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Regulating Insider Trading when Investment Matters

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  • Medrano, Luis Angel
  • Vives, Xavier

Abstract

We analyse the effects of insider trading on real investment and welfare, and the consequences of different regulatory policies: a disclose-or-abstain rule, ‘fair’ disclosure, laissez-faire and forbidding insider trades based on ‘precise’ information. We perform the analysis in a model in which all traders are rational expected-utility maximizers and aware of their position in the market. We compare the equilibrium with insider trading with the equilibrium in the same market without insider trading in two scenarios: costly and costless information acquisition. We find that with costly information acquisition an abstain-or-disclose rule tends to be optimal while with free information acquisition laissez-faire is better. This suggests enforcing an abstain-or-disclose rule with a high standard of proof for inside information. This rule of thumb advocates a laissez policy both for selective disclosure and in high-tech industries. Our approach uncovers the pitfalls of welfare analysis in the noise trader model.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3292.

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Date of creation: Apr 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3292

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Keywords: disclose-or-abstain rule; hedging; insider trading selective disclosure; noise traders; real investment; speculation; welfare;

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References

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  1. Danthine, Jean-Pierre & Moresi, Serge, 1993. "Volatility, information and noise trading," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 961-982, June.
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  15. Yosha Oved, 1995. "Information Disclosure Costs and the Choice of Financing Source," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 3-20, January.
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  17. Manove, Michael, 1989. "The Harm from Insider Trading and Informed Speculation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 823-45, November.
  18. Kyle, Albert S, 1989. "Informed Speculation with Imperfect Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 317-55, July.
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  20. Spiegel, Matthew & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 1992. "Informed Speculation and Hedging in a Noncompetitive Securities Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 307-29.
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  22. Utpal Bhattacharya & Hazem Daouk, 2002. "The World Price of Insider Trading," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 75-108, 02.
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