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Insider Trading as a Signal of Private Information

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  • Damodaran, Aswath
  • Liu, Crocker H

Abstract

There is substantial evidence that insider trading is present around corporate announcements and that this insider trading is motivated by private information. Using real estate investment trusts that choose to reappraise themselves as our sample, we establish that the appraisals contain information, but find no market response to the public announcement of this information in these appraisals. We consider two possible explanations for this inconsistency: the first that the appraisal information is not highlighted in earnings reports and hence remains unobserved; and the second that insiders trade on the appraisal information in the time that elapses between the appraisal and its public announcement. We find strong support for the second hypothesis, with insiders buying (selling) after they receive favorable (unfavorable) appraisal news, especially for negative appraisals. We also find that positive (negative) appraisals and net insider buying (selling) elicit significant positive (negative) abnormal returns during the appraisal period. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Damodaran, Aswath & Liu, Crocker H, 1993. "Insider Trading as a Signal of Private Information," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 6(1), pages 79-119.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:6:y:1993:i:1:p:79-119
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. DeMarzo, Peter & Skiadas, Costis, 1998. "Aggregation, Determinacy, and Informational Efficiency for a Class of Economies with Asymmetric Information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-152, May.
    2. Masahiro Watanabe, 2002. "Rational Trend Followers and Contrarians in Excessively Volatile, Correlated Markets," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm267, Yale School of Management.
    3. Roll, Richard, 1977. "A critique of the asset pricing theory's tests Part I: On past and potential testability of the theory," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 129-176, March.
    4. Jiang Wang, 1993. "A Model of Intertemporal Asset Prices Under Asymmetric Information," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(2), pages 249-282.
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