseph, Kissan
  • Wintoki, M. Babajide
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    Abstract

    Extant research has documented various sources of informational advantages enjoyed by company insiders including firm size, analyst following, dividend payout policy, book-to-market ratio, and the presence or absence of R&D investments. Surprisingly, despite this large body of work, virtually no research has investigated the contribution of advertising investments to information asymmetry. This omission is particularly glaring since: (a) advertising investments constitute a significant fraction of many firms' ongoing expenditures, and (b) the received literature provides strong theoretical arguments relating advertising investments and information asymmetry. Accordingly, the primary objective in this study is to empirically address this gap. Using advertising and insider transaction data at over 12,000 firms from 1986 to 2011, we find that insider gains are significantly greater at firms characterized by advertising investments. Specifically, a zero cost portfolio that is long on firms with net insider purchases and advertising investments, and short on firms with net insider purchases and devoid of advertising investments, garners annual abnormal returns of 5.5%. In addition, we find that investors' reaction to news of insider purchasing is significantly more pronounced at firms characterized by advertising investments — investors rationally recognize the greater information content associated with insider purchases at these firms.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Empirical Finance.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 1-15

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:empfin:v:22:y:2013:i:c:p:1-15

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jempfin

    Related research

    Keywords: Advertising; Insider trades; Information asymmetry; Insider gains;

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    References

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    1. Hirschey, Mark, 1982. "Intangible Capital Aspects of Advertising and R&D Expenditures," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 375-90, June.
    2. Leslie A. Jeng & Andrew Metrick & Richard Zeckhauser, 2003. "Estimating the Returns to Insider Trading: A Performance-Evaluation Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 453-471, May.
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    14. Lakonishok, Josef & Lee, Inmoo, 2001. "Are Insider Trades Informative?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 79-111.
    15. David Aboody & Baruch Lev, 2000. "Information Asymmetry, R&D, and Insider Gains," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(6), pages 2747-2766, December.
    16. Kenneth Khang & Tao-Hsien Dolly King, 2006. "Does Dividend Policy Relate to Cross-Sectional Variation in Information Asymmetry? Evidence from Returns to Insider Trades," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 71-94, December.
    17. Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean, 2008. "All That Glitters: The Effect of Attention and News on the Buying Behavior of Individual and Institutional Investors," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(2), pages 785-818, April.
    18. Daniel, Kent, et al, 1997. " Measuring Mutual Fund Performance with Characteristic-Based Benchmarks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1035-58, July.
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