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Informed Trading, Investment and Welfare

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  • James Dow
  • Rohit Rahi

Abstract

This paper studies the welfare economics of informed trading in a stock market. We provide a model in which all agents are rational and trade either to exploit information or to hedge risk. We analyze the effect of more informative prices on investment, given that this dependence will itself be reflected in equilibrium prices. Agents understand that asset prices may affect corporate investment decisions, and condition their trades on prices. We present both a general framework, and a parametric version that allows a closed-form solution. We show that in rational expectations equilibrium with price-taking competitive behaviour, and in the presence of risk-neutral uninformed agents, uninformed traders cannot lose money on average to informed traders. However, some agents with superior information may be willing to lose money on average, in order to improve their hedging possibilities. While a higher incidence of informed speculation always increases firm value through a more informative trading process, the effect on agents welfare depends on how revelation of information that agents wish to insure against reduces their hedging opportunities (the Hirshleifer effect). On the other hand, early revelation of information that is uncorrelated with hedging needs allows agents to construct better hedges.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • James Dow & Rohit Rahi, 1996. "Informed Trading, Investment and Welfare," Archive Working Papers 029, Birkbeck, Department of Economics, Mathematics & Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bbk:bbkifr:029
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Glosten, Lawrence R, 1989. "Insider Trading, Liquidity, and the Role of the Monopolist Specialist," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62(2), pages 211-235, April.
    2. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
    3. Hayne E. Leland., 1990. "Insider Trading: Should It Be Prohibited?," Research Program in Finance Working Papers RPF-195, University of California at Berkeley.
    4. Glosten, Lawrence R. & Milgrom, Paul R., 1985. "Bid, ask and transaction prices in a specialist market with heterogeneously informed traders," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 71-100, March.
    5. Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "Continuous Auctions and Insider Trading," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(6), pages 1315-1335, November.
    6. Ausubel, Lawrence M, 1990. "Insider Trading in a Rational Expectations Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1022-1041, December.
    7. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1981. "Information aggregation in a noisy rational expectations economy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-235, September.
    8. Hirshleifer, Jack, 1971. "The Private and Social Value of Information and the Reward to Inventive Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(4), pages 561-574, September.
    9. Michael Manove, 1989. "The Harm from Insider Trading and Informed Speculation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 823-845.
    10. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    11. Leland, Hayne E, 1992. "Insider Trading: Should It Be Prohibited?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 859-887, August.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D60 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - General

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