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The Dog That Did Not Bark: Insider Trading and Crashes


This paper documents that at the individual stock level, insiders' sales peak many months before a large drop in the stock price, while insiders' purchases peak only the month before a large jump. We provide a theoretical explanation for this phenomenon based on trading constraints and asymmetric information. A key feature of our theory is that rational uninformed investors may react more strongly to the absence of insider sales than to their presence (the "dog that did not bark" effect). We test our hypothesis against competing stories, such as insiders timing their trades to evade prosecution. Copyright (c) 2008 The American Finance Association.

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

Volume (Year): 63 (2008)
Issue (Month): 5 (October)
Pages: 2429-2476

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:63:y:2008:i:5:p:2429-2476
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  1. Grossman, Sanford J & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1980. "On the Impossibility of Informationally Efficient Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 393-408, June.
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  5. Romer, David, 1993. "Rational Asset-Price Movements without News," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(5), pages 1112-30, December.
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  10. Franklin Allen & Douglas Gale, 1998. "Bubbles and Crises The Economic Journal," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 98-01, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
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  13. Sylvain Friederich & Alan Gregory & John Matatko & Ian Tonks, 2002. "Short-run Returns around the Trades of Corporate Insiders on the London Stock Exchange," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 8(1), pages 7-30.
  14. Devenow, Andrea & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Rational herding in financial economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 603-615, April.
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  16. Lakonishok, Josef & Lee, Inmoo, 2001. "Are Insider Trades Informative?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 79-111.
  17. Suleyman Basak & David Cass & Juan Manuel Licari & Anna Pavlova, 2006. "Multiplicity and Sunspots in General Financial Equilibrium with Portfolio Constraints," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-012, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  18. Allen F. & Morris S. & Postlewaite A., 1993. "Finite Bubbles with Short Sale Constraints and Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 206-229, December.
  19. Conrad, Jennifer & Kaul, Gautam, 1993. " Long-Term Market Overreaction or Biases in Computed Returns?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 39-63, March.
  20. 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.
  21. Chen, Joseph & Hong, Harrison & Stein, Jeremy C., 2001. "Forecasting crashes: trading volume, past returns, and conditional skewness in stock prices," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 345-381, September.
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