Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2013

Abstract

Like firms in the United States, many Canadian firms voluntarily restrict trading by corporate insiders beyond the requirements of insider trading laws (i.e., super-compliance). Thus, we aim to understand the determinants of firms’ private insider trading policies (ITPs), which are quasi-contractual devices. Based on the assumption that firms that face greater costs from insider trading (or greater benefits from restricting insider trading) ought to be more inclined than other firms to adopt more stringent ITPs, we develop several testable hypotheses. We test our hypotheses using data from a sample of firms included in the Toronto Stock Exchange/Standard and Poor’s (TSX/S&P) Index. Our empirical results suggest that Canadian firms do not randomly restrict insider trading, but rather do so predictably and with a predictable level of intensity, suggesting that some firms wish to control insider trading to enhance corporate performance. Our most robust finding is that firms with a greater prevalence of controlling shareholders are more likely to have adopted a super-compliant ITP than firms with fewer such shareholders, implying that influential shareholders may oppose insider trading and challenging the claim that private restrictions of insider trading would not arise in the absence of insider trading laws.


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