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What Do Independent Directors Know? Evidence from Their Trading

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  • Enrichetta Ravina
  • Paola Sapienza

Abstract

We compare the trading performance of independent directors and other officers of the firm. We find that independent directors earn positive and substantial abnormal returns when they purchase their company stock, and that the difference with the same firm's officers is relatively small at most horizons. The results are robust to controlling for firm fixed effects and to using a variety of alternative specifications. Executive officers and independent directors make higher returns in firms with weaker governance and the gap between these two groups widens in such firms. Independent directors who sit in audit committees earn higher return than other independent directors at the same firm. Finally, independent directors earn significantly higher returns than the market when they sell the company stock in a window before bad news and around a restatement announcement.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12765.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
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Publication status: published as Enrichetta Ravina, Paola Sapienza. "What Do Independent Directors Know? Evidence from Their Trading," in Michael Weisbach, editor, "Corporate Governance" The Review of Financial Studies, vol. 23, no. 3, March 2010 (2010)
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12765

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Renee B. Adams & Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2010. "The Role of Boards of Directors in Corporate Governance: A Conceptual Framework and Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 58-107, March.
  2. Fidrmuc, Jana P. & Korczak, Adriana & Korczak, Piotr, 2013. "Why does shareholder protection matter for abnormal returns after reported insider purchases and sales?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1915-1935.
  3. Brochet, Francois & Srinivasan, Suraj, 2014. "Accountability of independent directors: Evidence from firms subject to securities litigation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 430-449.
  4. Cook, Douglas O. & Wang, Huabing (Barbara), 2011. "The informativeness and ability of independent multi-firm directors," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 108-121, February.
  5. Foucault, Thierry & Fresard, Laurent, 2014. "Learning from peers' stock prices and corporate investment," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(3), pages 554-577.

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