The paper summarizes various agency cost and market theories of insider trading propounded over the course of the perennial law and economics debate over insider trading. The paper then suggests three testable hypotheses regarding the relationship between insider trading laws and several measures of financial performance. Using international data and alternative regression specifications, the paper finds that more stringent insider trading laws and enforcement are generally associated with greater ownership dispersion, greater stock price accuracy and greater stock market liquidity. This set of findings provides empirical support to theoretical arguments in favor of more stringent insider trading legislation and enforcement.


Banking and Finance Law | Law and Economics

Date of this Version

February 2004